I've really come to appreciate the scalability and extreme precision that Mr. Inman's Mint deals, especially after receiving a major increase in visitors after having several of my articles on Digg. Mint has become a valuable tool for helping me determining the performance of my websites and where I should focus my attention if I see that users like a certain type of content more than others. To show my gratitude to Mint, I will list and rank my favorite Peppers for Mint. Peppers are plugins that dramatically enhance the functionality of Mint. If you recall from a previous Mint post, the Pepper API sold me. It allows anyone to spend some time and make an excellent addition to Mint. Alright, enough babbling, now to some serious business! Note: I am only ranking the Peppers that I use. For example, I don't use the Feedburner stats Pepper, but I hear its great.
1. FreshView by Kyle Rove FreshView sports the latest in Scalable Vector Graphics, a technology emerging in the newest web browsers (old ones can be retrofitted with a download from Adobe). FreshView visually shows you what your stats are; during the past day, week, month or year. I always check this pepper first. Simple yet stunning. Nice work Kyle!
2. XXX Strong Mint by Nathan Kunicki Now we're getting into the more technical stuff. XXX Strong Mint not only logs your visitors' IP's but tells you where they came from and what pages of yours they accessed. It also sniffs out their hostname and can do on-the-fly reverse DNS lookups. You can sort by most recent hits or repeat hits. You can even search for a particular IP. However, the coolest feature regards proxied visitors. If you hover over a proxied IP, which are in red, it will show you their real IP and hostname. Great stuff.
3. Referrer Rollup by Scott McMillin A relatively late addition to the pepper lineup, Referrer Rollup has quickly climbed up my ranks to becoming one of my favorite peppers. It groups referrers together so you can easily make sense of who gives you the most visitors.
4. Outclicks by Andrew Sutherland Outclicks does the opposite of finding referrers; it tells you how they leave your site. It's a great little asset. I don't think it can be described any better than its author said it...
Where do all those people go when they leave?
5. Current Activity by Mika Tuupola Current Activity shows you the latest visitors, by IP, you've had and what pages they accessed as well as how long ago. By default, it displays visitors in the last 15 minutes, but after getting Digg'd twice I've had to set this down to 5 minutes so I don't have to scroll a bunch to see my other peppers.
6. Download Counter by Steve Smith There's not much to say about Download Counter. It does one thing and it does it very well.
7. Parsel by Marc A. Garret Parsel shows you what language your visitor's default language. Not much use to me, but nonetheless something interesting to look at from time to time.
8. Sparks! by Colby Makowsky and Marc A. Garret This is sort of like a mini-FreshView. It displays all the same stats, but in small graphs in one frame so you can get a real quick idea of what's happening.
9. User Agent Pies by Scott McMillin User Agents Pies takes the data captured by Shaun Inman's User Agent 007 pepper and magically transforms them into handy pie charts. By now you should be catching the trend that eye candy makes me happy.
That's it for my Pepper ranking rant, but I really want to mention how much I love the Jr. Mint widget. I check it more than any pepper. I might update this post later on if I find any new peppers that are worthy of being ranked. Update: Check out this Mint widget for Konfabulator.