After reading on Paul Stamatiou’s About page that he thought Flickr (which I already use) and Mint were the best web inventions ever, I decided it was time that I finally took a good hard look at Mint.

I remember when it first came out, Mint was everywhere. The blogosphere pumped it so ungodly much that I could barely stand to think about it, much less look at what it actually did. Besides, I already had AWStats running on my server, and it was free!

What could Mint do that I was missing?

Well, I bit the bullet, dropped the $30, and installed Mint. The entire process was not only painless, it was quite interesting. Aside from manually needing to edit a config file, the installation was a piece of cake (really, couldn’t we at least *try* to write out the config file automagically, if we have permissions?). It was quite an attractive layout, very straight forward, and quickly over. I like how you get an authorization key and the software “phones home” to validate the domain and key. Sure it’s PHP and we could get around this, but I do have some honor, right?

So after running Mint for a few hours and playing around with it, here are the results:

Mint - Incoherent Babble

The stats are straight-forward. There aren’t any frills, and aside from a pretty (and Ajax-ified) interface, it’s nothing revolutionary. AWStats offers me a tad more detail, but not in nearly as simple an interface. It was free, though…

I don’t really like AWStats parsing out my log file every time I try and update, because that takes time and is very resource-intensive. The .htaccess approach for Mint didn’t work, but I really didn’t put any time into figuring out why not, I just stuck the Javascript in the footer of my blog’s template (since it’s so easy to do in Wordpress), and voila! If I could get .htaccess to work, it’d be a perfect solution, logging everything just the way I want it to be logged.

I guess the bottom line is: Mint is great. I love it. Unfortunately, $30 a site is far too expensive for me. None of these sites are making me any money right now, and I just can’t justify dropping $30 for each one to use a stats package.

Now, if it were $30 for the first one and, say $3, for all the ones there-after (yearly recurring, of course), I might be able to swing it. I’m far more likely to drop $57 ($30 + (9 x $3)) to log all my sites than I am to drop $300 ($30 x 10). I’m also not going to put money into a stats package for just 2 or 3 of my sites. That kinda defeats the point, especially if it doesn’t actually offer me any new information in any new revolutionary ways. I still want stats for the others, so I’m still going to install AWStats, and might as well use it for everything.

Oh well, good luck to Mint. I can’t wait to see some future versions and more features!

Originally published and updated .
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