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What is Open Web Analytics?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: Katie_Martynova, Vgstudio, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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Open Web Analytics is an open source program, meaning anyone can view and change its code, designed to help website owners track information about the number of people visiting a particular website or using a certain application, known as an app for short. Web analytics focuses on how much traffic the site is getting and how often those people make a purchase or view more than one page on the website. It allows the owner to determine which pages draw the most visitors and note problem pages that draw fewer views. Since the program is open source, programmers can modify it to improve bugs and create new additions that give the program a wider range of options and tasks it can perform.

Licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Open Web Analytics is written in PHP and also works with JavaScript. It supports API frameworks such as WordPress and MediaWiki which make adding web analytics to these sites much easier. Simple coding allows the user to alter or add Open Web Analytics to a website.

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Once installed on the web page, the Open Web Analytics dashboard of the program displays graphs, charts, and tables of information about who has visited the site. The page views section shows the number of visitors to that page while a visitor type chart shows how many of those visitors were new and how many had been to the website before. The program may also display information about the location of each visitor that accessed the website.

Other useful features include the click heatmap. It displays a visual image of the chosen web page and indicates the most clicked areas. Webmasters can use this information to determine what types of links draw the most clicks and if factors such as positioning or color of a link makes a difference in how many people click it.

Programmers can take advantage of Open Web Analytics to write their own tracking code and implement it on their website. Whether they need to tweak existing features or create new ones from scratch, the open source code of the program makes this possible. Many share their code online for others to use or alter to fit their needs. Open Web Analytics includes many objects and classes which programmers use to perform a specific function. Others can tweak code written by someone else to make it perform a specific function on their site without having to program it from scratch.

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