What is Piwik?

Piwik is a downloadable, Free (GPL licensed) web analytics software platform. It provides detailed reports on your website and its visitors, including the search engines and keywords they used, the language they speak, which pages they like, the files they download and so much more. Piwik aims to be an open source alternative to Google Analytics. Piwik is PHP MySQL software which you download and install on your own webserver. At the end of the 5-minute installation process you will be given a JavaScript tag. Simply copy and paste this tag on websites you wish to track (or use an existing plugin to do it automatically for you). To learn more about what Piwik offers, check out the list of features page. If you need professional help to make the most out of Piwik, get in touch with the Piwik analytics experts.

How is Piwik different to Google Analytics and other web analytics tools?

Piwik is the leading open source web analytics software, but there are dozens of other free and paid web analytics solutions; why choose Piwik? One of the principle advantages of Piwik is that you are in control. Unlike remote-hosted services (such as Google Analytics), you host Piwik on your own server and the data is tracked inside your Mysql database. Because Piwik is installed on your server, you enjoy full control over your data. You can access the data easily via the Piwik APIs. Advanced users can use Custom Variables, Segmentation, or even run manual queries on the database in order to build advanced reports.

Piwik also protects your visitor privacy with advanced Privacy features. When using Piwik for Web Analytics, you ensure that your visitors behavior on your website(s) is not shared with advertising companies.

If you are using Google Analytics and starting to use Piwik, you can import your Google Analytics data history into Piwik. You can also use several web analytics tools at the same time so feel free to experiment!

To help you decide on a Web Analytics software, you might want to look at the list of features in Piwik or the online demo. Piwik offers nearly all features that other tools may offer, and also has some unique features such as Real Time visitor details, Ecommerce Analytics, Visitor Profile, Real Time Visitor Maps and an awesome Mobile App. Finally, our Roadmap is public, and the community can check our progress on the public issue tracker.

Happy Analytics!

How does Piwik work?

Piwik has to be installed on a server with both PHP and MySQL. At the end of the 5-minute installation, Piwik will give you a Javascript tag which you add to the bottom of each page of your website. Piwik will then record the activity across your website within your database. Piwik aggregates this data to provide detailed web analytics reports about your visitors, page views, referrer information, search engine keywords, Ecommerce, campaigns and much more! As well as tracking via the Javascript file, you can also import web server access logs into Piwik, or use the Tracking API.

Learn more about Piwik in our guide: What is Piwik?

Is there an online demo available?

Yes, check out the online demo to see how awesome Piwik is!
Please note that while this demo is useful to see what Piwik has to offer, it does not show all features. Indeed, the administration area is password protected. If you download and install Piwik yourself (or use a Hosting partner), you will get access to many more interesting features and reports.

If you prefer seeing the list of features all in one page, check out the list of features.

Can Piwik manage multiple user accounts?

In Piwik, you can create an infinite number of users and websites to track. For each user, you can set permissions to “view”, “admin” or “no permission” for a specific website, or for all websites at once. The permission system in Piwik is simple and makes it very easy to manage from a small number of websites and users to hundreds of websites and thousands of users. See the Manage Users documentation.

How do I track several websites, domains and multiple subdomains in Piwik?

You can add unlimited websites to track in Piwik, in the Admin Websites section. In fact, Piwik scales well to thousands of websites, and a few Piwik users are tracking even more. Each Website is defined by a URL. You can track sub domains in the same Piwik website, or you can create a different website for some of your subdomains. Learn more about creating Websites in the Managing websites page.

It is also important to configure First party cookie domains in the Javascript Tracking code. Please see the page Tracking code: Cookie configuration for sub-domains.

If you track many subdomains in the same Piwik website, you might want to see the domain name directly in your Page Title reports. If you want to show “support.example.org/Homepage” instead of simply “Homepage”, check out the JS setDocumentTitle documentation.

In the Admin Websites page, you can also define for each website a list of Alias URLs which contains all the other domains and subdomains that will be tracked. This will ensure they don’t appear in your “Referer” reports. If you track more than 10 websites, the Website selector will display the first ten sites only, and show a search field where you can search quickly to look at another website. Check out the ‘All Websites’ dashboard as well, it is a useful first page to look at for a quick overview of the performance of all your websites over the last day or week. You can even make it your default page to load in Piwik (go to Settings > User settings). The official Piwik Mobile App supports all these reports, including the ‘All Websites’ dashboard.

See also: Install Piwik on one server and track visits on websites that are hosted on other servers.

How do I define and track Goal conversions?

