What is Piwik?

What exactly is Piwik? Maybe you have seen it while browsing Softaculous or Windows Web App Gallery, but do you know what it does?

What is Piwik?

Piwik is a downloadable, web analytics software package. It provides detailed reports on your website and its visitors, including the search engines and keywords they used, the language they speak, which pages they like, the files they download… and so much more.
Piwik aims to be an open source alternative to Google Analytics.
Piwik is PHP MySQL software which you download and install on your own webserver. At the end of the 5-minute installation process you will be given a JavaScript tag. Simply copy and paste this tag on websites you wish to track (or use an existing plugin to do it automatically for you).
To learn more about what Piwik offers, check out the list of features page.

How much does Piwik cost?

Piwik is a Free Software, released under the GPL license. It does not have a monetary cost (it is free of charge) and the software license ensures it respects your freedom to use and modify the software.

If you would like to pay back a little something, you are welcome to participate in the project and spend some of your time and energy to make Piwik better (the app, website or docs). We are grateful for our wonderful sponsors and the core Piwik team for their amazing work.

How is Piwik different to Google Analytics and other web analytics tools?

Piwik is the leading open source web analytics software, but there are dozens of other free and paid web analytics solutions; why choose Piwik?

One of the principle advantages of Piwik is that you are in control. Unlike remote-hosted services (such as Google Analytics), you host Piwik on your own server and the data is tracked inside your MySQL database. Because Piwik is installed on your server, you enjoy full control over your data. You can access the data easily via the Piwik APIs. Advanced users can use Custom VariablesSegmentation, or even run manual queries on the database in order to build advanced reports.

Piwik also protects your visitor privacy with advanced Privacy features. When using Piwik for Web Analytics, you ensure that your visitors’ behavior on your website(s) is not shared with advertising companies.

If you are using Google Analytics and starting to use Piwik, you can import your data history into Piwik. You can also use several web analytics tools at the same time so feel free to experiment!

To help you decide on a Web Analytics software, you might want to look at the list of features in Piwik or the online demo. Happy Analytics!

How does Piwik work?

Piwik has to be installed on a server with both PHP and MySQL. At the end of the 5-minute installation, Piwik will give you a JavaScript tag which you add to the bottom of each page of your website. Piwik will then record the activity across your website within your database. Piwik aggregates this data to provide detailed web analytics reports about your visitors, page views, referrer information, search engine keywords and much more!

The Piwik report “Pages > Outlinks” shows the list of external URLs that were clicked by your visitors from your website pages. Piwik will track as an “outlink” all clicks on URLs that are not the same domain as the website being tracked. For example, if your visitor click on a link to “piwik.org” on your website “example.org”, this will be counted as an outlink in the report.

For each outlink, Piwik will report the number of clicks, and the number of unique clicks. Unique clicks are the number of unique visitors that clicked to a given domain; for example, if the same visitor clicked 3 times on the same outlink, it will be reported as 3 clicks and 1 unique click.

Note that Piwik is not able to track JavaScript of flash links. Only HTML links are tracked.

If you wish to not track clicks on your subdomains as outlinks, for example if your website is “example.org/” and you don’t want to track outlinks to “news.example.org”, you can use the JavaScript function setDomains(). Read more in the documentation.

Learn more about Click Tracking in the JavaScript tagging Guide.

* All information from the Piwik FAQ

Looking for quality Piwik Web Hosting? Look no further than Arvixe Web Hosting!

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Author Spotlight

Arian Jahansouz

Hello, I am Arian! I have been writing for Arvixe since 2009 and now head the Arvixe Blog. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or comments!

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