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4 simpler alternatives to Google Analytics

Christopher Null | Oct. 3, 2013
Google doesn't have a monopoly on monitoring website traffic. Here are four other analytics tools worth checking out.

One issue with the service: Woopra tallied considerably more traffic during my test run than other services (and Google Analytics), to the point where I typically saw numbers 23 percent higher on Woopra than on all the other services, which all tallied traffic at the same level. That's a big discrepancy, which Woopra ultimately attributed to an overly aggressive timeout setting for idle users.

A highly restricted free version of the service is available (30,000 actions—or page views—per month), so most small businesses will have to upgrade in order to handle the traffic and get access to features like multiple users and the more advanced reporting. That can get pricey, starting at $80 per month (400,000 actions) and heading up to $1,200 per month (10 million actions). Either way, you get 30 days of Woopra for free.

When it comes to real-time tracking, Woopra is second to none. That said, you'll need to be ready to invest if this kind of information is critical to you.

ShinyStat at first appears to be yet another embedded counter widget that simply counts page views (so very '90s), but dig into this system and you'll find a whole lot more to it, including daily and hourly traffic stats, user demographics, and referrers. With a paid Pro or Business account you can access the most popular pages and set up conversion tracking. There's even a video referrer system available.

With no plug-ins available, you'll need to modify your website's HTML to embed the tracking code on every page, but this isn't complex. In fact, I was more concerned with some serious security no-no's on the site, like the fact that after you register, your password is sent to you in an email in cleartext.

Speaking of emails, ShinyStat also sends you a weekly report by default. It's simple but helpful and surprisingly accurate, underreporting traffic by only about 3 percent vs. Google Analytics.

Outside of the free version, the service is offered for a yearly fee, from €88 (25,000 page views) for the Pro version to €2600 (5 million page views) for the Business version. However, I don't see much value in the upgrades. The free version of ShinyStat offers enough to make it a worthwhile secondary tracking tool—if you don't mind the counter/advertisement you'll have to embed on your site in order to use it.


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