You can add unlimited number of Goals to track in Piwik (newsletter subscription, file download, ‘thank you’ page, etc.). Learn more about how to track your website Goals in the Goal Tracking documentation.

How do I improve accuracy of visitors’ Country detection, and enable Cities and Regions tracking?

By default Piwik uses the browser language to determine location. To improve accuracy of country detection (and enable Region and City tracking), go to Piwik > Settings > Geo Location. Then, you can select the appropriate solution for your install. These include GEOIP database from Maxmind (for shared hosting) or a server side solutions such as GeoIP Apache or GeoIP PECL modules. Learn more about Visitors geo location in Piwik.

How do I track Ecommerce orders, details of purchased products and abandoned carts on my website?

Piwik provides advanced Ecommerce Tracking and Reporting functionnality. Learn more in the page Ecommerce Analytics.

How does Piwik ensure Privacy of my Analytics data, and Privacy of my website Visitors?

Piwik is the ideal Web Analytics software that respects Privacy, thanks to its Free/Libre software nature and useful Privacy settings, setting it apart from other commercial tools such as Google analytics.

To ensure and respect your visitors Privacy, you can:
1) Automatically anonymize Visitors IPs,
2) Include a Web Analytics opt-out feature on your site (using a simple iframe),
3) Delete old visitors logs,
4) Respect Do Not Track setting.

To configure Privacy features in Piwik, log in as a Super User, click “Settings” then click “Privacy”. Learn more: Configure Privacy settings in Piwik.

PS: At Piwik, we also celebrate the Data Privacy Day every January 28th!

How does Piwik track downloads?

On many websites, you want to track when visitors download your brochure, a photo, a software, etc. Piwik automatically track these clicks as Downloads, and reports them under Actions > Downloads. Piwik will automatically detect a download as a click on a link that ends with one of the following file extensions: 7z, aac, arc, arj, asf, asx, avi, bin, bz, bz2, csv, deb, dmg, doc, exe, flv, gif, gz, gzip, hqx, jar, jpg, jpeg, js, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mov, movie, msi, msp, odb, odf, odg, odp, ods, odt, ogg, ogv, pdf, phps, png, ppt, qt, qtm, ra, ram, rar, rpm, sea, sit, tar, tbz, tbz2, tgz, torrent, txt, wav, wma, wmv, wpd, xls, xml, z, zip. You can also force Piwik to count a click as a download by using a specific CSS class for this link. Check out the section “Force a click on a link to be recorded as a download in Piwik” in the Javascript tagging Guide.

What are Outlinks, Clicks or Unique clicks?

The Piwik report “Pages > Outlinks” shows the list of external URLs that were clicked by your visitors from your website pages. Piwik will track as an “outlink” all clicks on URLs that are not the same domain as the website being tracked. For example, if your visitor click on a link to “piwik.org” on your website “example.org”, this will be counted as an outlink in the report. For each outlink, Piwik will report the number of clicks, and the number of unique clicks. Unique clicks are the number of unique visitors that clicked to a given domain ; for example, if the same visitor clicked 3 times on the same outlink, it will be reported as 3 clicks and 1 unique click. Note that Piwik is not able to track Javascript of flash links. Only HTML links are tracked, eg.

<a href='http://linkedin.com'>LinkedIn Profile</a>

If you wish to not track clicks on your subdomains as outlinks, for example if your website is “example.org/” and you don’t want to track outlinks to “news.example.org”, you can use the Javascript function setDomains(). Read more in the documentation.

Learn more about Click Tracking in general in the Javascript tagging Guide.

Does Piwik track visitors without Javascript? Does Piwik track search engine bots or other spider / robots?

By default, Piwik only tracks visitors with Javascript enabled. See more information about the tracking process. If you want to track visitors (or bots) without Javascript, you can add an Image Tracker on your pages. Advanced users can also use the Advanced Image Tracker or even call the Piwik Tracking API using HTTP. Check out more information on how to use these advanced tracking techniques in the Piwik Tracking API. See also How do I enable tracking for visitors without Javascript?

You can also use Piwik to track Search Engine Bots. There are a few ways to track bots using Piwik:

  • Using the Javascript Tracker, you can specifically tell Piwik to track the few advanced bots that will execute Javascript with _paq.push(['appendToTrackingUrl', 'bots=1']);
  • Using the Tracking HTTP API, you can enable the tracking of bots by setting the parameter &bots=1 in the piwik.php tracking request
  • When importing your web server access log files with the option --enable-bots the Search Engine Bots will be tracked

Can I use Piwik and Google Analytics / Yahoo! Analytics / WebTrends etc. at the same time?

