I’m going to focus on Micro.blog hosted blogs, but these three providers will work for WordPress too.
Why analytics? As a webmaster I still think it important to have an idea of where your visitors are coming from, how they find you, what posts they are interested in, and are they using a phone or computer.
There are three that I looked at:
Statcounter.com – the free service is generous for most blogs. The stats are not super detailed like the others but they are sufficient for me. Statcounter offers 4 advantages: 1. the free service is decent, 2. they offer a version of the code to put on your site that is compatible with just about every CMS platform out there plus instructions, 3. near real-time reporting, 4. You can see what your stats are very quickly. I’m using Statcounter.
Yandex Metrica – Russian search engine Yandex offers free hosted stats that are considered equal to or maybe better than the same offering from Google. And I repeat, it’s free. Yandex is straightforward about it, they are in the business of indexing the web and offering analytics helps them find new URL’s and do their job. Hence it’s free. If you want detailed stats and good graphs I suggest trying Yandex.
Google Analytics – this is the Big Boy on the block and outside of looking at your server logs this GA has been the gold standard for many websites and bloggers. With that said, I don’t recommend Google Analytics: 1. Google is voracious on mining data on websites and individuals I’m just not going to hand them the inside data on any of my websites on a silver platter, 2. I have used them in the past and GA can cause some serious slowdowns on your site’s page loading times, 3. when I used them the data was not real time, there was always a lag.
No remotely hosted analytics service is going to detect or report all web traffic to your site only server logs will do that. For bloggers these services are good enough.