Why should I go with Piwik over Open Web Analytics (OWA)?


#1

Hello,

Right now I’m looking that Piwik and Open Web Analytics (OWA) to replace Google Analytics.

I been looking at this comparison page and I see that OWA has more features than Piwik.

Can you please tell me what Piwik does that OWA doesn’t? Why should I go with Piwik when OWA has more features and reports?


(Matthieu Aubry) #2

Don’t trust any product feature comparison. I have never seen one that is objective, in particular this one :wink: try Piwik and see if you like it

To help with comparing features (because their comparison is based on Piwik 1.0 released 11 MONTHS ago!), check out Piwik list of features!


#3

I had a look at that comparison the other day. Heres my take.

I too thought that OWA sounded better, until I had a look at the two demos of each side by side.

I recommend you do that.

OWA Demo - http://demo.openwebanalytics.com/owa

Piwik Demo - http://demo.piwik.org/

And ended up deciding to go with Piwik.

Because 1/ I liked the goals feature and 2/ There is a forum here, and there doesn’t seem to be one at OWA which is a bit bizarre.

I should add that having now used Piwik, that the goals in the demo are a little misleading in so far as there are only two of them, so the interface looks very friendly.

I added 15 to mine on one site, which is actually not that many, its basically just 15 sections on a website, and the interface becomes awful on Piwik, because the goals keep growing to the right, so it becomes a bit unmanagable.

More thought needs to go into the goals interface for the next release

I am now honestly wondering if I did the right thing, because 1.21 Piwik hasn’t worked properly for me so far.

However, hopefully that will get sorted.

The OWA demo is a little frustrating, because they haven’t set up any goals on it, which is the main reason I think you would use either of these rather then Awstats, which is already installed anyway if you use Cpanel (excluding Google Analytics because thats just a Google Spy Tool)

I am thinking of trying out OWA in parallel, because Piwik 1.21 isn’t working for me anyway at the moment.

I would be interested in your take on OWA vs Piwik Matt.

Is there anything specific in that comparison chart that you don’t think is correct?


#4

Just installed OWA to compare.

Early impressions are that there are different things to like and dislike about the two.

It is clear to me that before the latest versions 1.21 Piwik and 1.41 OWA; neither of these softwares would have been much of an improvement over Awstats.

They showed referers, keywords, browsers. All that stuff. But then Awstats did that anyway, and it was already installed on Cpanel. So why bother?

The big difference for both of these is that the latest versions of these two stats packages added goal tracking, and that is a massive update.

Honestly, it still feels clunky from a users perspective in both packages.

OWA - Lacks the ‘All Websites’ feature of Piwik, which is a MASSIVE ommission. You can’t see at a glance how many visitors you have if you have lots of websites installed.

I just installed 10 sites to test, and already I am finding it annoying not being able to see all of them on one page at a glance, which you can on Piwik.

Also, OWA limits you to tracking 15 goals per website. That sounds like a lot, but actually it really isn’t. If you have an affiliate website for example, then 15 review pages would use up that entire quota.

This needs to be unlimited. I think it is on Piwik.

On the flip side, the implementation of OWA is quite nice. It is better than Piwik for simply setting up the goals, and the interface to look at them is quite nice. Piwik is ugly when you setup 15 goals, because all the text goes underneath buttons at the top (which is a bug I guess). Piwiks interface needs a lot more work on this side.

Also, I installed Piwik 1.2, and then upgraded to 1.21 and it duly nuked ALL of my stats. Something that I haven’t been able to resolve, hence trying out OWA.

Not a big deal after a few days, but would have been a disaster after a couple of months. So a downer on upgrade.

OWA seems to have worked instantly (though this was the first install, not an upgrade)

I like the sidebar on OWA better then Piwik. Piwik feels cluttered, and all those tabs get a liitle tiresome. It should have the option to have just one sidebar down the left like OWA, so you can see everything that is available at a glance.

OWA forces you to keep boxes open like ‘OWA News’ in the interface which I find annoying. On Piwik you can delete them.

OWA has heatmaps and mousetrails which I do like. Piwik doesn’t have those.

The frontpage dashboard on OWA is better because you can see at a glance things like unique visitors, duration on site and bounce rate; something that is just not evident on Piwik, and really should be.

I also like the way that goals are integrated into most of the report pages in OWA, whilst they don’t seem to be in Piwik.

They have their own page, but you should be able to also see them as you are looking at other sections.

Will have to have more of a play around with both.

I would say in conclusion that most of OWAs comparison chart is irrelevant.

