I used to use various stat programs such as AWStats, Webalizer, etc but they were just overkill for what I needed. They also weren’t very nice to look at though the data was comprehensive. Eventually a program called ShortStat came out and I switched to that. It gave me the basic information I needed without all the fluff and was in a easy to read/use format.

Well the successor, Mint, came out recently and I went ahead and bought it. My site gets little traffic (100 hits a week or so) so the $30 price tag was a bit high for me. On the other hand I was tempted many times to make a donation for ShortStat so I think of it as a split purchase. Either way I’m very happy with the results. It has everything I liked about ShortStat with addition of so much more. By much more I don’t mean as much as AWStats, etc though you can practically make it that much if you want to using Pepper add-ons. More about those later.

The first big improvement I like is the fix for referrer spam. My ShortStat was plagued by referrer spam as was everything else I’ve tried. Mint uses javascript to help weed out some of the robots. I’m sure someone will make a robot that can parse javascript but for now it works great. The various levels of display for referrers (repeat, recent, unique) are also helpful. The downside of this protection is I don’t see people accessing the site with javascript turned off but that’s not a biggie for me.

The next thing I like are the search displays. I get an easy view of what searches are leading to my site and what searches people perform at my site. The latter is a very nice addition and is split into common and most recent as is the other. A plus is that it works with Wordpress without doing any changes to Wordpress. I just entered a ‘/’ and ’s' in the Pepper config and off it went.

And then there are the Pepper add-ons. Right now I only have one installed which is outclicks. This tracks what links people are clicking on to leave my site. I plan on installing the error tracker one in the near future as error pages was originally why I ran the larger stat programs. With the addition of that I think I will have pretty much everything I want and no more. I can disable modules at will if I please so I only have what I want.

An additional plus, for me at least, is that the default doesn’t appear to track IP addresses, though there is a Pepper to do so.Update: While moving mint to my new domain I took a look at the database and it does indeed track IP’s. Oh Well. This is a plus as (supposedly) our library has a policy of not logging information for our websites that may contain IP addresses as part of our policy. I question if this is actually the case but as someone in a department I only have access to hit counts and no other information. This makes it difficult to plan redesigns, etc as I have no information on what people are using to access the site or what they are doing at the site. I may be talking to some people to see if I can get some minty goodness going and still stay in our privacy policy.

Overall I say this product was worth every cent and I use it many times a day. If you are looking for a simple stats program that gives you what you want and only what you want then give it a try. Below is a screenshot of part of my set-up. The thumbnail links to a full-sized image which is rather large (1234x822 180k).