Chapter 04

Set Up Your Account

By Anna Tomalik

Now that you know why and how you are collecting data, it’s time to turn on Piwik PRO.

Getting started with Piwik PRO is a multi-step process that requires adding a website, installing a tracking code, adding users, and adjusting privacy settings. Follow our guidelines to set everything up well.

Website

To start off, you need to add a website that you want to track in Piwik PRO.

To add a website, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Administration.
  2. Click Create new website or app.
  3. Enter a website’s name and URL. If you want to have more domains combined under one website, add more URLs. When you’re done, click Save.

Tip: We advise you to create a separate website for a member site, help center, developers site, or blog. And not to mix data from these sites under one website. It’ll help you keep data clean, and you’ll have a better view on different groups of your visitors — signup customers, customers who are looking for help, developers, and readers of the blog.

Website settings

Before we move on to implementing a tracking code, you can adjust a few options for your website. For starters, we find these three settings the most useful.

  1. Go to Menu > Administration.
  2. Select a website and start exploring Settings.
  3. Choose a time zone for which you want to see the data. It could be your time zone or the time zone of your website. For example, if most of your customers are using your site in a different country and time zone, it could be a good idea to view your data in that time zone.
  4. Ignore traffic coming from your company by excluding your IP address. Unless you want to, you don’t have to track your own actions. People in your company interact with your website differently than other visitors. By ignoring data about their behavior, you will see the actions of external visitors better.
  5. Exclude URL parameters that clutter reports with long and irrelevant query strings. First, create a list of all parameters that are being attached to your URLs, then decide which ones are important for you. For example, you could keep parameters showing the name of a referral site or a campaign, but exclude parameters used for managing cookies.
  6. Tip: For our website, we decided to exclude these parameters: _hssc, __hstc, __hsfp, hsCtaTracking, fbclid, ttv.

  7. When you finish with the settings, click Save.

Installation

After setting up your website in Piwik PRO, you need to add a tracking code to the website. For each added website, there is a separate tracking code. So make sure you are using the code relevant for the website you’re installing it to.

To install a tracking code, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Menu > Administration.
  2. Select a website for which you need a tracking code.
  3. Navigate to Installation.
  4. Under Container code for asynchronous tags, click Copy to clipboard.
  5. Paste the code to each page of your website just after the opening <body> tag.

If everything went fine, you will soon see data on dashboard in Analytics. Data in the reports should appear in one hour from the time of installation, but if your website has lots of traffic, it could take up to several hours.

Tip: In case you’re planning to use Tag Manager for A/B test, you will have to install a synchronous tag along with an asynchronous one. It’ll prevent a page from loading a default version before a tested version. You will find the synchronous tracking code in Menu > Websites > Installation, under Container code for synchronous tags.

User

If you’re planning on using Piwik PRO in your team, you will have to invite your teammates. Each Piwik PRO account has two levels of access available for users: Owner and User. And every website has five types of permissions: Manage, Edit & Publish, Edit, View, and No Access.

The difference between Owner and User is:

  • An Owner is the primary contact for the account and can perform all actions in the account, including adding a website, inviting other users to join, assigning a user level, and granting permissions for a website.
  • A User can do only specific actions, depending on the type of permission they have for each website. By default, every new User doesn’t have access to anything.

We’ll start with adding a new user and setting up a user level, then we’ll explain how to grant permissions for a website.

To add a new user, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Administration.
  2. Navigate to Users.
  3. Select Add new user.
  4. Input your teammate’s email, add a password, and click Save.
  5. On the left-hand list, click on the user’s email.
  6. In Privileges, choose the level of access you want to grant to this user, and click Save.

Piwik PRO doesn’t send invitation emails to new users, so you’ll have to pass on to your teammate the link to the sign-in page, their email address (used for signing in), and the password that you chose for them.

Now, let’s move on to managing permissions. For each website and each user you can assign the following permissions:

  • Manage: The user can view and edit websites, view, edit, and publish tags, import and export audiences, manage permissions, and use Consent Manager. But they can’t add a website or a new user.
  • Edit & Publish: The user can do the same actions as on the Manage level, except they can’t manage permissions.
  • Edit: The user can view and edit websites, view and edit tags, import and export audiences and change general options. But they can’t publish a tag, manage permissions, and use Consent Manager.
  • View: The User can view websites, tags, and export audiences.
  • No access: The User doesn’t have access to anything.

To assign permissions to users, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Administration.
  2. Select a website for which you want to grant permissions.
  3. Click Permissions and choose an option for a user.

If you have many websites and users, assign permissions for each website and each user. Otherwise, your teammates will stay with no access, at all.

Privacy

The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, regulates how personal data of European Union residents can be collected, used, and processed. Under the GDPR, consent is required for each collection and use of personal data.

By default, Piwik PRO collects data only from the visitors that agreed to cookies policy on your website. So you are following EU privacy guidelines. Yet, you can choose to respect your users’ privacy better, by masking their IP address or honoring a do-not-track option.

Because we strongly support data privacy on the web, by default Piwik PRO masks 2 last bytes of a visitor’s IP address. This may make data about location inaccurate, but it’ll be a fair option if you choose to be respectful to your users’ privacy. However, if you want to select other option like 1 or 3 bite masking, or a full anonymization, you’re free to do that.

The masked characters of the IP address appear as zeroes on the IP addresses in the reports. Depending on the masking option you choose, you will see an IP address like that: 192.168.100.0, 192.168.0.0, or 192.0.0.0.

To anonymize visitor’s IP address, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics settings.
  2. From the left-hand list, select Privacy.
  3. Choose an option for making users anonymous, and click Save.

Oftentimes, users that don’t want to be tracked by websites, enabled a do-not-track setting in their browser. In that case, the browser will send a do-not-track request to websites and apps. Such a request may be respected or ignored by a website or app.

By default, Piwik PRO respects a do-not-track option and doesn’t record visits from users who don’t want to be tracked. Yet, you can change these setting, if you wish to.

To change a do-not-track option, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics settings.
  2. From the left-hand list, select Privacy.
  3. Scroll down until you see Support Do Not Track preference.
  4. Choose an option for a do-not-track preference, and click Save.