Watching the Guards

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a weird drop in web usage stats on the site you are browsing now. Kinda weird as the drop was right around Fosdem when usually there is a spike in traffic.

So before you start.. no I don't preach on practice on my own blog, it's a blog dammit, so I do the occasional upgrades on the actual platform , with backups available, do some sanity tests and move on, yes I break the theme pretty often but ya'll reading this trough RSS anyhow.

My backups showed me that drush had made a copy of the Piwik module somewhere early february, exactly when this drop started showing. I verified the module , I verified my Piwik , - Oh Piwik you say .. yes Piwik, if you want a free alternative to Google Analytics , Piwik rocks .. - I even checked other sites using the same piwik setup and they were all still functional happily humming and being analyzed.... everything fine ... but traffic stayed low ..

This taught me I actually had to upgrade my Piwik too ...

So that brings me to the point I`m actually wanting to make...
as according to @patrickdebois in his chapter on Monitoring "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" who's monitoring the monitoring tools, who's monitoring the analytics tools,

So not only should you monitor the availability of yor monitoring tools, you should also monitor if their api hasn't changed in some way or another.
Just like when you are monitoring an web app you shoulnd't just see if you can connect to the appropriate http port, but you should be checking if you get sensible results back from it , no gibberish.

But then again ... there's no revenue in my blog or its statistics :)


Gary Corbett's picture

#1 Gary Corbett : Google analytics appears to

Google analytics appears to have the superior graph visualisation technology aesthetically versus Piwik atleast ;)

Rachel's picture

#2 Rachel : Well for my site I am using

Well for my site I am using Analytics and also Awstats and i weekly compare the results provided by both services.


Nicky's picture

#3 Nicky : support

You would expect that a update of there api or code would not affect the results. Backwards compatible is important, not everyone knows how to change the code on there site.

juliemarg's picture

#4 juliemarg : Analytics

At the same time the Google Farmer/Panda update was happening, my site was down. According to GA, I never regained 80%+ of that traffic. But according to Sitemeter my traffic is higher than ever. They list the keywords that searchers looked for, and I believe their traffic estimates. I love sitemeter, but their product is a bit limited. I'm going to look in to this piwik. It would be nice to have a professional alternative to GA.

JR's picture

#5 JR : GA not immune

A few weeks ago I updated the Google Analytics module only to find that every outbound link on the website was opening in a "new tab" as well as the current tab. I don't know if it was the module or Google's API that caused the problem, but the fix was easy... just turn off "track outbound links". The real problem with all of this was that the outbound links opened TWO sessions which then caused an error on the target website.

I might give this piwik thing a try, looks neat.