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Open source project Piwik puts Google Analytics on notice

2008 July 31

Ok, well I’m not sure if anyone at Piwik has publicly directed the comment towards the internet giant Google. The group behind the open source visitor tracking and analytic software however openly contends “piwik aims to be an open source alternative to Google Analytics.”

And what a job they’ve done! Though the software is still in a beta phase, its features are impressive, the interface is smooth, and the graphing is truly beautiful.

The Piwik project is the offspring of another open-source, but less hip, visitor tracking system, phpMyVisites.

Why use Piwik for traffic analytics?

The features in Piwik are comparable to those found in Google Analytics. The biggest difference is critical however. You own the data, and the code is open-source. This means you can have it your way.

  • They offer a strong API to use in your pages.
  • Developers are encouraged to contribute plugins that install in a snap.
  • Just like Google’s solution you may track multiple sites under one account.
  • You may also add more users and assign permissions based on role.
  • Track downloads, affiliate links and ad campaigns.

The look of Piwik

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I love the new ‘clean’ look many web applications are using. Piwik is no exception. Simplistic beauty.

Admin dashboard in Piwik

Admin dashboard in Piwik

The dashboard view allows you to select any of the widgets from other pages to highlight whats critical to you. The widgets all do a great job of diplaying data, and most allow you to specify what type of output they should format the data.

The various output methods include

  • Bar graphs
  • Pie charts
  • Tag Clouds (very cool)
  • XML, Json, and CSV generation (in new window)
  • and of course plain tables

The Piwik site has a great presentation detailing the 5 reasons they are better than the competition.

They also have an interactive demo page to those who remain skeptical.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. October 7, 2008

    Just came across your site and I like where you’re going with it, especially from your CakePHP point of reference.

    I love Piwik and see it as a great tool that developers can deploy, manage and modify privately, at no-cost and written in the most robust language out there, PHP (although lightly obfuscated).

    Hope to see more goodies in the future.

  2. Peter Welsh permalink
    May 28, 2010

    Good for shiny listings of page visitors & page viewed….but useless as a (visitor behaviour) analytics until it can not track “which pages viewed per visitor”

  3. Eddie permalink*
    May 28, 2010


    The great thing is that all the data needed is being captured. But the community is still working on the more complex features like building site-paths. But as it is an open source effort s I know your contributions would be welcome.
    Piwik Dev Site

  4. eddie permalink*
    July 14, 2011

    @Peter, @Everyone

    Since March I have relied on OWA (Open Web Analytics) which does a much better job meeting Peter’s concerns for true user analytics (site paths, funnle visualization, trending, etc)

    The layout is also more akin to Google Analytics, making for an easy switch.

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