Piwik is an open-source tool to analyze the activity and traffic of your website.
Piwik is written in PHP, therefore it runs on a PHP server and requires a MySQL database to run. To learn more about the minimum required versions, you can read the Piwik requirements page.
Piwik is available with a list of plugins out-of-the-box. You’ll find the usual features for this kind of tool:
- Customizable dashboard (widgets)
- Data aggregation over a period
- Number of visits, duration of visits, details on downloads
- Information on visitor systems (operating system, browser)
- Geographic (country) and technical (Internet Service Provider) information
- Personalized email reporting
It is also possible to add plugins to use more specific features, such as connecting to Piwik using an LDAP directory. You can consult the list of plugins for more information.
As a demonstration is worth a thousand words, the Piwik team provides a sandbox environment to play with the software. Don’t hesitate to check it out.
It really doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to install Piwik on your server:
- Upload the Piwik files on your server, for example in a root directory called “piwik”.
- With your browser, go on “YOUR_WEBSITE_URL/piwik/” to start the graphical installer. Piwik will check that your software configuration is valid, will create all the tables in the database…
Benefits of Piwik
There are many existing solutions for auditing websites. Among the best known, Google Web Analytics works on all websites. For WordPress blogs, the Stats feature of the Jetpack plugin is also very interesting.
The big advantage of Piwik is that you have the control of your data as it is stored locally in your database and is not sent to the Cloud.
In addition, the tool has advanced features and an active community. For example, you will find a mobile application for Android and iPhone.