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Breaking Up With Google: Analytics

The recent announcement by Google that they are killing off Reader got me thinking about my reliance on Google services.

I use Gmail. I loved Reader. I used Google Alerts (also DOA). I have quite a bit of info in Google Docs. I like their Music app.

But with Reader folding, what’s next? I can’t imagine they’d kill of Gmail but I do wonder about some of their other services. It seems like anything not tied to Google+ is fair game.

So I’ve been looking at replacing some of my reliance on Google with other apps.

Today I’ll look at replacing Google Analytics

I’ve used Google Analytics since it first came out and have all the sites I manage reporting to it. I don’t get too deep into the weeds with stats and the early Analytics was very simple to use. As it’s matured however it’s become more and more complicated being tied into Google ads, campaigns, etc.

I don’t really care about all that stuff. I just want to see how many people visit my site, and maybe a pretty graph or two.

So I went looking for a replacement.

I didn’t want to rely on another 3rd party so I limited my search to self hosted solutions and quickly stumbled upon Piwik.

Piwik gives you insights on your website’s visitors, your marketing campaigns and much more, so you can optimize your strategy and online experience of your visitors.

It has all the features I’ll ever need and more:

  • Real time data updates
  • Get a detailed view of your visitors, pages they have visited and goals they have triggered
  • Customizable Dashboard — and create new dashboards as you see fit!
  • Geo Locate your visitors for accurate detection of Country, Region, City, Organization
  • No data limit, you can keep all your data FOREVER. See our limits analytics data fact sheet.
  • Mobile app

Like WordPress they offer a ‘5 minute installation’. It probably took me a little longer than that to read through the docs and verify everything but I had it running in under 10 minutes.

System requirement are basic:

  • PHP version 5.1.3 or greater
  • MySQL version 4.1 or greater

Once installed, much like Google Analytics. you append a small script to the bottom of you pages and you are done!


The initial dashboard shows me everything I need to see. Updates are done through the application so it’s very easy to keep up to date. Overall I’m very happy with Piwik. It’s easy to use, does what I need and is all under my control.

Tomorrow we’ll look at finding a Google Reader replacement.