Web Analytics are vital to fully understanding how your users are interacting with your website, and more importantly, what areas you need to work on to increase your target audience. There are some expensive software packages you can buy, but the best alternative for most website owners is Google Analytics. It’s free and is widely recognized as a valid tool for measuring site performance. I use Google Analytics and strongly recommend you do as well if you’re not already utilizing GA.
While some web hosts are now including Google Analytics integration with your hosting plan, you might be surprised to learn that you also have other web analytics platforms available to you. While I would still use GA as my main source of information, these other tools can give you an additional perspective on your web traffic. For example, if you have a cPanel web hosting plan, you can access the Logaholic web analytics tool.
A lot of the information available with Logaholic is similar to the data in Google Analytics, but it is presented in a different way. So, it could be a matter of personal preference as to which you use more often. However, I did notice that my traffic numbers in Logaholic were significantly higher than GA. Apparently, they must count crawlers, feeds, and my own visits more.
Like in Google Analytics, you can set up conversion tracking in Logaholic. Personally, I think I prefer the way GA handles setting up goals and conversions. Also, Google Analytics integrates well with Google Webmaster Tools so you can analyze SEO functions such as search engine queries. I do however like the way Logaholic displays click path activity–tracking your visitor’s actions.
Although if I had to choose one over the other I’d use Google Analytics for some of the reasons I mentioned earlier, using a tool like Logaholic has its own advantages. First, it doesn’t cost you anything extra since it comes with your cPanel hosting. And, you don’t need to install and set it up as with GA. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one over the other. Even if you decide to have Google Analytics as your primary tool, you can always check out Logaholic from your cPanel interface to get additional web analytics information.
3 thoughts on “Free Web Analytics from your Host”
Logaholic analyzes web server logs in cPanel but can also do page tagging when setup separately.
Page tagging is what Google does, your only choice in GA therefor numbers in Logaholic are higher, page tagging needs a java supported browser. Bots are greatly ignored with page tagging when they do not support Java, also the page tag needs time to load how often do you click away when the page is not yet fully loaded? and users can block java manually you will be surprised how many people disable Java in their browser Significant difference in the numbers is explained by those fast clickers and Java blocking so less traffic is detected with page tagging like Google does. An up to date version of Logaholic will detect most bots so those influence the differences only minimal.
So why should you bother using an alternative for GA if all these differences exist. 1stly you detect more accurate your traffic specifics, if you have a lot of Java unsupported visitors but your say your e commerce site only serves java supporting browsers, you will see your numbers go down but you will have no idea why, if you use only page tagging you simply do not see the traffic that cant access your site. These visitors invisible to page tagging are recorded when analyzing web server logs like Logaholic does. Both methods do not compare they are complementary. Most professionals will use both methods so when you are using Logaholic complementary to Google Analytics that could be a good idea. Another reason is that GA is not free Google owns your data in exchange for using GA and most important Google uses log files on their servers that serve your adds, because log files are so accurate that Google claims there are no mistakes in their click billing never ever and if you thought there are errors in what Google is charging try finding that out with and proving that with page tag. Certainly Google thinks they cannot Rely on page tagging because they would miss out on a massive portion of their traffic. The company that sits on your credit card gives you a great but not so very accurate tool to do your thing but know you cannot use that to check their billing. Google will not deliberately over-bill you, they don’t need that, but where people work mistakes are made no one or no computer is perfect. We at Logaholic think you should at least be able to properly check Google’s Billing. For checking your only hope is the Web Server log file and a log-analyzer that supports these, like Logaholic.
Thank you Andre for your comments. I appreciate you explaining the reasons for the different numbers.
As for Google Analytics, I was referring to it as a free tool in comparison to shelling out thousands of dollars on a software package such as Omniture/Site Catalyst.
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