Freelance Web Consultant at architxt.net
11 August 2005 15:06pm
I've signed up and testing an online Web Analytics service which offers me exactly what I need. Impressive stuff.
I was also surised to learn that our main website attracts much more traffic than we thought - about 10 times more that is (some had been running very erratic reports on our log files).
So now that I have to upgrade the package I signed up for given the much higher traffic. Fair enough. What I don't understand, however, is why I have to commit to paying for a certain level of traffic. How am I to know that the site will attract 1 milion page views a month and not 600,000? Or more?
We all know that traffic is variable... depenging on factors such as season, whether Google likes you or not, usability, etc... A web analytics company should know this more than everyone else!
So why not offer a pricing structure based on the actual usage? As in advertising. Which is fair.
Does anyone know, then, of a web based web analytics solution that prices itself in such a way? Another requirement is to be able to track multiple sites (and areas of sites) and collate results to get the overall picture.
-- at --
11 August 2005 15:26pm
easy. capacity planning. some of these companies invest millions a year in hardware and this is based on what their customers tell them they will do.
if you have a party caterer for 100 guests and buy food for 100 guests and only 30 turn up would you expect to receive payment for only 30 guests even though you had all those staff, food, tables, chairs etc prepared?
likewise if 20 web analytics customers tell a vendor they will do 200,000,000 pages a year each, the vendor will need to buy X servers/memory/disc space at considerable cost. if they only end up using half that and the vendor only gets paid half what they were budgeted to receive, then the vendor has wasted a hell of a lot of moneyon hardware (which depreciates rapidly)
in saying that check out Urchin from google. i think you only pay for what you eat. but thats a Google mentality/policy, not really shared by the rest of the industry...
11 August 2005 15:37pm
I don't think that your analogy is correct. If the caterer is McDonalds than they can provide 1, 2, or 300 burgers there and then at £1 each.
How about pay as you go mobile phones? Or our utility bills?
And I don't think a web analytics company, or any company in fact, should be making their money from services paid for but not privided. It's fundamentally wrong.
If Urchin/Google can do it then anyone can. And I would argue that their mentality/policy is part of the reason they are so successful.
CEO at Econsultancy
11 August 2005 16:53pm
I've heard other site owners make a simiar complaint to yours although it's usually phrased as "why should I be punished for my site's success" i.e. the more traffic I get, the more I have to pay for my analytics.
Jon's explained why the vendors have to charge more (more infrastructure, more processing and reporting power needed, more bandwidth etc.) but from your point of view I guess it depends what kind of volumes (typically page impressions) you are talking about? Unless you're a very high volume site, or have very tight budgets, I'm not sure the financial amounts we're talking about are that significant?
Have a look at the presentations from web analytics vendors at our reasonanly recent Web Analytics Supplier Showcase.
Jon mentioned Urchin (owned by Google). If you look at their pricing (penultimate slide) you can get the on demand version for:
Monthly Fee: $199
Page views Included: 100,000
Additional Page views: 1 million for $99
If it's only costing $99 for every 1m extra page views you've got to have pretty high volumes of traffic before it really matters to you financially - a few hundred thousand page views between friends certainly won't break the bank...
11 August 2005 17:12pm
Urchin is a very good product and is extremely good value for money
Ashley was right to ask what sort of volumes you are talking about.
100k pages a month compared to200k a month is not going to make most vendors bat an eyelid. Thats the Big Mac end of town
Although 100Million a month compared to 200Million a month is going to mean a big difference when you are a big vendor paying big bucks for servers and licenses. ie. this might mean the difference between a £25,000 Oracle license and a £50,000 oracle license for them. Thats arguably the 'Al La carte' end of town.
The other thing to note is that you might be amazed how often you can negotiate people down on price.
I'm talking about a volume of traffic between 500,000 and 1,500,000 per month, so we are not talking great amounts of money. But were I working for an SME or a Charity then yes, a few hundred pounds difference is significant.
I'm not complaining about paying for the page views that are track. Quite the opposite! If this month our site generates 1,000,000 page views and next month only a fraction of that then why shouldn't the pricing scale accordingly? Why can't there be a package that offers offers a base price of $XXX for 500,000 page views and $0.0X per thousand thereafter?
Incidentally I was at the Web Analytics presentation and thought it was extremely useful. I should have asked this question then :)
11 August 2005 17:25pm
As I mentioned to Ashley the pricing structure does not suit small businesses or companies on a tight budget. Fair enough, it might not be worth their while having clients with limited budgets. We can certainly afford the $500 per month we were quoted but I'm a cheapskate - I want to pay 500 bucks if I use 500 bucks worth of their service ;)
I'm working on the negotiation bit but also interested in Urchin. Do you know whether it is possible to track multiple sites (and areas of sites) separately as well as have a set of totals for all?
11 August 2005 17:29pm
not sure. what ur referring to is 'profiles'. Webtrends does but not sure about Urchin.
try this guys details below. he is one of the better web analytics guys going around
UK Urchin reseller http://www.omegadm.co.uk
11 August 2005 17:32pm
some vendors offer moving average pricing. so instead of counting your page views monthly. they count it as a moving average over X months. this deals with traffic seasonality quite well.
i know coremetrics offer this. not sure about the others.
11 August 2005 17:34pm
ps - firstname.lastname@example.org
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