For the longest time, I’ve used Google Analytics to power the analytics of this blog.
It was an ok solution.
I never particularly liked Google Analytics as a product. It’s super bloated. Has tons and tons of features I never used that maybe could have be hidden behind an “advanced” flag.
But hey, it was free.
But a few days ago I removed it.
The main reason is that this year Google Analytics in the format I used up to now (Universal Analytics) will be disabled, and the new “Google Analytics 4” will be forced for everyone.
And.. drumroll… 🥁 …with no one-click or automatic migration for all the old data.
That forced me out of inertia and laziness, to look for something else.
I tried a few solutions.
Here’s the thing. I never want to self-host anything.
I also don’t want to pay for a service.
The amount of pageviews this blog gets make every hosted solution impractical.
I can’t spend hundreds and hundreds of € every year just to see how many clicks my site gets.
I don’t think analytics are that important for me.
In the beginning it was very cool to see anyone looking at my site. A spike here and there, where do people come from, etc.
What I care about is that the site is working, not how many thousands people visited today.
It can be a valuable metric for other people, but I don’t actually care that much.
I can assume people visit the site, how many I don’t know but what’s the difference between say 5000 and 20000? It’s still a lot of people.
It’s really fun to watch smaller sites grow, but once a site has reached this level, hundreds of thousands of visitors every month, it’s.. done.
I thought about removeing analytics completely, but who knows, maybe in the future those metrics could be useful to look back to.
So I set up a self-hosted version of Plausible Analytics, which is a great tool but I could not justify the price for the views this blog gets, plus all the other sites I have.
I still paid them a year of the hosted plan, as a thank you for making it open source and easy to set up.