Webtrends Small Business Reviewed

Project Overview
For one of our larger clients we’ve decided to move their website / database / analytics to a dedicated group of servers. While this project was fairly straight forward on the surface it became a real pain when it came time to setup their analytics software. For this project the poison of choice was Webtrends 7.5b. Working for a marketing driven company I’ve had the chance to use nearly all analytics at one point or another, however this was my first experiencing using the newest version of Webtrends. It didn’t take long before I learned to hate this application, just like its parent programs. There is one word which all computer people have learned to hate. Licensing. Nothing can drive a person insane more then having all the tools to fix something, but not having the “permissions” to use them. The worst part is we’ve spent over $1000 to be back to square one. The problem is how Webtrends handles licensing.

Annual Page Views
For our client we’ve ordered WebTrends 7 Small Business with an add-on of 1,000,000 annual page views to get them started. This should be plenty of page views per year right? WRONG. According to WebTrends you need to have licenses for all the page views you’re going to generate in a given year, which means, if I process logs from 2003 in 2005 those work against my 2,000,000 cap. Their solution is to call their sales staff and have them give me unlimited licenses while we import all the old data. Sure this might resolve the problem, but imagine how many people are out there ripping their hair out trying to import old data? This is the old application I know of which handles licensing is such an odd way. I believe WebTrends is more concerned about making money on their larger clients, then making their software user-friendly.

Interface Reviewed
Once I got the software working correctly, things started to look better. They have definitely created a very user friendly analytics solution. The user management seems to be top notice. I can tell they’ve pulled some ideas from their competition however. I see some similarities to both NetTracker & Urchin. The reporting layout is easy to follow, and makes better sense then many of the applications on the market. You can definitely tell WebTrends has been doing this for awhile. I can give them no fault on the application itself. They have definitely got their act together since WebTrends 6.0 log analyzer (which I still use for some websites).

Conclusion

Although the Interface is nice, the licensing is very poorly done. With that said, I cannot recommend this software solution. There are a number of other applications on the market which are more capable for significantly less investment. If you’re looking to buying WebTrends 7 Small Business I recommend you try NetTracker. If you still want to buy WebTrends be ready for a fight over licensing.

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