These feel very similar.

The All Websites thing and unlimited goals is a big plus for Piwik. (Though they could definitely do with adding more customizability to the ‘All Websites’ page, as well as options to add more fields as at the moment its a little basic). They also have a forum, so you can actually get help, which OWA don’t. And although the documentation on here is quite geeky, it reads like a John and Jane book in comparison to OWAs documentation, which is stupidly complicated at times.

The interface in general, the smoother integration of goals, heatmaps and moustrails (gimicky but could be useful) are pluses for OWA. I actually would probably prefer OWA if they just added in an ‘All Websites’ view and removed the limit on the number of goals you can track per website. Those are the only two ‘biggies’ that Piwik is really better on.

I personally think it is surprising how long it has taken either of these softwares to implement Goals.

To me that, and an ‘All Websites’ view are the ONLY things that set these apart from Awstats.

Which browser someone uses, screen size etc are things that only web designers care about.

For the vast bulk of webmasters, knowing which parts of their site, which pages, and which keywords are making them MONEY is what they care about. And yet it is only with the latest versions of OWA and Piwiks, that that has even started to be addressed.

Both software should put a lot more effort and work into that in my honest opinion.

Piwik currently says it wants to be the open source Google Analytics alternative, but I think that is a fairly short-sighted vision.

Google doesn’t care about webmasters or giving them the most information possible about their visitors. They care about getting enough site data to help adwords advertisers, and calculate bounce rate for the search engine.

Piwik should instead have a goal to become the best analytics package for webmasters on the planet, not a google analtyics alternative.

Anyhow, that is my honest take on the two after using each for a bit.

I might nuke my current Piwik install, and do a clean one and see if that helps it get back to work.

P.S Should also add that the Goals screens on both of these BADLY needs the option of which goals to display.

At the moment it displays all of them, and there is no way to only say look at 5 at a time, or choose the ones you want. Without thos two additional options it is HORRIBLE to use on bo OWA and PIwik.

OWA is saved a little because you can group goals in to groups, which does help. But even then, if all your goals are from one advertiser it makes no sense to split them into several groups, but it makes a lot of sense to be able to see which ones to display.

At the moment it means that after you hacve added more then say 5 goals, that you constantly have to scroll to the right, because the goal data dissappears off the right of the screen, which is not good, and should be corrected in the next version.


(vipsoft) #5

Try setRequestMethod(‘POST’). Some users have experienced problems with the long URLs that piwik.js constructs for tracking requests.


(vipsoft) #6

BTW displaying many goals is a known issue. Goal Tracking plugin list of feature requests · Issue #1434 · matomo-org/matomo · GitHub


(lalquier) #7

For what it is worth, the Comparison page for OWA overlooks one big difference with Piwik - OWA cannot be installed on a Windows server.

See: http://wiki.openwebanalytics.com/index.php?title=Technical_Requirements


#8

[quote=lalquier]
For what it is worth, the Comparison page for OWA overlooks one big difference with Piwik - OWA cannot be installed on a Windows server.

See: http://wiki.openwebanalytics.com/index.php?title=Technical_Requirements[/quote]

I did see that, however I been told that windows will be supported very soon.

After playing around with piwik, I don’t really like the look of it. Also there are some display issues when I login. I don’t know if that the bug that been talked about before in this thread.

That was on firefox.

OWA on the other hand, I love the look. Also piwik make use of flash where OWA doesn’t.

Also, OWA limits you to tracking 15 goals per website. That sounds like a lot, but actually it really isn’t. If you have an affiliate website for example, then 15 review pages would use up that entire quota.

I wasn’t aware of that. Maybe look at the code and see if it can be changed.

About OWA got no forum: while it is a let down, they do have IRC, mailing list and a wiki.

2 things i like about piwik is that it let you set a cookie so that you don’t end up tracking your own visits and the other feature is allowing users to opt out of being tracked.

For now I can’t really decide what I should pick.

matt, Can you please explain if there anything missing or misleading from the comparison?


#9

I have now re-installed Piwik and am simultaneously running OWA.

The tracking on OWA doesn’t seem to work from what I can see. It isn’t registering goals.

So, side by side comparison, Piwik seems to work better. It has registered 18 goals today on mine, where OWA has registered zero. So something is up with the way it tracks.

However, on a second site, Piwik isn’t registering anything either.

Truth be told I don’t think either of these programs work that well in terms of me really feeling comfortable that they are actually tracking accurately.

Just install both, set up a few goals for each and run with both for a week and see which you prefer.

