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Real Time Website Stats From W3Counter.com

I ran across a new website, W3Counter, that offers free tracking of your website stats. It has the look and feel of Google Analytics. I was registered, set up, and ready to add the tracking code in only a few minutes. This site has some definite potential.

The Good:

  • Real Time Stats – The website offers you free real time tracking of your website. You can have up-to-the-second information about what is happening on your website.
  • Attractive Interface – The website offers a nice and easy to follow? interface to allow you to easily find and view your data. It is easily navigated and easy to follow the flow of drill-down information.
  • Attractive Information – The website offers nicely designed graphs, charts, and reports to help you turn data into useful information. It is easy to know what your are looking at and understand what is being presented. There is not much of a learning curve.
  • Online Now – The website offers a nice feature that shows you who is currently visiting your website.
  • Live Map – The website offers a live map to show where the people that are viewing your site are located at the moment they are viewing your site (Paid version). The visitor locations are mapped on a Google Map.
  • WordPress Plugin – The website offers a free plugin for WordPress integration. The plugin adds an overview to the dashboard and lets you get an idea of where you stand at any given time. This works very well and is easy to install and set up.

The Bad:

  • No Free Lunch – The saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch” applies here. Although the website offers free tracking, there is a cap of 5,000 page views per day before needing to upgrade to a pro account for $9.95/month. 5,000 page views per day is a small number. This would be alright for websites starting out, but wouldn’t last very long once a reputation is established and quality content is driving traffic.
  • Visual Presence – The free version requires a visual counter or link on your page and will show up wherever you place the tracking code. Again this can be removed for $9.95/month.
  • Website Limit – The free version only allows you to track 1 website per account. Again, this is probably alright for some, but not feasible for many webmasters that maintain multiple websites.
  • No Exports – There is no way to export the data as a PDF, CSV, XML, or any file for that matter. The paid version offers an RSS feed, as well as email updates regarding your stats.


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