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September 05, 2003

Wanted: a good, free site statistics utility.

I don’t need much: hourly numbers for the current day, daily numbers for the current month. Past archives can just be a single number for the entire month, nothing more. Something simple, but accurate and reliable. It has to have a small footprint: a single GIF embedded in the page is preferred. Oh, I’ll want referrers too. I like those.

HotStats died last week, and I miss my self-congratulatory vanity meter. I was coming close to a rather impressive milestone, too, damn the timing. Ah… lest you think I’m asking out of purely selfish reasons, the missing domain has also been hanging the Zen Garden. (I haven’t gotten around to dropping the code from it yet)

I’ve long rejected SiteMeter, but I’m considering Re_Invigorate. Better options? And I’m running on IIS, so Dean Allen’s Refer is out.

Reader Comments

September 05, 01h

Dave, AXS might well do the business for you:

jonner says:
September 05, 01h

Stacountex uses ASP and MSAccess and isn’t too bad for a simple program:

September 05, 02h

+1 for awstats, if you one day find yourself in an environment where you can access logs. It isn’t tied to any one web server, as long as you tell it what to expect in the log files. It shows all the basics in a good UI.

Jeremy says:
September 05, 03h

I have used StatCountX and like it for a small stats program

Gerhard says:
September 05, 11h

I’ve been using Webalizer for years. It’s more accurate than most commercial apps and works on most OS’s

Anonymous says:
September 05, 12h

Um, I run Dean Allen’s Refer on IIS… .

September 05, 12h

Why don’t you get a host running a unix? My hose is freaking awesome–great support, cheap as all hell. Why this IIS madness?

Also, refer works on IIS–all it needs is PHP.

I use AwStats–but that is server side.

Jason Ladicos says:
September 05, 12h

What about AWStats?

Shaun says:
September 05, 12h

Re-invigorate is tops. I use it on all my sites.

Dave S. says:
September 05, 12h

re: IIS + PHP - no such luck with my host.

re: AwStats - no log files to give it.

re: moving off of IIS - okaaaaaay. For what it’s worth, PHP is in the future for this site. But as a stop-gap solution to a simple problem, re-architecturing an entire site with hundreds of pages is just a little bit extreme, dontchathink?

Dave S. says:
September 05, 12h

It looks like Re_Invigorate is having growth problems though, and I wouldn’t want to end up back in the same spot in two months. I’m thinking 6 months here…

Kiffin says:
September 06, 01h

Probably the best state-of-the art web analytics tool currently available is from Webtrends. If you are looking beyond the limitations of a so-called free, hosted utility, and you have the budget availalbe, then I can recommend this product very highly.

September 06, 01h

Personally I find Analog reports much more interesting than a single hit count.

Adrian says:
September 06, 02h

Weblog Expert Lite may be suitable

I use the full version but think the lite version, which is free, does a pretty good job of displaying logs.

Adrian says:
September 06, 02h

Oh, just realised you wanted something on page rather than log analysers!
How about Bravenet, not brilliant, but might do…..

September 06, 05h

you could use a minuscule line of php at the beginning of each page to write your own logfile, then use something like offline ?

p says:
September 06, 07h

if you have access to be able to install apps on your server, go with webalizer - stats app of champions!

Larrissa says:
September 06, 11h

nedstat basic. free is all i know about it.

mrbiiggy says:
September 07, 05h

re_invigorate is superb, I recommend it.

Niklas says:
September 07, 06h

September 07, 07h

Using a PHP tool doesn’t imply “rearchitecting hundreds of pages”. When I first considered using PHP on my site, the first thing I did was force all my existing pages to be considered as PHP files. (This was done with an Apache config, but I’m guessing the same can be done with IIS). The HTML files flow right through the PHP engine, and no one is the wiser. Then you can begin to insert little bits of PHP on the pages to add the dynamic elements you need.

Dan R. says:
September 08, 02h

I agree with Paul: stay away from re_invigorate. I dropped it from superfluousbanter because it was slowing page access for a lot of folks (anything that accesses a remote server runs this risk).

Since you don’t have access to server logs (which your host should provide…) you could:

a) Roll your own ASP stat recorder (not difficult)
b) Use a script from (many of these need a database to store the collected stats) [full link to ASP stat scripts at the bottom of this comment]
c) Switch to a new host who provides log files and the ability to run PHP on IIS ;-)

If you can run a db on your current account, then use one of the many scripts listed on HotScripts.

[ HotScripts Link: ]

Brian G says:
September 08, 08h

I know this may come as a shock to some of you…but there is an entire segment of the population which enjoys IIS and ASP!

Just because it’s “Open source” doesn’t always mean it’s the right solution.

p says:
September 08, 09h

i don’t know why so many people are gun-ho about re_invigorate. it sits on it’s own server, not yours, and for the 3 months i used it, it was broken for 2 of them. too many problems if you track stats on an external server. avoid it if you can.

Boz says:
September 08, 09h

Re: “as a stop-gap solution to a simple problem, re-architecturing an entire site with hundreds of pages is just a little bit extreme, dontchathink?”

Anything worth doing, is worth doing right. ;-)

izzii says:
September 08, 12h

Maybe is something for you?

September 08, 12h

Look at Instead of a gif, you link to an external javascript. They even offer a 30 day demo. I tried it and know I’m hooked, there’s nothing like watching realtime user activity on your site ;-)

September 12, 04h

I found this to be very good!