Parting ways with Woopra

woopra_icon My story of using Woopra spanned across few months. It has some waiting for approval into beta, plenty of Java -related troubleshooting to get it running , bit of excitement, guest post that didn’t happen and finally struggle to break free from it. This story ends today and here is what it boiled down to.

Gathering statistics about blog traffic is important for a number of reasons. You can track effectiveness of promotions, design changes, SEO efforts and whatever else. Woopra attracted plenty of attention in blogosphere for its claims to redefine analytics and number of features designed especially for blogs.

How it works

Data is gathered by including JavaScript code in site pages directly or with help of WordPress plugin. Displaying of results requires installing desktop client software. Using dedicated software is interesting move that makes interface more rich in features than web-based can provide.

woopra_interface

Aside from tracking usual set of stats (visits, page views, etc) Woopra focuses on individual visitors. You can see all visitors currently on site and lookup history for each one . If using WordPress plugin there is option to tag blog commentators with their name and gravatar in Woopra interface.

woopra_visitor

There is also weird feature of initiating chat with a visitor. Don’t use it – really freaks people out.

Strong sides

  • Good to study how visitors move through blog.
  • Good at highlighting popular pages and splitting traffic into types (from search engines to social bookmarks).
  • Desktop software makes working with data fast and responsive.
  • Promises to deliver API for its data so there is possibility of using it in WordPress plugins. Time will tell if they get it right and popular.

Weak sides

It’s really beta . There is 10000 daily visitors limit that renders it useless for highly popular sites (I wish this limit mattered for my blog). There is plenty of server downtimes and sometimes parts of desktop client simply go blank.

Desktop client itself is bit heavy and consumes 70-80Mb of memory. I’d like to have simpler for-quick-glance option. Still with promises of API access it’s matter of time before third party clients appear. Or not.

woopra_wordpress

By the way WordPress plugin already uses API to access and show data in dashboard.

Overall

  • Is Woopra interesting product and (as I like to call such) cool technology? Certainly .
  • Does it outperform established analytics solution and threats to take their share of pie? Doesn’t look like it .
  • How much does staring at live stats every evening helps to improve ones blogging? Zero . :)

For me personally novelty expired and what was left is hypnotizing app for wasting my time looking at stats over and over again. My December resolution was to spend some time away from number crunching and by the end of the month I came to conclusion that I have no real need to use Woopra (on top of other analytics I have).

Links

Home http://www.woopra.com/

Download http://www.woopra.com/download/

Blog http://www.woopra.com/blog/

Plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/woopra/

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14 Comments

  • I also gave Woopra a whirl but I also received no real benefit from it. I am not really that big into statistics and in all honesty, I get everything I need from Google Stats.

  • @Lyndi

    Yeah, there are only so much stats that can be gathered. Woopra stands out with desktop client but it’s not much additional worth in my opinion.

    And some additional nerve-burning. :)

  • Also have it running on 2 of my sites… but – in all honesty – I never look at it anymore….
    The only thing I really liked watching = with a nice cold beer in my hand – watching the screen = at the moment you see several people at the same time at a site…
    My “record” is 22 at once !!!
    And thats “it” for Woopra…

    Though; I saw that it also tracks info from people of who I know are very careful with their personal info…
    I still didn’t find out how they did that…
    http://onmycomp.com/woopra-analyze-your-website

  • @Sjeltur

    I managed to miss all big spikes on my site so I hadn’t even that much pleasure. :) By the way emails are only displayed for visitors that made comments at your blog – Woopra plugin pulls those from WordPress.

  • Nope – it shows more emails….
    For example; my girlfriend who NEVER did a post ANYWHERE on the internet – surfed on my site (in her own house) and I was able to see her email !!
    Same for a good friend – who is posting a lot BUT always with fake email address = as he is a little paranoid….
    And I was able to see his g-mail address of him which I never knew he had one….. !!

    According to the builder of Woopra it is using traces of google…. which means that I was able to see his email address which he has been checking – and googled after that for my website… (he always gets in via Google) and that way I was able to see his email address; which means = Google is leaving to much traces….
    (I garantuee you = I am not making there 2 up !!)

  • @Sjeltur

    Strange, can’t confirm because all personal info I had ever seen in Woopra was for those who left comments.

    If Google was giving email in referrals that would have created huge backlash long ago I think.

  • @Sjeltur

    Well, privacy is common concern but we hardly have a choice. Trying to anonymize Internet experience is pretty hard (and basically shoots that experience).

    Glad you like my blog. :) Looking forward to more comments from you on future posts.

  • re: google it is scary I recently wrote a post on the very topic http://thenexus.tk/information-superpower/

    It truly is scary though the post goes of on a tangent.

    re: woopra – indeed it is ‘beta’ in every sense of the word. There is always discrepancy between it and analytics…however its method of display and aggregation of certain data is very useful.

  • @Donace

    There are a lot of scary things in life. Frankly I don’t rank someone knowing my email address very high among them. :)

    I hadn’t noticed large difference between Woopra and GA, that may be because of relatively small traffic of mine. I was more annoyed with downtimes and funcitons turning on and off all the time, first few weeks search wasn’t working, etc.

    Thanks for your visit and comment. :)

  • @Donace

    Converting lurkers is good sign for a blog. :)

    On privacy… just for a scale. In country where I live government databases are consistently leaked every year and it’s relatively easy and cheap to buy such information as home phones+addresses, automobile owners and taxes. Mobile numbers are bit harder (lots of prepaid) but probably possible as well.

    So when someone can go and buy such information on you (and few millions more) it’s kinda stupid to worry about email. :)

    On Woopra presentation I find interface too static. Even web-based GA allows to drag widgets around but in Woopra everything is glued where developers put it. It’s strange when desktop app is less flexible than online one.

  • @Rarst
    Np been lurking about for a while thought I’d comment.

    You should be cautious though using just an email a lot of information can be found out about you. Especially in times of social media and Facebook etc.

    I haven’t got large scale traffic either; but the end of month figures of the two did vary by a few hundred. Though i’m happy to continue using woopra as I said while there are bugs etc its presentation is a lot easier to understand then GA.

  • I had used woopra for only few days. I was not impressed with it. Nice review and a good conclusion!

  • @Nihar

    Not good for Woopra I guess, but they kinda overpromised in my opinion.

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