Two Types Of Trackers

Although the operation of ad tracking programs is basically the same there is an important distinction between two types of programs

a) Tracking Software

You purchase the program outright and it is installed on your site.

If you have some technical knowledge you should be able to install it yourself otherwise the supplier will charge an installation fee.

If you want to learn how to carry out your own installations, here is an excellent article with ebooks for beginners.

There are certain pre-conditions and minimum software requirements for programs which run on your site, including access to the cgi-bin, so it's unlikely that free sites will qualify.

Your tracking URLs carry your own domain name.

b) Tracking Service

The program runs at the supplier site. You pay a rental (monthly or yearly) for the program.

Your tracking URLs carry the supplier domain name.

So what are the pros and cons of either arrangement ?

 

Pros

Cons

(a) Tracking Software

1. You are not dependent on another company e.g if their site goes down or the company folds

1. Your site needs to provide the system resources (e.g disk space for program and tracking files)

2. If there are program upgrades they will need to be re-installed

(b) Tracking Service

1. The program operates completely independently from your site - no software installation or use of your system resources (such as disk space) required

2. Program upgrades can be added transparently with no action required from you

1. You are dependent on the supplier company e.g if their site goes down or the company folds

 

There's an extended comparison chart in the free ebook Ad Tracking SuperTips

Next: How to choose