Both are free, so thats no barrier.

You will learn far more by doing something then you will in any other way.


#10

Have been messing about with these two all day.

Just to update. That chart gives the impression that OWA is far better for tracking.

In my experience over the last two days, it is actually pretty bad.

Tracking in OWA didn’t work for me at all.

Domstreams is a nice feature (whos you how your visitors inteact with your pages).

But other then that its a thumbs down from me.

Piwik feels quite unpolished to me, and the interface leaves a lot to be desired, but of the two I would say its better.

The amount of reports is about the same. That chart talks about ‘without plugins’ which is BS, as Piwik comes with about 20 plugins preinstalled!

Piwik also clearly has quite a few people chipping in, where as I get the feeling that OWA is a one-man band.

Clearly a bright one-man! But still, there are only 2 plugins in owa, and nothing useful.

On reflection I would say that chart at OWS is total BS.


#11

P.S Should also add, in case I am giving the impression that Piwik works great, that actually it really hasn’t done for me.

After I upgraded from 1.2 to 1.21 it nuked the site data.

So, seeing as it had only been a couple of days, I nuked the whole install, and started again by installing 1.21 fresh.

That seems to be collecting data ok for one static site.

But the others I have tried haven’t worked. Stats show up in live view on the dashboard, but not on All Websites, or in most of the graphs.

So, it too is buggy as hell.

I have ended up removing the code from all but the one site that works, which is fairly unsatisfactory.

Might be forced to try some of the paid alternatives, because both OWA and Piwik have not worked properly.

May well be this move to 1st party cookies needs to settle in a bit to get the bugs ironed out a bit, but as of right now I would say try both and see how you go, but don’t be that surprised if they don’t work as advertised.


#12

I started out with OWA and eventually found Piwik - very glad I did. OWA was nice, and THE developer was sometimes responsive, but nowhere near as responsive as the developerS for Piwik (there might be more than one for OWA, but I only ever saw one respond).

OWA did have a few neat features (overlay heatmaps, click-stream playback, etc…) that Piwik doesn’t have (out of the box, although it looks like there are some plugins that do some of this). However, I had terrible performance issues using OWA with these enabled anyway. OWA also didn’t have useful custom variables a month ago (not sure if they’ve been added since) which is what really drove me to Piwik - having easy and working custom vars has been very useful.

Overall, I chose to switch to Piwik because (out of the box):

  • better performance
  • better and more active development and support
  • this forum (OWA JUST started a beta forum)

As others have said, though, the best thing to do is try them both - OWA does have some neat features and is still a great tracker too.


(Gofer) #13

I personally like Piwik over google analytics because I dont want google snooping at my website. Google is getting too powerful and just because they reveal the privacy details doesnt mean I want to keep myself vulnerable to google spying.


(Matthieu Aubry) #14

We have just published a page to list the features in Piwik: List of Features in Piwik Analytics - Analytics Platform - Matomo

Hopefully this will clarify the situation and help in your decision :slight_smile:


(HarryPotter) #15

OWA did have a few neat features (overlay heatmaps, click-stream playback, etc…) that Piwik doesn’t have (out of the box, although it looks like there are some plugins that do some of this). However, I had terrible performance issues using OWA with these enabled anyway. OWA also didn’t have useful custom variables a month ago (not sure if they’ve been added since) which is what really drove me to Piwik - having easy and working custom vars has been very useful.

are there 3rd party plugins that does click-stream playback for piwik?

i couldn’t get the heatmap plugin clickheat to work either… frustrating


#16

The one and only thing that I think OWA has over PiWik is the fact that you can see the exact URL a visiter was referred from, rather than just the domain name


(Matthieu Aubry) #17

@danielmichel In Piwik you can click on the domain name and see the full URL for this specific domain. All data is available in Piwik, also see our Analytics Data Limits page for more info!


(Matthieu Aubry) #18

We need YOUR help! We are running a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to implement the detailed Visitors Maps of Countries, Regions and Cities (for all countries)!

These maps will be beautiful, usable, and built using open standards SVG+JS. They will show detailed visitor count, conversion rates, by Country but also (New!) by city and region.

Pledge now at: http://crowdfunding.piwik.org/analytics-maps-world-country-city-region/

Piwik needs you!


(Lan) #20

I am now honestly wondering if I did the right thing, because 1.21 Piwik hasn’t worked properly for me so far.


(Matthieu Aubry) #21

@lantran try Piwik 3.0.0 Piwik 3.0.0 - Analytics Platform - Matomo