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“Why doesn’t Google Analytics have real-time tracking?”

This would have to be the single most voiced complaint I hear concerning Google Analytics. Aside from that its a solid service and a must-have for any aspiring blogger, but use it for any length of time and you’ll begin to wish for this as well.

Or it used to be.

After having used the Woopra Analytics service I’m confident in wholeheartedly agreeing with the promotional statement from the service itself:

“Woopra is the world’s most comprehensive, information rich, easy to use, real-time Web tracking and analysis application.”

Yep, it is. Perhaps some commercial tracking applications are better, but since I only use free traffic analytics tools Free Traffic Analytics Tools you Should Know About Free Traffic Analytics Tools you Should Know About Read More I have no idea. The service is provided through a downloadable desktop client with a basic online service unlike Google Analytics which is wholly browser based. This suits me fine as I always prefer desktop applications to using the browser 4 Ways to Run Your Favorite Web App From the Desktop 4 Ways to Run Your Favorite Web App From the Desktop Read More and it opens the client up to provide a richer experience. Woopra is also available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems.

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Woopra is still in beta at this point in time, and you’ll need to get approval after registering so you can’t just sign straight up and start tracking. The good news is that confirmation is pretty quick. I think mine took a few days but they may even have improved since then. Each website you wish to track also has to be submitted individually and approved, but this is even quicker and mine have all been approved within an hour or two.

User accounts are also limited to:

  • Sites with less than 10,000 pageviews per day.
  • Users with JavaScript and the latest version of Java enabled.

Live Tracking and Monitoring

Live tracking is what no doubt will attract people to the service, but Woopra’s service goes far beyond simply providing real-time traffic updates. Woopra can track 40+ events and statistics including:

  • Country
  • Operating System
  • Browser
  • Language
  • Screen Resolution
  • Pages Viewed / Time spent on pages
  • Arrival and Departure points
  • Current visitor actions and history
  • and lots more

This kind of detail provides some amazingly useful data. It’s kind of creepy being able to find out so much about your visitors but it does give you greater power to adjust your blog to the audience viewing it. Have a lot of viewers with English as their second language? Perhaps integrating some translation features would be a good decision.

You get the idea.

Live Chatting

Perhaps the creepiest feature of Woopra is the ability to live chat with any one of your visitors. If you choose to chat to someone a popup will show up on their computer asking to click here if they want to chat.

Personally, If this happened to me there is no way I would click it! It just looks totally suspicious. It’s a cool sounding feature, I just don’t know how effective it would be in reality.

Searching, speed and Interface

One of the many advantages a desktop application has over web based services is performance. Without having to reload pages to display results, Woopra is much quicker to use than Google Analytics and is really quite reasonable, resources usage wise.

For accessing any kind of data, indexing is a must, and Woopra has some fantastic searching capabilities allowing you to access any data point in the system. What information do you need to help you manage and develop your site? Specific user names, IP addresses, geographic locations, user browsing data, visitor history, visitor paths, arrival and departure points.

The data is searchable. Using the Search panel, you can reach into the data to find specific information about your site’s visitors, learning more about your site’s demographics and loyal readers. Woopra simply digs deeper.

The interface also provides opportunity for greatly superior statistic displays and representations of data, for example demonstrating visitor locations on a global map.

There is much, much more to this service and I really cannot recommend it enough. Woopra say they will be offering an additional paid version for high traffic sites eventually, but for most of you I’m sure the free version will suffice.

I haven’t actually heard a great deal about Woopra around the place, do any of you use it? How have you found it?

  1. Maz eL
    January 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I've sign up google analytic for a several months. If you take to sign up with whoopora, it will be tracked my site. You have to shut off one of your tracker site, google or whoopora. If it is not, you only just add web loading time.

  2. Mackenzie
    August 9, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    One thing I noticed about Woopra was that my kernel had interrupts insanely often when running it, according to PowerTOP. Killing Woopra immediately dropped my resource consumption.

  3. Jimmy Rogers
    July 28, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I think this was discussed on Epic-Fu or maybe Rocketboom a little bit ago. Looks interesting!

  4. Scott
    July 25, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Been using Woopra for a couple of months now, and I do like it. Took me about a week to get approved and live. I have tried initiating a chat with visitors several times, but no one has taken me up on it. I agree that part is a little creepy. If anyone visits my site from this comment, watch for me to start a chat!

    Scott

  5. Aaron Stannard
    July 25, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Sites with less than 10,000 users a day? Sounds like someone is concerned about their scalability :p

  6. Liam Quin
    July 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I ended up writing my own tracking software for fromoldbooks.org (when it was more favoured by Google), partly because I wasn't willing to use tricks like 1-pixel images and I didn't want to share too much data out of concerns of privacy. But it means I have a lot less information than I could about my visitors.

    How invasive is woopra ti users' privacy? Well, I don't have any one page with 10,000 views a day, but I do get more than that overall in one day fairly often, so maybe I can't use it anyway.

  7. Keith
    July 25, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I've been using woopra since April and found it nice and easy to use. I also think the real time chat is a little creepy and don't use it, but it is good if people are looking like they are lost. One of the features that I love is that you can tell when somebody downloads something off your website like a PDF file or a .zip file. The real time alerts to tell you when somebody is viewing a certain page is also a very nice feature.

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