In a previous post, I said I'm about to compare three site statistics tools. I installed all of them on my blog, to see which service offers the best deal (for free, that is). Well, I think we have a winner.
3rd place goes to RE_INVIGORATE. I'm sorry guys, I really wanted this service to get the first place. The interface is just horrible. Simple thing are made obscure. Sorry, but no.
2nd place: Site Meter. They are the first service I tried (just because they were listed first on this page). They have a very nice service, but they don't give enough of it for free. For example, if you want to see which search queries people used to get to your site, you have to pay for that (or analyse the referring URL yourself).
Site Meter also makes you put their logo on your site, which is sometimes annoying (because you have to find a spot for it in the site template).
The 1st place goes to StatCounter. Why? I like their business model: they offer all services for free, but a free account has two basic limitations: (1) Up to 7,000 (or was that 9,000? I can't remember) hits per day (which is more than enough for my humble blog) and (2) They only store the details (IP, referrer, etc.) of the last 100 visitors.
When you get bigger, and start making money from your site, you just upgrade your account to get rid of those limitations. I like that approach.
I will soon remove the images of 2nd and 3rd places from my template. Feel free to suggest other such free services. Only services that don't require banners/popups are welcome.