Growing with the Web

Replacing Google Analytics

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I’ve been on Google Analytics pretty much since moving the site off of Blogger. Technically if you use GA now you require a cookie consent dialog which got me thinking why I actually use GA.

Google Analytics has always been a nice to have for this site but I never scratched the surface with what it’s capable of (nor did I have any desire to). After some research I found that with GDPR you cannot use Google Analytics in any form without showing a consent dialog, I felt it was time to move to an alternative. I started thinking about what I needed and it came down to this list:

  • Page counts: What pages are the most popular?
  • Referrers: Who is linking to the site?
  • OS: How is the site viewed?
  • Locations: This is just interesting

Considering this is all I needed and the fact that Google seems to be on a mission to disappoint me by shutting down beloved services like Reader and Play Music, I decided to look for an alternative. I stumbled upon GoatCounter which ticks all these boxes as well as being open source ♥ and having a free tier with 6 months data retention. I turned it on about 3 weeks ago and don’t have any complaints yet. Quite the opposite actually, I reported an issue to the repo which was fixed in literally 3 minutes by (@arp242) and he also just introduced a new €5/month plan that fills the gap between the free and €15/month plans.

You can check out a demo of GoatCounter here if you’re interested in switching too.

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