Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.231.247.139

Forum Moderators: DixonJones & mademetop

Message Too Old, No Replies

Need advice choosing Web Analytics Program

Urchin, WebTrends, HitBox, etc..?

     
12:38 am on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 10, 2003
posts:443
votes: 0


I am in charge of choosing a new web analytics program. So far we had Sawmill and AWstats. I find both to be limited.

We want more than traffic reports, we would like to analyse campaign data.

I have been looking into WebTrends 7.0, Urchin and Hitbox.

We're not an ecommerce site. So we don't need inventory analysis, etc...

Our site is more of a LEAD GENERATION site. So, this makes my life harder, because it's hard ot measure success. I have to measure email forms, downloads, etc...

I am getting more inclined towards WT. It seems to have the same features of Urchin, but cheaper.

Do you guys have any advice in the whole situation?
Maybe one of you went throught the sama thing.

Thanks a lot

1:08 pm on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 4, 2005
posts:25
votes: 0


Hello,

You should definitely check out NetTracker. When I went through the process of choosing a tool, they were very helpful. The product is very detailed and has the campaign ability that you mention.

[edited by: rogerd at 3:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2005]

1:48 pm on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 31, 2004
posts:405
votes: 0



For campaign analysis, clicktracks offers some neat features..
5:15 pm on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 10, 2003
posts:443
votes: 0


I ran Clicktracks trial. Although they have some nice features, it lacks some basic reporting.
3:50 pm on Jan 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 13, 2004
posts:269
votes: 0


Agreed, ClickTracks is WAY over rated! and is has a costly price tag.

I would consider Hits Link. They do everything I need currently and more.

KG

5:42 pm on Jan 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 10, 2003
posts:443
votes: 0


I am serious looking at Netracker. I can track campaings, and one account is $695
All other programs that track campaings like hitbox and urchin are over $4000

dudemanken

6:32 pm on Jan 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


I've been down this path a few times.

WebTrends is still the way to go. The only caveat is that, beginning with version 7.0 and Windows Server 2003, you can no longer use the ISAPI Cookie plugin to auto-generate the cookies. They are now going towards the Smartsoure Data Collector, which is a bit more cost from an infrastructure perspective.

Sane's NetTracker is still strictly logfile analysis and continues to copy WebTrends features and UI. WebTrends is moving towards pagetagging due to the add'l info gained on the client (plugin versions, connection speeds, etc...) and decrease in bot/spider traffic. Also, WebTrends is now moving to a PageView licensing model, so you should have a thorough understanding of your traffic volumes. We're working on this now with the expectation of realizing a significant amount of non-legit traffic will be excluded as it is being filtered out.

6:48 pm on Jan 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 10, 2003
posts:443
votes: 0


That's the issue with WebTrends, the SDC is not compatible with FreeBSD, and that's what runs on our server.

Netracker already works with page tagging too. It's not only log file based. Or, am I wrong?

Thanks

8:09 pm on Jan 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 4, 2005
posts:25
votes: 0


NetTracker's latest version 7.5 uses Log files and/or Page Tagging. It is the main reason we went with them. You can track log files for historical data and also incorporate any page tags to track other information, all together in the same reports.

The problem with a pageview licensing model is that the more people that come to your site, the more you will have to pay. They are penalizing you for growing. The other problem with WebTrends is that they switched to work only on Windows platforms.

7:26 pm on Jan 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 14, 2004
posts:1107
votes: 1


A little more detail on logs vs Smart Source in WebTrends.

The WebTrends Smart Source data collection method ON PAPER looks like it's necessary for certain reports, i.e. the analysis engine has to find Smart Source types of parameters in the URL, especially in most of the Campaign reports and the way it differentiates paid from organic search engine hits.

However, that's on paper. In reality it's not very hard at all to tweak your URLs so that those exact parameters are present in regular server logs. The analysis engine doesn't care how the data got into the logs (and the company is happy to give you the parameter structure so you can do it).

Going further, there's an alternative to tweaking your site code to get those parameters. WebTrends has a certain amount of URL revision functionality available from the program's admin, and a lot can be done there to change names of parameters or insert the right ones. If that's not enough, the scripts etc to do this are not that difficult most of the time, and WebTrends will automatically run any preprocessing programs you specify before analyzing.

We have a Smart Source server set up, but we continue to find ways to work with clients' logs to get the same results, and in the end we far prefer server logs containing Smart Source parameters. Yes, some data (particularly cached pages) aren't tracked, but on the other hand logs give you a lot of server performance info - there's a long, long list of differences.

I would guess that other analysis programs that support both tags and logs and that use specialized parameters for auto-configuration of reports can be "tricked" the same way as you can do with WebTrends.

