Yet another web tracking service has cancelled their free service and I’m beginning to think it’s my fault. I have only to join a free web stats service, and within a few months they will start charging a monthly fee. Past victims include hitbox, myhitlogger (no longer at their URL), bigtracker, and goldstats. All of the services except for hitbox used the same software on their servers. I liked the layout, so when tulipstats gave me the heave ho, I embarked on a quest to find the software, which I could then install on my server and stop relying on other sites.
I searched for sites using the software with the hope that one of them would mention where they got it. I found fishoo, esites, askarchie, and bobsville, all using the same software package and at the bottom of esites’ page was “chatologica.com“. I went to that URL, but the demo of their stats was different. The reason, I later learned, was they were showing a demo of the newest version of the software (WebStats SQL v1.0.5), released on January 11th. I wasn’t sure it was the same, so I continued my search.
I found a personal version of WebStats, but the link went back to chatologica, as did the link for the server edition so they didn’t provide much information. During my attempt to find out more about WebStats I was met with oodles and oodles of programs, none of which looked like the pages on tulipstats. After using the same layout for so long, I didn’t want to change. Even if I were to change, with so many choices, I didn’t know which one to try.
The mystery was solved once and for all when one of the stats services confirmed that they were using chatologica’s software. I was pleased to finally have my answer, but with a price of $259 (with the discount), it was discouraging.
For now, I’m using Extreme Tracking which has been around long enough that they are likely to remain free in spite of my signing up. I also found the latest version of WebStats at pagestat for free, but with my track record, that may not last long.
If I don’t find a free service I like, I might write one and release it under the GPL. If I were to write one, it would be installed on an individual’s server, like movabletype. It would have a transparent image that would load quickly, since it would reside on the same server and there would be no fear of it turning to a paid service.
Then again, with all the options out there, I should be able to find one I like without writing it myself. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.