CloudFlare: Comparing CloudFlare’s Analytics to Other Services

I’ve been using CloudFlare for almost a month now.

While I have noticed the faster performance using CloudFlare, my site traffic seemed to decline dramatically over the past few weeks.

This was puzzling me and it’s been a minor source of frustration, as I monitor my site daily to check various site traffic indicators.

For one, I try to determine my most popular landing pages and keyword searches, so that I have an idea who my audience is.

I seldom get comments for some reason (still trying to figure that one out), so I rely on the feedback of various web statistics services on the Internet, like StatCounter and SiteMeter.

Update: The reason I’ve been getting no comments is that my login/registration pages have been hidden!

Actually, for this site I stopped using SiteMeter, mainly because the site was down for days at a time in November, and this affected my stats. So, I mainly relied on StatCounter but that’s when I suddenly noticed too that my stats were going down.

Yet, my Alexa Rank kept improving.

CloudFlare’s Analytics

This got me thinking that perhaps CloudFlare‘s analytics were more accurate, assuming that my site traffic is funneling through CloudFlare’s name servers. This is also how they handle Spammers and Hackers, flagging potential malicious threats to my site.

Chart: Last 7 Days

CloudFlare Analytics

Chart: Page Views, Last 7 Days

CloudFlare Analytics

CloudFlare states that my site traffic shouldn’t be affected, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I think CloudFlare’s stats are more accurate, and shows better results.

With all respect to StatCounter, they seem to be missing a lot of site traffic.

What CloudFlare Says

CloudFlare’s analytics are often more accurate than other services that rely on JavaScript.

Google Analytics and other web-based analytics programs track visitors that trigger JavaScript. As a result, threats, bots and automated crawlers are not recorded since these visitors typically do not trigger JavaScript. These services also don’t track visitors who leave a page before it is fully loaded or have Javascript disabled. CloudFlare tracks all of your traffic by requests, so your CloudFlare visitor number is most likely higher.

Keep in mind: CloudFlare can only track visitors that go through the CloudFlare system, which is represented by an orange cloud on your DNS settings page.

CloudFlare states that their Analytics are more accurate than other Analytics services.

Indeed, CloudFlare’s statistics do seem more accurate. And it seems logical that certain site traffic will be hidden from other Web Statistics services:

  • Visitors might disable Javascript in their web browsers. It’s true that some people turn off Javascript when surfing the web.
  • Threats, bots and other automated crawlers might not be detected. This is something to bear in mind, as certain traffic could fall under the radar of other Web Statistics services. Also, some web surfers surf the web anonymously through third party, online services. However, I don’t know how much of a factor that would be.
  • Other services might not track visitors who leave before a page is fully loaded. Since CloudFlare tracks visitors from the initial page request side, they claim to track all visitors, even if they quickly leave before a web page is fully loaded.

In Summary

I will continue to monitor both my StatCounter stats and CloudFlare’s Analytics, and compare the results in the next few weeks. Also, site traffic tends to decline a bit for personal blogs, since the Holiday Season causes many to be pre-occupied with Holiday stuff.

Comments

comments

Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

2 thoughts on “CloudFlare: Comparing CloudFlare’s Analytics to Other Services

  • Thursday February 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    Ok. Now I know why my stats goes higher when using CF.

  • Wednesday June 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    Permalink

    I use CloudFlare and Statcounter plus a number of other things to monitor my sites.

    My question to you is – Does your StatCounter show visits from CloudFlare as mine does?

    I have the free CloudFlare service and it crawls every 9 days and the StatCounter numbers attest to that.

    Old post but I hope to hear back.

    Thanks,

    Don

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