Piwik as an AWStats replacement for hosting platforms
May 30, 2014

Piwik as an AWStats replacement for hosting platforms

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

2.3.0

Modules Used

  • Default core plus: Device Detection beta, IPv6Usage, LoginLdap, IP2Location,

Overall Satisfaction with Piwik

In my previous employment we used it extensively to drive designs of the websites to enhance the user experience. We also used it to track activity to specialized campaigns that were initiated by the Alumni Association and various donation campaigns. In my current organization we are testing it as a replacement for the aging AWStats implementation across multiple hosting platforms. The hope is to provide a better stats tracking experience for our disparate user base across multiple hosting platforms while maintaining a centralized stats pool. This will also enable us to track trends of usage across the different platforms that will help us to scale our platform to stay ahead of the usage curve.
  • Piwik does a great job of allowing customized campaign tracking to try and hit marketing or funding goals.
  • The robust plugin architecture allows for a large amount of custom development to track very specific needs. The availability of a REST API also allows you to build in support for Piwik to your in-house applications which can enable developers to track bugs with more precision.
  • The dashboard structure allows you to create specialized views for specific user roles so that you can give a specific focus to a small subsection of the reported data. This is an excellent way to show non-technical users only the portion of the data they are interested in without getting bogged down into the details.
  • From a user security standpoint it would be useful to provide users the ability to have two-factor authentication. While stats data is not necessarily sensitive in aggregate, some users may feel that certain portions need to be more secure.
  • It would be nice if there was a tighter integration with the Google search/referrer API so that "keyword not defined" would be replaced more often with the actual keyword that is being used to send a visitor to a site.
  • An easier branding method, maybe in the form of an API function set, that pulled branding URLs from a set of database fields would be great as well.
  • The ROI in terms of user impact and usage in our beta test has proven to be excellent. In comparison to our AWstats system that was tracking stats based on the htaccess logs, Piwik gives the customer the ability to see stats on an almost realtime basis versus a day behind due to file processing.
  • Lead conversion is definitely easier with a robust system like Piwik. Trying to hunt down leads using a straight up htaccess logs polling system is much more difficult for non-technical users.
  • Customer service calls have dropped since the stats data is now stored in a MySQL backend rather than flat files. With a database driven system efficiency has improved with respect to response time from a customer perspective by well over 150%.
When we were initially evaluating the replacement for our AWStats setup the first alternative we looked at was Google Analytics. The main reason we started with the Google product was because, well, it's Google, plus I had used the Google Webmaster Tools kit at several other positions and thought that it might prove to be a good fit. The statistics worked out well, and the use of reporting and keywords for campaigns was great. The problem that we ran into that made us choose otherwise was the ease of integration into our current hosting platform infrastructure. Piwik allowed us to create the backend infrastructure and code the provisioning of the site to the dashboard into our own custom provisioning API without having to jump through the Google authentication hoops. Also, there are a large number of libraries available to allow us to use Piwik for generation of statistics for our own internal provisioning tools and to track our sales numbers based on specific API calls.
I am hopeful that after our beta test internally that we will roll Piwik out on a wider range. I feel that it has given us the necessary tools and flexibility with regards to customer performance, reporting, adaptability and security. It also helps that we can host this platform completely in-house without any additional costs outside of the hardware.
I found that implementation of the system overall was very easy and that providing custom URLs that hooked into a specific dashboard without requiring a login mechanism worked very well. This makes it easy to fold in a Piwik installation as a replacement within a hosting management system, such as CPanel.