Having a means to track visits to your website is vitally important for anyone wishing to build an audience. Not only does it give you an idea of how popular your site is, it also gives you an idea of where your audience is and how they are getting to your site.
Google Analytics is the current heavyweight however it is coming under fire due to privacy concerns as Google retains all your data. Whether these concerns are valid or not it can be concerning when you don’t have control over how your data is used.
One of the wonders of the Open Source movement is the communities ability to come up with alternatives to industry heavyweights. Whether this is by using Libre Office as an alternative to Microsoft Office, Linux for Windows or by using Piwik as an alternative to Google Analytics.
In our current world or growing privacy concerns there is a wish to move away from the free hosted platforms such as Google Analytics due to concerns over data privacy. If you are using one of these free services you have to wonder how they are making money. When it comes down to it all businesses need to make money so how does Google monetise free services outside of Search?
Piwik comes to the rescue as a viable alternative to Google Analytics. While not a direct replacement to everything the other system does it is very close including the ability to integrate with WordPress. Probably the biggest difference though is that Piwik is a software package and not a service, so you need access to a web server to run this. You can either run this within your chosen web host or if you use Altair Hosting you have to this as part of our hosting packages.
You can always have a look at it by going to http://demo.piwik.org/.