And check out the page view limits and the details of how that's calculated. You may find that for your situation the page view limits don't matter at all, or that the modest cost of raising the limit is okay. I was upset at first, but I now vastly prefer it to the old licensing limits which were based on the number of CPUs that serve the web site. That model penalized us for planning for high traffic period by adding servers.

The current v of WebTrends is 7.0, not 7.5.

1:54 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Jan 25, 2004
posts:56
votes: 0


nice post cgrantski - i'll look into the
'are usually not too difficult' scripts. that phrase usually eliminates me.

-je

mikimo

5:29 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


Hi everyone.

I am also into choosing a web report engine.

I've read documentation of webtrends and urchin but I still can't say if they will suit my needs in terms of the platforms, OSs and web servers I use.

I understand that on one side you have the web server (web server A) hosting the page or pages being reported and on the other you have another machine running the web report engine which analyses logs web server A (or hits generated by javascript tags in the pages being reported). And the web report engine needs itself a second web server (web server B) to serve the user interface that will allow us to see the reports.

What i don't understand is where do the limitations of each engine (urchin and webtrends) apply. For example, webtrends only runs on windows, but does this apply also to the machine running web server A? Are there other limitations in terms of the web servers A and B being used (IIS, Apache..) or the scripting languaje supported (PHP, ASP..)?

Thanks in advance.

5:37 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 14, 2003
posts:4319
votes: 42


Use AWstats and get somebody to custimize it for you. That way you get exactly what you want.
5:47 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 10, 2003
posts:443
votes: 0


Awstats is very limited. There is no campaign tracking as far as I know.

Webtrends only runs on windows.

So, we are now testing Nettracker. Seems to be a good solution.

7:40 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 28, 2004
posts:10
votes: 0


Last year, we switched from WebTrends to NetTracker. Our setup only involves a few websites that we monitor, but having the ability to drill down through reports is invaluable to us. I like the way the campaigns are set up, but most importantly of all for me, was *Customer Service*! I had some horrible experiences with WebTrends, but I love the folks at Sane (NetTracker). Easy to get to, always very helpful. That was a definite scale-tipper this year when I decided which one to renew.
5:34 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 6, 2005
posts:6
votes: 0


Hi everyone! I'm very new to all this and needed suggestions on web stat companies. We just had MyComputer.com from Network Solutions and they were fine, but it took a long time to load the reports, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, they don't have an 800 number to call and talk to a live person. They've lost our business and I think based upon the last comment by keithj, I'll definately look into NetTraker.

This isn't the only thing I need help with so you'll be seeing me around. Thanks!

-cw

7:58 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2004
posts:1392
votes: 0


IMO the latest/current version of Webtrends is Bloatware. It need it's own dedicated computer to run and eats ram and disk space like crazy. We tried the trial for about a week and took it off.
8:00 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 13, 2004
posts:269
votes: 0


Tell me the exact needs you are looking to track. Pay Per Click, web site navigation and analytics? Split testing?

Along with a budget and I can recommend the best solution for your fit. I've run and tested just about every one out there. Send a PM if I don't respond!
KG

4:48 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 14, 2004
posts:1107
votes: 1


WebTrends runs on a Windows machine (for doing analysis) but it can analyze any kind of log on any platform, as far as I know. I work for a web traffic analysis service and nobody's ever given us a log file that WebTrends hasn't recognized and worked with.

Regarding WebTrends as bloatware ... WebTrends software has pretty much taken itself out of the cheapware end of the market, for sure. Not only is the minimum price $500 but it does say it needs its own machine (although I run a copy on my desktop for development and use a dedicated machine for production).

But the other side of the picture, to be fair, is that WebTrends is no longer in the same functional class as AWStats, no way! The current version took a millenium leap and is very, very powerful, with features and settings I still haven't explored even though I've been using it on all our clients since beta. Really. I just found some very cool features Friday.

Don't even consider it if all you want is basic stats that you can get anywhere. You'll hate the cost and the learning curve. On the other hand, if you understand site traffic enough to have some unanswerable questions you think will really help you, then do consider it, and possibly share a license with somebody else to bring the cost down, or find an agency that has already invested in the setup and has somebody on staff that knows all the features enough to set up reporting for you quickly.

I think WebTrends has been changing its market orientation considerably lately. They're leaving the low end market to the companies that used to be its competitors, and they've invested hugely in upgrading the product's functionality by leaps and bounds, ever since version 5. They consolidated their code base from all their various lines starting a couple years ago - it's like they started a new product that learned from the old one but didn't use the old one. And they've also invested in versatility in odd ways - for example, you can use either logs or tagged pages or both simultaneously, and you can migrate from one data collection method to another over time without losing historical data. It also offers *both* an ASP service and a software product (plus an interesting in-between option where they collect your tag data on their servers and ftp it to you for analysis on your software). They've changed their licensing so that other companies can buy a license and act as an ASP, which is what we are doing.

