Many free web log analysis tools give you the basics, but stop short of providing the type of information that will really tell you where your potential customers are dropping off. The LevelTen Hit Counter is not a weblog analyzer; it keeps its own logs in your database. It uses cookie and IP tracking (which I should note is also available in standard weblogs, if you enable cookie logging) to try to provide a better view of what people are doing.
The hit counter has a Flash UI for looking at all of the data. This is where the tool looks great: not great cosmetically, but great in the data it provides. It keeps track of paths people followed through your site. This is the kind of data that can really help tune your site to make sure people are getting the information they want.
This is not a full review: this is mostly a memory jogger for myself. I just read the features list and played with the demo. I do intend to install the counter and see how it works in real life.
LevelTen Hit Counter is free, but it does have a catch. The EULA does not allow you to change the graphics: in other words, no invisible hit counter. I don’t think it’s too onerous having the logo at the bottom of your pages, but I’m certain there are people who will mind this restriction. It is also possible that LevelTen can track *your hit counts* if the image is not included in the distribution.
Update: I’ve installed this now and confirmed that the graphics are included in the package… so, LevelTen can’t track your hit counts. Groovy!