Yes, you can use any combination of analytics packages at the same time on your pages. The downside is that your pages might take longer to load as each analytics Javascript tracking code will add some delay to the page load. We also recommend putting the Piwik Tracking code first, above other javascript codes, just before the </body> tag.

Read more about the Piwik Javascript Tracking API

How do I know when new versions are released?

The Piwik Changelog page lists all recent Piwik versions and the list of changes. The best way to keep track of all new versions is to subscribe to the Changelog Rss Feed.

To stay tuned about the latest Piwik developments, follow the Piwik blog (you can subscribe to our rss feed). If you are interested in technical matters, you may follow our public issue tracker to check our progress, and register with the piwik-hackers mailing list (more info in the developer section). You may also register to our newsletter to receive an update from us two or three times a year.

When a new version is released, your Piwik will display a message inviting you to update to the latest version.

Where can I get support?

If you’re looking for help, please read the FAQs, the Documentation, or search piwik.org using the search box on the bottom of the left menu of this website.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please post a message in the Piwik Forums, where you can get help from the community.

If you need professional support, you can contact one of the official Piwik Consultants or learn more about Piwik PRO.

How much does Piwik cost?

Piwik is a Free Software, released under the GPL license. It does not have a monetary cost (it is free of charge) and the software license ensures it respects your freedom to use and modify the software. If you would like to pay back a little something, you are welcome to participate in the project and spend some of your time and energy to make Piwik better (the app, website or docs).

We are grateful for our wonderful sponsors and the core Piwik team for their amazing work.

Is there any Data Limit in Piwik? Is it possible to keep all historical data?

Please see our Piwik Data Limits Fact Sheet for more information about Data Limits and Historical Data records. In general, Piwik does not believe in any limits, and will only be limited with the server resources. If you have access to existing data, you can also transfer it to Piwik. In particular, you can import old historical visitors data in Piwik, or import data from Google Analytics.

Does Piwik track visits from Mobile devices (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, low end mobile phones, etc.)?

Piwik will automatically track visits on mobile phones that use browsers executing Javascript: iOs based devices such as iPhone and iPad, Android based phones or any other modern devices (running Palm Pre, Opera Mobile, Webkit, Mozilla Fennec, etc.). For low-end mobile devices that use browsers which do not execute Javascript, you can manually record visits using the Piwik Tracking API. Learn more about the Piwik Tracking API. See also Does Piwik track visitors without Javascript?

Can I use Piwik and provide analytics Hosting service? What are the requirements for Piwik Hosted as a service?

It is allowed to re-sell Piwik and provide it for free, or for a fee. In fact, we maintain a list of Official Hosting Piwik partners which we recommended. If you are providing a service reusing Piwik, you must also reuse the word Piwik with care. Please see the Piwik Trademark page for more details about how to reuse the name Piwik in your modified version of Piwik. In particular, it is not allowed to use Piwik in the URL domain name. We would love to know if you create something interesting using Piwik: drop us a message.

Can I rebrand or sell or reuse or re-license or include Piwik in my product, company, or website?

Reusing Piwik in any way is allowed as long as you respect the GPL license. If your product, software, or website uses Piwik but all the code (including your modifications) stays within your company or server, you have the freedom to keep your code and not be bound to the GPL License. For example, you can change the header and footer to reflect your brand, change the colors, or add new features on your copy of Piwik.

If you distribute a modified version of Piwik, or software that includes Piwik as a module, or develop a website for a customer/client that integrates closely with Piwik, you must give access to the code source and publish all the code under the GPL.

Note that if you use third party plugins from the Marketplace, they may be released under a different license. Individual components, libraries or plugins within Piwik may also be available for reuse under a different license. Please refer to the LEGALNOTICE file included in the distribution.

You may want to learn more about the GPL License and look at the GPL FAQ. As well as respecting the GPL license, you must also reuse the word Piwik with care. Please see the Piwik Trademark page for more details about how to reuse the name Piwik in your modified version of Piwik. Finally, if you modify Piwik and add new features or fix existing bugs, please submit your improvements back to the Piwik team: together we will build the best Free/Libre open analytics platform!

Does Piwik work on high traffic websites? What is the performance like with millions of pages views per month?

Piwik can scale to millions of page views per month and/or to thousands of registered websites. If you have a few hundreds visits/page views per day, Piwik should work fine “out of the box”. If you have thousands of page views per day or more, click here to view the High Traffic Piwik Guide: Scale & Optimize

Can I customize the Piwik logo in the reports, emails and login screen?

