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.