When you hear the word “web analytics” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If it’s “Google Analytics” that means that you’re smarter than the average bear.
If you’re using Google Analytics, that also means that you’re doing the analytics game all wrong.
Jump over the break to see why…
As of October 2022, Google Analytics is tracking almost 86% of all internet traffic.
In other words, the internet traffic is tracked by a single company who also happens to be the largest advertising company in the world. Coincidence?
Why is Google Analytics so popular?
First of all it’s free. Of course it’s free, when you’re the product.
Second of all, it was launched in 2005. Just in time for the web 2.0 boom. So it’s pretty much baked into our conscience as one of the first thing we need to install when we launch a website or app.
Even free and open source software, like Homebrew, is using Google Analytics.
NOTE: I’m not calling out Homebrew. It’s just the first piece of FOSS software, that also happens to use GA, that popped in my mind.
You can turn off analytics usage. Check out the link above to learn how to do it.
The problem with Google Analytics
Well, I think this one is pretty obvious and it was already highlighted above.
Most of the internet traffic is tracked by a single company who also happens to be the largest advertising company in the world.
That’s it, end of story.
But let’s pretend that we live in a perfect world and this issue doesen’t exist.
Let’s also pretend that you’re a website or app owner and you want to get more insight into what’s going on with your digital property, for improvements and/or monetization purposes.
Installing Google Analytics might be a mistake. Here’s a few reasons why:
- GA is no doubt a powerful tool, but also way to complex and requires tens or hundreds of hours of training.
- Overkill. GA collects way to many data points.
- Bloat and will slow down your website.
- You’ll also need to make your website/app GDPR, CCPA and/or PECR compliant.
- Most probably will be blocked ( either by adblockers or modern browser ) which will result in innacurate data.
- GA is illegal in some countries in Europe. Most probably more to follow.
- Starting next year, Google will force you to move from Universal Analytics to GA4.
Google Analytics alternative
There’s nothing wrong with using analytics and there’s absolutely no reason to fly blind.
There’s no shortage of lightweight, privacy-friendly, easier to use and digest alternatives.
Starting today, FSM is using Plausible Analytics – an open source, simple, lightweight and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative.
This article is way to long as it is so, there’s no reason to make it even longer explaining why Plausible and what’s the difference between Plausible Analytics and Google Analytics or other similar options available on the market.
The Plausible website covers this in great detail. However I can give you the highlights:
- Simple and easy to understand with no prior training or experience. Check out the live dashboard of the Plausible Analytics website here.
- Data ownership of your analytics
- Compliance with privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA and PECR
- Lightweight script
- Made and hosted in the EU, powered by European-owned cloud infrastructure
- Self-hosting option ( Plausible Analytics on FSM is not self-hosted )
The documentation is also extremly well put together and it addresses any possible questions or roadblocks you might be facing.
Plausible Analytics Pricing
Unlike Google Analytics, Plausible isn’t free. Unless you choose to self-host it.
Plausible Analytics starts at $90/year for 10K monthly pageviews and can go as high as $1690/year for 10M monthly page views.
If you have more than 10M page views / month you’ll have to contact the team for a custom plan.
However, Plausible offers a 30-day free trial which is more than enough to try it and see if it’s worth it to invest in a plan.
Plausible Analytics also donates 5% of their gross revenue to environmental causes and open source projects.
If you’re currently using Google Analytics you can also use the free trial to compare the stats that you get in Google Analytics vs Plausible.
When you’re ready to finally switch away from Google Analytics, don’t worry. You won’t loose any data. You can esily import all of your Google Analytics data into Plausible Analytics.
For more info, and to start a free trial check out the Plausible Analytics website.