Piwik allows to upload your custom logo, which will be displayed everywhere the normal Piwik logo displays:
1) top of the screen in the Analytics reports,
2) Login screen,
3) Emails & PDF Reports.

To upload a Custom Logo in Piwik, login as the Super User, click on Settings > General Settings > Branding, and click on “Use a custom logo”.

If you are interested to customise Piwik further, see this FAQ: Piwik White Label offer.

Can I get the data from the Piwik API web services and publish, reuse, process this data in a non GPL software?

Yes, the data coming from the Piwik API belongs to you and is not covered by the GPL.

You can use Piwik as a service, and reuse, publish, display, modify, process the data coming from the Piwik API using the REST API web services call. See also the GPL FAQ: Is there some way that I can GPL the output people get from use of my program? For example, if my program is used to develop hardware designs, can I require that these designs must be free?

Does Piwik work in a load balanced environment? How do I setup Piwik for high scale tracking?

Many medium-high traffic websites successfully use Piwik to track and analyse their website behavior and performance. See this FAQ for general information about high traffic Piwik.
If you want to provide high reliability and better performance in your Piwik setup, you can load balance Piwik services on various servers. It is pretty easy to do so, but make sure you read the following documentation.
Piwik stores all tracking data, reports, users, settings, etc. in the shared mysql database. Piwik also needs to read/create files to store information, caches, temporary files:

  • config/config.ini.php is used by every request to Piwik. It contains db access, plugins enabled, various settings, etc. The file is only modified when the Super User changes some settings in the Admin interface (activating plugins, changing smtp settings, etc.). This file must be synchronized on every Piwik server.
  • tmp/* contains temporary and cached files such as: compiled templates, generated PDFs, tracking caches, etc. This directory tmp/ content can be safely deleted and Piwik will automatically recompile templates and recreate caches.
  • by default, Piwik uses file session storage, which are usually stored in tmp/sessions, or in the global sessions directory (see php.ini). There is a config setting to enable database session storage, see this faq

When Piwik is used behind a load balancer, here are the steps to follow:

  1. synchronize config/config.ini.php on all servers – make sure the file config/config.ini.php is the same on all servers (using rsync for example).
  2. setup a cron to delete the tracker cache every 5 minutes on all servers: rm piwik/tmp/cache/tracker/*
  3. enable database session storage
  4. we highly recommend to enable SSL in Piwik

Piwik should then work as expected in a load balanced environment. For example, a common way to load balance Piwik on 3 servers: Load balancer in front of (2x) webservers which are tracking/querying the (1x) Master mysql DB server. For further optimization, a (1x) UI webserver can be added, to handle all API requests, UI requests, and run the cron archiving. This server can also be doubled and load balanced.

Typically, webserver boxes would be cheap to operate (trackers, frontends and archivers), and the Master DB server would be larger (eg. multiple cores, 16G memory, fast disk access), which could scale to a certain point (1M+ pages per day). Contact Piwik & Scalability Experts if you need professional assistance.

Learn more: How to configure Piwik for speed.

Where does the name Piwik come from?

When working on the first version of Piwik, Matthieu was looking for a name that was unique, easy to write and to remember, with as few letters as possible, and for which the domain name was still available. After a few hours of deliberation and creativity, the name Piwik was born out of Matt’s imagination. The name ‘Piwik’ does not have a particular meaning, but we are on a mission: “To create, as a community, the leading international open source web analytics platform, that gives users full control of their data.”

See also: how do I pronounce Piwik?

Has Piwik won any Award?

The Piwik team is honoured and grateful to have won several awards over the years, in recognition of building the leading open source web analytics platform used by more than 1,000,0000 websites wordlwide.

Learn more about our Awards for Piwik: the open analytics platform.

How do I pronounce Piwik?

If you’re wondering how to say ‘Piwik’, you can find out by clicking play:

Who is the team behind Piwik?

Piwik is a Free/Libre collaborative effort with many people contributing to the project to make Piwik what it is today. Visit the Piwik Team page to view profiles. You can also be part of the Piwik project! We need help to build the best open source web analytics software, and there are many ways to help whether you are a Piwik user, a developer, a marketing fan, a blogger, or if your native language is not English and you want to translate the software. We hope you will join us! Check out Getting involved in Piwik.

Where do I find Video Tutorials teaching how to use Piwik?

The Piwik community has worked on a few short Videos that aim to explain how to install, configure, and how to use Piwik advanced web analysis tools. Check out the following videos: