Posted In Internet

Mint: Fresh Visitor Tracking

Mint is wonderful. It has been so far at least. Mint is a fairly new website stats package written by the author of ShortStat, Shaun Inman.

Introducing Mint: The web is listening to what you have to say. Admiring your design. Talking about your product. Mint helps you identify where the most interest is being generated and over what.

Mint provides a fresh look at your site. It is concise, flexible and timely. And to sweeten the deal, this delicious little bundle of PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript joy is referrer-spam-proof.

I’ve only been using Mint for a few hours, but I’ve been looking at it for the last week or so. After wp-shortstat started causing really slow page loads, I wasn’t really using anything to log stats. I do use a couple other stats related WordPress plugins, but nothing that shows recent referers or client information in a pleasant way.

Typically, I wouldn’t buy a piece of software like this. There’s gotta be a couple thousand different web stats applications that are free. A large majority of those free apps though are either no longer being developed or the developers don’t know what they’re doing. Had Mint been more than $30/site, I wouldn’t be using it. I suspect Shaun will soon drop the price to $20 or $25. I’ve seen various people write that the cost of Mint is a little too high. I don’t know how many Mint users there are, but I’d think a lot more people would purchase if it were priced at $20. I had read enough about Mint though, that’s why I had no problem shelling out $30.

One of the best things about Mint is Pepper. Pepper is a plugin API that is supposed to make creating plugins very easy. Peppermint Tea features a variety of third party peppers (plugins), among other things, for Mint. One pepper I’m looking forward to trying out is Fresh View. Fresh View uses SVG images to help visualize Mint stats, unfortunately it’s only available for the development version of Mint. I believe it’s one of the few Peppers that work with Mint 1.2+, which is still the development version.

Some of the best currently available peppers can be found in a post Paul Stamatiou made at his blog.

A major motivator in my decision to purchase Mint was the ease in which it can be integrated with WordPress. The WP-Mint WordPress plugin does away with the need to add the tracking javascript to theme header files. So, you can switch themes in WordPress as much as you like without having to add the Mint tracking code to the header file of each theme. The Mint support forum has detailed instructions for setting Mint up to track your WordPress install.

All in all I’m very happy with Mint. I’ll post some screenshots within the next few days. If you’re interested, Adam at shibbyonline has a pretty all-inclusive post about Mint, from purchase to installing Peppers.

Linked at Basil’s Blog, Outside The Beltway, and Mudville Gazette.

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