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Two Google Analytics alternatives (and one of them is free!)

If you are currently building a new website, you probably want to count your visitors. And you are probably going to use Google analytics as your go-to solution; I mean, are there any legit competitor out there?

Since the beginning of time, Google Analytics has been around, and it's likely the most used analytics tool on the world wide web. But there are plenty of new competitors that promise to make your life easier as a dev. But do they worth a try for your next personal project?

Google Analytcs is watching you

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free analytics tool to track your website visitor's activity. You can see them come and go on your website, what pages they visited, what time they spent on those pages, and a lot more.

But nowadays, Google Analytics has become more and more complex. They are adding features to track users with more precisions than ever. Google Analytics can track EVERY single button and every little choice you make.That's a shame. And your visitors won't like that, especially if you are launching a project as simple as this Blog.

Plus, you'll need to comply with the RGPD, and it can be a real pain in the ass as a developer: you'll need to implement a cookie banner, save user preferences, and more. Boring.

Alternatives

User privacy is becoming a marketing tool: the less you track your user, the more they will enjoy your website.

So let me show you two Google Analytics alternatives that, as a developer, will make your life easier and will not track users personal data:

  • You won't need to add any Cookie banner
  • The integration is blazing fast
  • They are both Open source, and you can also use them as a self-hosted solution

Plausible: The paid alternative

Plausible is by far my favorite Google Analytics alternative. But it is not cheap: it will cost you $90 / year for up to 10000 visitors/month.

With that, you'll get access to a fancy UI with all the stats you need: live visitors, sources, visitors location (country), top pages, and more. Plus, adding Plausible to any existing website is simple. All you need to do is add the following script into the of your website :

<script
  defer
  data-domain="yourwebsite.co"
  src="https://plausible.io/js/plausible.js"
></script>

And that's it! How cool is that?!

Goat Counter: The free alternative

Goat Counter UI is not as good as Plausible, but the implementation is the same:

<script
  data-goatcounter="https://your-id.goatcounter.com/count"
  async
  src="//gc.zgo.at/count.js"
></script>

Goat Counter doesn't have a "live" counter like Plausible but has another significant advantage: it's entirely free for non-commercial projects. And they also consider side-projects that make "pocket money" as personal projects.

You should go Google Analytics-less

...at least for all your side projects! I don't use Google Analytics anymore for all my projects. Instead, I'm a happy Plausible user.

And if all you need is to get some basics stats such as your monthly visitors, you should also give it a try. It's more effortless to implement than Google Analytics, and it respects your user privacy.

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