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What are web analytics?

Web analytics are used to evaluate the usage of websites. They allow insight into:

  • Who is using the website.
  • What they are doing on the website.
  • Where the users are coming from and going to before and after visiting the website along with where they go on the website.
  • When the website is accessed and used along with how long.

This data can be used to better understand your users, show project progress for internal motivation and help the project make important decisions.

Examples of web analytics platforms are Google Analytics and Piwik, both of which work by Javascript tagging the page you want to collect metrics for. Other analytics systems are more batch-oriented and work off log processing. The Javascript-based analytics platforms are real-time.

NOTE: Piwik is not suitable for tracking downloads. Please use the Project statistics system for accurate download statistics.

Piwik Web Analytics

SourceForge.net provides Piwik web analytics as part of the Hosted Apps offering. A demo of Piwik is available on their website. To use Piwik, enable it in the Hosted Application admin menu and then add the Piwik tags to the web pages on which you want analytics. Example tags are provided in the Piwik application.

As Piwik can be used to monitor your Project web space and other external sites where you can add the javascript, it may also be used to monitor your SourceForge.net project site pages, including Tracker, Forums, and downloads.

To enable monitoring of your SourceForge.net site pages, follow these steps:

  1. Enable Piwik for your project
  2. Login to Piwik from the Hosted Apps menu
  3. Enter to the Admin interface (link at top right)
  4. Select "+Add a new Site"
  5. Enter the name of the project you want to monitor for which you are an administrator in the "Name" column
  6. In the "URLS" column add: http://sourceforge.net
  7. Click the green checkmark to submit

Once this site is added, note the ID value in the left column of the table. You do not need the javascript that is generated. From the project summary page, under the Project Admin pulldown menu select Analytics. Enter the ID value from the Piwik table for the project in the Site ID entry box and add the project UNIX name. You must be the administrator of the noted project.

Piwik features

Piwik provides the following information:

  • Number of visitors
  • Duration of visit
  • Browsers used by visitors
  • Search engines used to find site
  • Keywords used in the search engines
  • Number and site that external visitors came from
  • Count of visitors by time
  • Popular pages
  • Countless other statistics

Please see the Piwik demo to see what it collects and how the data is displayed.

Usage information can be found in the Piwik documentation.

Getting help