So ... if you don't know much about web traffic analysis and you want something inexpensive, there are a lot of really good programs like AWStats that will give you the basics and more.

And I don't want to claim that WebTrends is the only one that's upgrading its software dramatically. Some of their competitors, also formerly cheap or free, are going after a more sophisticated market and abandoning the low end.

8:35 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 29, 2004
posts:68
votes: 0


I like that perspective. It explains a lot. You left out one thing. There are analytics products that are a lot more expensive than WebTrends but aren't that much better, not for the price after you've paid the hidden consulting and service fees. I think WebTrends' strategy is to stay just under them in functionality but a lot under them in price and flexibility.

I would add HitBox to this category also, and probably Net Tracker and the top level of Urchin.

Mike

11:30 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 6, 2005
posts:106
votes: 0


Thanks for the information, we have been using clicktracks and awstats, and are now looking to new analytics software - you guys have been a great help, thanks :)

The limitations we have found is that we would like the option of being able to track a 'checkout process' if you like, a pathway through a site, identifying areas where customers drop off, etc and highlight key areas that are losing us traffic - from what i have seen web trends excels in this area (still have to find out the costings though :( )

Also, the functionality of combining email reports and sales data looks promising, but i will definetly be looking into other software over the next few days - i have heard of one call 'WebAnalytics' - does anyone have any experience with this one?

2:05 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 24, 2001
posts:712
votes: 3


There are 4 big players in the web analytics game - Net IQ (webtrends), Hitbox, Coremetrics, and Omniture.
There's really not a big difference between them, for most people's needs.

Wlauzon, how did you uninstall the WT trial? I recently bought a new laptop and installed the latest trial version of WT. Now I can't shift it :-(

4:34 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 4, 2005
posts:25
votes: 0


IMO... NetTracker competes with all of those and is more affordable... That has been our experience when we were looking for a tool...
12:33 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 24, 2001
posts:712
votes: 3


I tried out the previous version of NetTracker and thought it was amazing, although difficult to configure. I hear they've improved the interface and made it a lot more user-friendly now.

But all our clients are on webtrends, they like it and are used to it, so we won't be changing.

2:25 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 6, 2005
posts:106
votes: 0


Does anyone have any experience with Omniture and their tracking system? I have been very impressed with their offering to date.
2:33 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2003
posts:4744
votes: 8


Omniture's data warehousing is a very impressive feature. One thing I like about Omniture is the ability to customize your views and what data you're viewing. They have nice data filtering, and if the information is there, one can probably pull it out.

That said, there is a learning curve to determining what info you really want from their system, and it's one of those systems where you can get buried in stats and not really know what stats are meaningful.

1:48 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 26, 2004
posts:182
votes: 0


Many of these packages have very elaborate (fluffy?) pricing structures.

We are looking at upgrading our analytics to something more serious than the freebies out there.

I am curious what most people are actually paying/paid for a system that will:

- Track standard user info
- provide returning/long term user customer behaviours
- Track 2-4k+ PPC campaigns at a micro level
- Analyse logs with 2 million+ page views a month
- Look at product level eCommerce info

I'd prefer not to have it require a dedicated machine, must run on Linux and there is no way i'd use third party scripts/cookies like indextools or hitbox.

I also prefer something that doesn't require ongoing licensing fees or support.

Is it a pipe dream to imagine this is available for less then $4000 a month or can I get something for under a grand one time fee?

It is hard to justify these costs to the bean counters, just so I can know how often visitors took their hand off the mouse and scratched their ass.

thanks,
jb

4:53 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 20, 2004
posts:703
votes: 0


Webtrends may be good but is very costly:

[webmasterworld.com...]

2:09 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 29, 2004
posts:68
votes: 0


Isn't Omniture the most expensive product on the market, or perhaps second after Coremetrics? And both of them require paying for custom reports (flat fee plus $$ consulting), including ones you want to add over time. They are very powerful and complicated in their own different ways, but they are clearly aimed at top end huge sites - look at their client lists- Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Sears, OfficeMax, CompUSA.
7:07 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 28, 2003
posts:8
votes: 0


I've narrowed my selection down to Omniture's SiteCatalyst and WebSideStory's HBX...but after reading this, I'm concerned I'm going to be paying extra for reports I thought I could get with the package. I believe that I will get the same stats from both companies, but WSS is not asking for $5K implementation fees like Omniture.

Is NetTracker still based on the log files or do they do tagging now, too?

I've got the same deal as a couple of posts ago - 2 million page views, ecommerce site, etc.

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members