11 Leading Tools for Free Website Analytics

Every website owner or marketer needs to know what is going on with their website and visitors in order to know how to improve and get better results. Website analytics tools can provide data and show trends that will help you to know what to do to see the results improve over time.

When it comes to analytics you have a lot of options from which to chose. In this post we’ll show 11 of the leading free options (of course, there are other options that are not free) and give a brief description of each.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is leader among free analytics tools, and with good reason. Analytics is free to use on any website with no limits on pageviews that can be tracked or reports that can be generated. Basic users can get info on how many visitors and pageviews their site is receiving, what sources are sending the traffic, what search phrases are resulting in visitors, and other basic information like bounce rate. More advanced users can set up goal tracking, create custom reports, set up pivot tables and more. For new users Analytics can be a little intimidating because of how much data is available, but the basic reports are easy to find and understand.

Google Analytics

AWStats

AWStats is one of the most popular alternatives to Google Analytics, and it comes installed on many hosting accounts. It is completely free and is distributed under the GNU General Public License. AWStats provides detailed information on your visitors, browsers used, operating systems used, and screen size in addition to typical stats like visitor and pageview counts.

AWStats

Piwick

Piwick is an open-source real time analytics program. Piwik aims to be an open source alternative to Google Analytics, and is already used on more than 150,000 websites. Piwik is a PHP MySQL software program that you download and install on your own webserver. Because of this, the installation process is a little more involved than Google Analytics, but for those who do not like the idea of sharing all of their data with Google, Piwick is a good alternative.


Piwick

Grape Web Statistics

Grape is a free, open-source program that is currently in beta. Grape provides basic statistics like visitor numbers and referral sources. It may be a good option for those who are interested in a simple open-source option.

Grape Web Statistics

Trace Watch

Trace Watch is a completely free stats program that provides real time data. It provides all of the basic data and statistics, plus you can define your own custom data. Trace Watch also offers some additional features like path analysis to help determine the quality of your navigation, plus you can view detailed information on specific recent visitors to see the exact path they have used.

Trace Watch

GoingUp!

GoingUp! provides a variety of useful information through features like basic web stats, traffic trend analysis, user profile data, actions and goals, heat maps, inbound link monitoring, Google PageRank tracking, Alexa rank tracking, keyword density tools, page optimizer tools, and more.

GoingUp!

StatCounter

StatCounter offers real time stats for free to websites that receive fewer than 250,000 pageviews per month. Paid plans start at $5 per month. StatCounter provides all of the stats you would expect to find, like referral sources, popular pages, entry pages, exit pages, keyword analysis, browser stats, operating system stats, resolution stats, and more.

StatCounter

Reinvigorate

Reinvigorate is a paid analytics tool that also offers a limited free plan. With the free plan you can track one website with up to 100,000 pageviews per month, and you’ll receive only basic stats. The full version includes real time stats, heatmaps, reports on visitor habits, plus all the standard stats and features.

Reinvigorate

Woopra

Woopra is a paid analytics program that also offers a limited free plan. With the free plan you can track up to 30,000 pageviews per month and data will be retained for 3 months. Campaigns, funnels, segmentation and email reports are not available on the free plan. One of the unique features of Woopra is the live chat that allows you to interact with your site’s visitors.

Woopra

Linktrack

Linktrack provides real time stats like ad tracking, click tracking and impression tracking. You’ll use Linktrack to create a link and it will track and report on the link’s activity. A free plan is available, as well as premium plans starting at $6.95 per month.

Linktrack

SmarterStats

SmarterStats is analytics software from SmarterTools. A free version is available as well as professional and enterprise editions. The free version is well loaded, but it doesn’t allow multiple sites per server like the professional and enterprise editions.

SmarterStats

For more resources please see:

Looking for hosting? WPEngine offers secure managed WordPress hosting. You’ll get expert WordPress support, automatic backups, and caching for fast page loads.

26 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Trish, June 2, 2011

    I’ve used StatCounter almost since they came online. Always good, I’d say 99.9% up time. Very easy to teach clients how to review all their web visitor stats.

    Until clients began demanding Analytics this was the only “counter” I setup and installed. I still believe they are one of the best and will continue using them unless the client insists on Google Analytics.

    Many clients believe that simply using Google Analytics will increase their web presence and/or ranking in the Search Engines.

