StatCounter offers a free website analytics package, which comes with every feature except for secure tracking, daily email reports, and the option to create a custom brand logo for the tracking device on your web page, which can all be purchased through the slightly reasonable upgrade packages offered.
StatCounter seems to be compatible with most public websites that allow you to input HTML code snippets; however, StatCounter may not be compatable with, or provide innacurate results, if you are tracking user activity on public websites that have their own free analytics service, like WordPress for example.
StatCounter also seems to have technical issues with blocking the IP Blocking feature. For example, every time I visit my own website to conduct a modification, it tracks the visit, even though I specifically added my IP address to the blocker. This technical flaw can also be extremely frustrating.
Aside from the technical issues, here are some of StatCounter’s best features:
- Visitor Paths – Reveals the navigation path of each visitor (i.e., which parts of your website they went to) as well as the amount of time they was spent they spent in each area.
- Magnify User – Enables the user to narrow down visitors to their host name, city, ISP, # of visits, Browser, and even their Operating System. I conducted a trial test to determine how accurate this was by visiting my website from 4 different locations around Atlanta. StatCounter only gave me 1 inaccurate result out of 4, but I will cut them some slack since the only thing they got wrong was my location on one of the trials, which was still within 30 miles of where I actually logged in from.
- Popular Pages – Provides the user with a list of their websites most popular pages, which can be customized to show rank by the amount of time that was spent on each page, or how many times the actual pages were visited.
- Entry and Exit Pages – Shows the user the most frequent entry and exit pages, which of course are ranked according to their relative frequency.
- Search Engine Wars – provides a list which shows you which search engines generate the most traffic for you.
- Recent Visitor Activity – This is probably one of the tools on StatCounter that I use the most. It gives you a list of your most recent visitors (whom you can of course individually magnify)