I have to tell you I am incredibly impressed with an open source project called Piwik.  It’s a snap to setup if you are comfortable with a linux prompt, and if you aren’t there are 20 tutorials online to show you how to do it step by step.  It works like Google Analytics except you host it, which is a lot better because there won’t be any connectivity issues that could cause reporting discrepencies.  The installation steps are really easy they go like this (summarized):

  1. Go to your linux root prompt and type wget http://www.piwik.org/latest.zip
  2. unzip it into your web directly like /var/www/piwik
  3. make a sub domain like piwik.yourwebsite.com on your DNS server and configure it your apache /apache2/sites-available directory and setup a symbolic link in your /apache2/sites-enabled directory
  4. chown www-data.www-data /var/www/piwik -R (or whatever you named your dir)
  5. restart apache (/etc/init.d/apache2 restart)
  6. mysql -p and put in your password, then type create database piwik; (or whatever name you want)
  7. open up your web browser and go to piwik.yoursitename.com and follow the prompts.
  8. It may tell you a few of your files need to have permissions changed, change them they will tell you how.
  9. Fill in the database form with your database credentials, the name of the database you made for it and hit next.
  10. It will ask you what website url you want to monitor (you can add more later, it is just setting up the first one for you).
  11. After you give it the url it will give you some javascript code.  put that code in your website footer or header, if you are using wordpress there are several plugins for piwik, just go to the API button in the admin and get your api key and it will insert the code for you.
  12. wait a few hours and start looking at your stats. 

The stats are comprehensive, ajax sexy (you can move the stuff that is important in groups that make sense for you).  I can’t say enough and the best part is it is free.  This took me 10 minutes to setup without reading the manual.  Anyone can do this.

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