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VisitorVille.com

Website: www.visitorville.com

VisitorVille ScreenshotVisitorVille is a software package which you download and run on your computer. It offers two modes: Hosted (real-time traffic viewing) and log analyzer (analyses downloaded log files). VisitorVille is a paid solution, marketed as a top-of-the-line package.

VisitorVille is a very different type of statistics program, in fact it is quite unique. Rather than using conventional lists and graphs, VisitorVille's main display uses a virtual city, with buildings representing web pages. Visitors are represented as people who arrive in busses and move around the city from building to building. There are lots of nice touches, for example, some busses are sign-written with search engine logos representing search engines which deliver traffic to the site.

You cannot help but be impressed by the graphical representation of web traffic. It's quite stunning and immediately addictive. I have never seen anything which comes close to representing real-time traffic as well. The screen shot on the right shows the 2-D view but the 3-D view is even better (unfortunately I was unable to use the 3-D view at the time of writing due to lack of dual-monitor support — a bug which I trust has since been fixed).

In addition to the main map display, VisitorVille provides traditional lists and graphs. However these are not as comprehensive as some other packages and will not satisfy those who require extreme detail and flexibility.

VisitorVille also features a very good click-tracker. This allows you to browse the pages at your site and see how many times each link on the page was clicked on (both as a number and percentage). This is a very handy tool.

Problems and Limitations

I originally purchased VisitorVille in 2006 and was disappointed. I published a review outlining my concerns, which mostly revolved around features not working as promised or being very difficult to use. I pointed out that a free trial would have avoided this situation.

I am now happy to note that a free trial is available. I strongly recommend that you take the trial and test everything thoroughly. Most people seem to have no serious problems (I suspect mine were related to the heavy traffic my site was getting). In any case, the free trial negates my complaint that the program did not work as promised.

Summary

Assuming it works properly, this is the most fun you'll ever have with web statistics. I won't say it's the best statistics program because it doesn't actually offer the best statistics — it just presents the statistics it does have in the most fun way.

If you need detailed statistics with lots of display options, Google Analytics might be a better option.

If you want to dazzle yourself (and your friends), VisitorVille will do it.

Author: ,  Originally published: 2006-08-10,  Updated: 2007-09-15, 2007-12-28
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