An associate of mine called me up today asking about Google Analytics in Joomla. Which extension is best? This was one of the easiest answers I have had to provide recently but I am not surprised that the decision was not so obvious. There are several Joomla extensions that allow website owners to install Google Analytics into their site. However, all but one of these extensions fails to make the grade and it’s for one simple reason.

Google analytics requires site owners to place a line of Google code into each page of their site. Almost all of the Google Analytics extensions for Joomla do this by installing the code within a module which is not ideal, and even bad in some cases. Many users have issues with the module-based solutions and then there is always the concern that the module will not load or has a conflict. Anytime that happens, you will lose some of your statistics and tracking which defeats the purpose of using Google Analytics in the first place.

So my only recommendation to Joomla 1.5 users is to install Big Shot Google Analytics. It is a plugin (as opposed to a module) that “searches your page for and adds the code right above it, just like Google recommends.” I have installed it on numerous sites with no issues whatsoever. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because you’ll need to get hot and heavy with all of analytics’ settings if you want to really understand how your users are using your site.