  • inspirationfeed, June 2, 2011

    Perfect article, I shared this with our followers!

  • Ryan Robinson, June 2, 2011

    I know it’s biased of me but for me Google Analytics wins hands down. I have wowed all of my clients with its functionality and features. Best of all, it’s free!

    I’ve also heard rumours that Google gives websites that use their analytics program extra boosts in rankings.

  • Ben, June 3, 2011

    Have to agree with Ryan, Google Analytics is the greatest. Not only for functionality but the clean interface makes it a winner with clients as well

  • Vandelay Website Design, June 3, 2011

    Ryan and Ben,
    I’m with you. I’ve been using Google Analytics for several years and personally I don’t see any reason to use anything else. I have some clients who find it intimidating and at times overwhelming, but getting the basic stats is very simple, it’s the advanced features that can be a little more tricky.

    There are people that prefer other options, and that’s why this post was put together, but Analytics has so much more capability.

  • izdelava strani, June 3, 2011

    I to have been using GA for years and must say it’s the best. The only problem is that Google now has everything about me and my site.

  • David, June 3, 2011

    Google Analytics is great, but all client-side supports analytics is v. naughty when it comes to cookies. Officially its use in the UK is banned unless getting user’s consent.

  • Great article, some new tools hear that I have not come across before. I use Google Analytics for all my website design clients and myself, great piece of software

  • neelima, June 4, 2011

    Its all toos are best but some tools are paid?

    • Vandelay Website Design, June 5, 2011

      Neelima,
      As mentioned in the intro, some are paid but have free versions available as well.

  • Richard Hill, June 5, 2011

    I agree with the comments about Google Analytics but also like AWStats for a fast overview – the interface is so clean and simple that several clients prefer it.

  • web design hull, June 7, 2011

    I’ve always used Google Analytics but some of these alternatives look interesting, so I’m going to check a couple out, thanks for sharing.

  • George, June 8, 2011

    I started with Statcounter in the initial days, but later moved onto Google Analytics with which I am quite satisfied. After using GA I have not even though of trying some other free analytics tool.

  • Mubashar Iqbal, June 8, 2011

    I use a combination of StatCounter and Google Analytics.

    I like the realtime information provided by Stat Counter, but the details and analysis that can be found in GA is amazing, even if you end up having to wait a little while for it.

  • Virtual Agents, June 9, 2011

    Those tools that you put in you’re article are really good tools, but if I’ll choose which one I have to use, I’d go with Google Analytics.

  • Thomasplus, June 9, 2011

    For sure these tools are familiar to everyone from web designers, fun to collect them all together.

  • Diving Computer, June 9, 2011

    Although Google Analytics shows a good amount of data with all the bells and whistles and its all straight from the horses mouth so to say… can we really trust putting all sites on the same Google account?

    What if they take a dislike to your site and decide to black list them, maybe you had too many links between your sites and Google sees them as a network just trying to get high in the search engine / beat Google.

    Awstats is pretty good but can be tricky if it goes down as there isn’t much support

    Stat Counter is pretty good

  • Fede Soria, June 10, 2011

    I use one that isn’t in the list. It’s called SeeVolution. http://www.seevolution.com/ Works nice to me. Greetings from Argentina

  • aditia, June 10, 2011

    google analytics is unbeatable, mixing with wordpress plugin that a perfect combination

  • Sitegeeks Web Design, June 13, 2011

    I am a Google Analytics fan and it never crossed my mind that they might be other alternatives. I may give Woopra a try..

  • Matt, June 29, 2011

    I agree with ‘Diving Computer’. The reason I’m reading this post is because I just lost a website profile from my google analytics account. That’s 2 years of data lost with little chance of retrieving it because of a bug with google. This has happened to countless others too over the years.

    I still intend to use google analytics, but I’ll use another service at the same time in future.

  • El, June 30, 2011

    Great article.
    Thank you.

  • Theo, August 1, 2011

    You listed some great tools in this article, the one i would add is opensiteexplorer, useful post!

  • Gabriela, June 25, 2012

    Thanks, it’s good to have alternatives!!!

  • CMC, June 1, 2013

    I am using Google analytic tool and I thought its awesome to use. its really working great for all of my sites.

  • Samir, July 29, 2013

    Google analytics is great, a specially with the new improvements. I also frequently use Piwick.org – comprehensive website analysis tool