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WEB DEVELOPMENT

Mint Review
By: Katie Gatto
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    2009-12-02

    Table of Contents:
  • Mint Review
  • Using Mint
  • Pepper
  • Cost and more

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    (Page 1 of 4 )

    When you own a website, everything revolves around your visitors -- and you need more information about your visitors to do just about anything. Fortunately, there are special tools that can help with that. Mint is one of them. Keep reading to learn what Mint can do for you.

    If you own, or just happen to manage a website, then you know how quickly your world can become all about the number of visitors that you get. When you go to get an advertiser that pays better than AdSense, they will want to see cold, hard numbers to back up their investment. If you bring in any real traffic, knowing about the up swing before your site crashes can be a big benefit. For one thing, you can secure a plan with bigger bandwidth. If you ever go to sell your site, being able to brag on your traffic can significantly increase the amount that your site nets you.

    Of course, that kind of measuring is most easily done by an analytics tool...but with an endless variety of tools out on the market, it can be hard to choose just one. There are a variety of questions. What features do you really need? Should you use a free tool or go in for a paid version?

    No matter what choice you make, the most important thing is to make an informed decision. That way you can be sure that you are getting what you need without missing out on the best possible deal.

    That is why today we are going to look at one of our many choices, known as Mint. Mint is one of the options that you should consider if you are going to look for a paid option. In order to help you get the information that you need, without having to make you read through the sections in which you have less of an interest, this article is broken up into some of the common questions that you may have about the software. Feel free to skip around and deal with issues in the order that is most important to you. Now, without any further delay, here are the questions.

    What Exactly is Mint?

    Mint is a self-hosted analytics program. What that means is that you are going to have to install it on the servers on your own, and point it to the site on which you want to get tracking. This will make installation significantly harder than a plug-in version of code that you would get with a tool like Google Analytics.

    How Hard Would Mint be to Install? Also, What Languages Will I Need to Know if I Choose to Install Mint?

    For the most part, all that you will need to install Mint will be a familiarity with both HTML and FTP. You will not need to be a master, but more than a basic level of compatibility will be needed if you want to be able to track multiple pages on one site. Given how rare a page without any sub domains is, this will be a real issue for most webmasters. Luckily there is not too much extra work involved in setting up the sub domains. Just follow the instructions and all should be well.

    How will I know if the Mint tool will be compatible with my servers? I don't want to pay for a tool only to find out I can't use it.

    An excellent question! There are two ways to check the compatibility, and you really should try first. Step one is to look at the system that Mint was tested on: Linux servers with My SQL databases (3x and up versions) that ran PHP scripting (version 4.2.3 and higher) which was run either as an Apache module or as PHP-as-CGI. The further that you get from these configurations, the more likely that you are to have a problem.

    Your second step should be to try the Mint server compatibility suite. This suite can be downloaded from the Mint website. Once you download and unzip the package you can load it to your server root. Run the test by opening the compatibility suite. From there, just follow the instructions on the screen in front of you.

    It is worth noting that the manufacturer is only willing to say that passing the test only ensures that your server meets the basic requirements for Mint. It is not a guarantee that Mint will run. Still, it is worth a try before you buy. One other caveat exists: in order for your hits to be recorded, Mint has to have JavaScript enabled on the browser. This is a major catch if your users are unlikely to have it enabled, so bear it in mind when you make your decision. For some of you this will, no doubt, end up being the deal breaker.

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