Categories
Apps Reviews

Analytics PRO review

Ever since I moved to the self hosted blog, I have played around with measuring traffic on the site and i get to closely observe and learn about site analytics and web metrics. It has been over 6 months since I moved to godaddy in november i have had traffic stats enabled on my site and my goto analytics solution has been google analytics. I must say I have tried a lot of analytics solutions like statcounter, clicky, Piwik. I have always retained Google Analytics, Not just because its free but more so because it has a lot of tutorials and support communites to learn from.

Ever since I have turned analytics on, I always needed an app on the phone to check the stats from Google analytics when I am completely off for a few days without my machine. There are quite a long list of apps which are free and quite handy and basic. I ve tried a few may be 3 of them, and then I just bought the Analytics pro(App Store link, look at the screenshots) app. Its on the store for 6$ and i must agree its worth every penny of it. I like this app so much that i just prefer using the app more than the google analytics site itself.I used 3 free apps for their various features and now all three have been replaced by one app “Analytics Pro”.

So whats so special about the app you ask?

The single most reason why i would suggest you to buy this is that, you wont find a feature thats missing from the google analytics site. Well you can’t do everything on the app, but i must say that is the max any app would be allowed to do using the google’s api.

The app is slick, well thought out and neatly crafted.

I am sure after months of use that the app is very secure. It uses OAuth to connect to your google account. Which i think is quite safe. Though i dont have a proof to substantiate, I can definietly acknowledge that nothing has broken with my google account since i started used the app.

It supports multiple sites if you have them linked on the same google account or with multiple google accounts.

You can do a tonne of customization and choose from past 7/14/21/28 days along with a look at today and yesterday. You can choose your own time frame as well if you need and choose to have a 7 day running average on the graphs and so on.

Content and Traffic Source drill down is phenomenal.You should just try it, Its so damn detailed, that hardly would you notice that you are on the app and not on the website.

Most importantly if you have goals set on Google Analytics site, you can track them on the app in your choice of currency from the 25 supported which is really cool. The app does display e-commerce tracking if your site has been configured for.I have no idea how the e-commerce tracking works though, since i don’t have an e-commerce site

If you are looking for a whole list of features please read them here.

While I bought the app purely based on the screen shots on the app store, I haven’t been disappointed at all. There may be a lot of apps for Google Analytics on the app store but this has been the best of the lot of what I tried.All my needs of tracking my site on the phone using Google is being taken care by Analytics pro. My Go to app for tracking. I use it daily and I would recommend it to you as well.

Categories
Apps Software

App.NET

App.NET for conversations

A very elaborate writeup by Matt about App.NET a paid social network where you are the USER not the PRODUCT (eyeballs for ads 😉 ). I joined app.net a few weeks back and I was interested in writing a very similar post, but not so elaborate though. Any ways please follow me on app.net here as well. I truly believe it is a platform for conversation.

Categories
Apps Blogging HowTo

Personal Blog on Amazon EC2

Its been a very happy 55 days since I moved to Amazon EC2 for my personal blog. Yeah, yeah, I understand the puzzled look on your face. Let me explain why you should consider moving to EC2 as well. You can thank me later :).

Over the past decade the best thing that has happened for people is that computing became cheaper, and its getting cheaper day by day. Amongst this vast revolution is the Amazon Ec2 cloud revloution, to which I am thankful for and may be you will be too very soon.Over a year back Amazon launched a Free Tier plan for its customers opening up the cloud computing for bloggers like us who dont make money out of our blogs yet. So what? Why should you make a switch to something so complicated ?

Here you go:-

  1. You pay for what you use and for the first year, if you are in the free tier, you hardly pay a dollar in the first year which is totally cool.

  2. There is hardly any downtime of your site. For the past 55 days I have had 2 minutes of down time which is nothing compared to any other hosting provider. hardly any outages since jan 12th

  3. The response time of the site is averaging around 400 ms at max which is totally kick ass.

    See the steep drop in response time since in the month of Jan.

  4. Security is not much of a deal as long as your are keeping your virtual server updated.

  5. Back ups and restores are just a button click away.

  6. Page loads are much faster.

  7. With all of the above, peace of mind is almost always assured after the switch and settling down glitches. Yeah you heard me, there most likely will be minor issues, till you get the perfect customization. No transition is perfect, so be prepared for a bit of hassle, trust me its totally worth it after its all done.

  8. Ofcourse you can boast your geekiness before your friends that your blog is hosted on Amazon EC2 🙂

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p>Now the world is not perfect anywhere, is it? So what are the drawbacks u ask me? Amazon EC2 is not a very user friendly environment if you are a total newbie to setting up servers, running them and maintaining them. It does need a fair bit of knowledge of how things work in the computer world, but dont be discouraged,Its a worth while learning curve that anybody can learn if they commit to put their mind to it. If you have been self hosting your blog on any host, you will be able to manage it without any issues.

I moved to EC2 free tier on 12th of Jan, prior to which I was hosting this very same blog on Godaddy. I just didn’t find the value with them, given over the 4 months of hosting i did with them, the blog had a total of 6 hours of down time and the response time was averaging around 3 seconds and content loading was very slow. That made me think of alternatives and here I am with a my personal blog on Amazon EC2 and I am truly delighted.

Some useful info if you are considering to move to EC2 yourself.

Bitnami is the preconfigured Virtual stack I used for running WordPress on Amazon EC2, which really is the easiest way to host your blog on EC2.

Here is a tutorial that helped me move to EC2.

Support documents of Bitnami are here incase you need help tweaking.

Copper Egg, The most simple and the extensive elegant tool, with which I monitor my servers health.

Note:- A word of caution, these are my learnings from my personal experiences and how things worked for me, so try them with a pinch of salt. Not all problems have the same solution, so may be this solution might not work well for you, so dont come here whining, i would be glad to help but only to an extent and I wont take any reponsibility if i things break on your blog. Thanks for reading, please feel free to share if you like it.