Time to upgrade Google Analytics?

upgrading from urchin to ga.js - whatwasithinkingIn April, Pingdom released information on their web monitoring survey of 10.000 well-known websites to discover who was using Google Analytics. The results – about half of the websites tested used Google Analytics, and 40% of those were still using the legacy tracking code urchin.js.

Just over a year ago, Google stopped supporting urchin in favour of their own ga.js tracking code, recommending everyone to switch over to the new tracking code…

The end of urchin

The new tracking code went live in December 2007, with the belief that Google would stop supporting the old script within a year after the release. Google’s statement says that here are ” no immediate plans to decommission urchin.js”, however once switched off, urchin will return a 404 error and consequently cease to register traffic.


Why GA.js?

If you used urchin.js up until now, this is what you might have been missing out on:

  • The new tracking code has a faster, smaller source file
  • Automatic detection of HTTPS
  • Increased namespace safety
  • More convenient set up for tracking ecommerce transactions
  • More customizable code for interactive Ajax-based sites
  • Enjoying new features and reports as they roll out


How to upgrade

Migrating to the new tracking code is relatively easy, a concise guide can be found directly at Google Analytics’ help pages here.


Related links:

One Comments

  • Ateizam

    July 29, 2009

    Well, I’m new to web so I didn’t even know about urchin.js. (-: I use Google Analytics from the start but I don’t understand one thing… I already posted this on one forum but I didn’t get the satisfying result. What happens is this: My site is Joomla based and I have a simple “who’s online” statistic which simply shows how many people is on my site at certain moment. The strange thing is that “who’s online” shows up to 20-30 people at a time, but the next day when I look the statistics in GA it shows I had 10 people online in a day. Maybe this question is not a subject for this article, but I found it appropriate to ask because it is about GA (-:

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