Life October 22, 2009

Divorcing Google Analytics

analytics For the longest time this site was married to Google Analytics. It wasn’t one of those passionate marriages, filled with romance and adventure, that we read about in books, see on TV or even experience some times ourselves if we’re lucky. But it was mutually beneficial. And stable.

I guess you could say it was a marriage of convenience.

Analytics wasn’t exactly a looker or the most charming statistics service but it did provide all the statistical data that the site needed. And it did it for free.

clicky Then one day the site met Clicky. And, they clicked (some pun intended). Clicky looked better than Analytics but that wasn’t really it. You see, Clicky could provide something that Analytics couldn’t: real time data! Sure, one might argue that from an analytical perspective that isn’t very important for a blog. But it is fun. It feeds passion! Seeing how many that read a blog post that was published yesterday yesterday is interesting if one wants to see how visitors behave on the site, where they came from or perform some other interesting but not very exciting analysis. But it doesn’t offer much excitement as by that time the focus has, hopefully, already moved on to publishing the next blog post.

Clicky was perfect for the site. But it had one problem. It charged money for it’s pro account that enabled statistics longer back than 30 days and some other important features. So, the site, that didn’t really dare to leave the feeling of safety that it got from Analytics anyway, kept seeing both.

woopra A little later another statistics service came along, Woopra. Woopra promised much of the same things that Clicky did, and as it wasn’t out of beta testing it was also free of charge at the time. It’s data seemed even more real time than Clicky’s so the site really found it interesting. If only it hadn’t been for it’s ugliness. I’m not kidding here, it was U-G-L-Y! Or at least the site, who didn’t think statistics should be presented in the context of something that looked like a discolored dashboard from a star ship in Star Trek circa 1978, thought so.

But hey, it was free. So the site saw all three statistic services at once, hoping no one would notice.

All along the site knew that wasn’t fair to anyone though. Not to Analytics. Not to Clicky. Not to Woopra. Not to it self. And definitely not to it’s visitors that had to make three HTTP requests for each page view only to submit statistics. So, the site decided to clean it self up, get a total make over at the MVC institute and deal with it’s marital situation.

Clearly the marriage with Analytics wasn’t working out. And while Woopra had some cool features it couldn’t stand looking at it’s interface. It was clear that Clicky was the statistics service for the site. So, it bought a ring, got down on it’s knees and asked Clicky to marry it. And guess what, after being promised $60 per year, it said yes!

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Joel Abrahamsson

Joel Abrahamsson

I'm a passionate web developer and systems architect living in Stockholm, Sweden. I work as CTO for a large media site and enjoy developing with all technologies, especially .NET, Node.js, and ElasticSearch. Read more


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