I really like Mint

December 29, 2005

A couple of months ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and pay for Mint, a statistics package for websites. What? Yah, I couldn't believe it either, but you know I loves the numbers. $30, to be sure, is a lot to pay for what amounts to nothing more than a somewhat simplified stats program, but I love it. I love everything about it.

I'm not going to go into detail about the product, lord knows the blogosphere had its way with it when it was first released (mostly with regard to its admittedly high price), but I will say that I'm more than pleased, even if a bit miffed that I actually paid for it. It actually reminds me a lot of the old Reinvigorate system (which was *cough* free).

It's not Analog or Urchin (now available for free from Google Analytics), but it shows me the information that I want to see, and beautifully I might add.

I think my absolute favorite feature is the RSS feed for new referrers. No need to follow anything else; Technorati, PubSub, and all the other ways I used to track incoming links have been obviated. Shaun gets around the referral spam problem by "validating" every hit with JavaScript, which really seems to do the trick.

One other really nice feature regarding referrers is that it can usually deduce that different URIs are the same site (e.g., www.foo.com, foo.com, foo.com/foo.html) and record/present them as such.

Pepper

The "Pepper" plugin interface is fantastic and as soon as I think of something I need that hasn't already been created, I'll be sure to release my own addition to Mint.

I currently use the following Peppers:

Mild complaints

There is no way to filter the RSS feed. In other words, there is no way to remove from it things that come up often, but in slightly different contexts (e.g., I get a ton of referrals from Google Images which I couldn't care less about). Yes, I know of the Referrer Filter Pepper, but it only filters the page view pane, not the RSS feed.

Another thing I would like to see is the ability to switch between various color schemes. Sure, I could whip up a custom CSS file, but, well, I'm a busy man, and for $30 I would expect at least one alternative color combination.

All in all though, it's a great piece of software and something I see myself using for years to come.

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