What Is Piwik?

Gordon Choi
Gordon Choi


Open Source Web Analytics

Most open source web analytics tools were developed by software developers who work on open source development projects. Some of the successfully developed open source web analytics tools include:

  • Piwik
  • Open Web Analytics (OWA)


Piwik is an open source web analytics tool which is free.

Software Installation

Piwik is a pre-built software which can be downloaded from Piwik’s official website. You can install the software onto your own Linux Web server or a cloud solution (which provides web servers).

You will have to setup the Piwik Tracking Codes on each page of your website.

Accessing Reports

Piwik has made a few readily built-in reports available. The reports are accessible from within Piwik’s user interface.

Storing Data

Each Piwik software comes with a database. The database must be setup to store the website data that will be collected. You will have to manage the regular backup of the database.

Why Using Open Source Web Analytics (i.e. Piwik)

The most conventional alternative to open source web analytics tools is Google Analytics which is the most popular free web analytics tool. You choose Google Analytics mainly because:

  • It is free.
  • The setup is simple. Most setup requires you adding the Google Analytics JavaScript-based tracking code onto each page on your website.
  • You don’t want to take care of data storage (i.e the database & the data backup) and the hardware (i.e. the web server, the cloud solution, etc).
  • You won’t require getting the full set of data onto your own database (for any subsequent detailed data analysis).

Piwik as an open source web analytics tool is also free, but you’re going to store the data on your own web servers, and you will have to manage the database (i.e. backup, etc). The major advantage is you get the full set of your website’s data on Piwik’s database, and you will be able to make use of this data for any subsequent detailed data analysis.

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Content on Gordon Choi’s Analytics Book is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International license.

Gordon Choi’s Other Books:
The China Mobile SEO Book
Mobile Website Book

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