Privacy-First Analytics

How to respect your users and still monitor performance

Privacy & analytics - a contradiction?

When building this very web app, I set myself the goal of not peeping on the millions and billions of users that will read my code guides and articles. I've used Google Analytics in the past (who hasn't?), and the set of features it offers is just huge. One could even argue too much for a vast majority of website owners. Applying the 20/80 rule, at least from my experience, not more than 20 % of Google Analytics will be used and just end up delivering data to Google.

And so I took a look at what the web has to offer in terms of simple, lightweight and focused analytical services that don't collect any personal data.

A Google Analytics alternative

Here's the tl;dr:

  • no GDPR-banner, as no personal data is collected
  • whatever service you use (I've linked them below in the addendum), each requires a rather small subscription fee, mostly in the range of a few bucks - a no-brainer if you're serious about privacy-first analytics, as they have to keep up servers as well
  • many European providers, which for me as an European myself, is a welcome change to the mostly US-based products
  • the analytics-script is super lightweight
  • the analytics-data is sufficient for simple purposes

I've picked and am happy with it. Plausible checks all boxes for my requirement, offers a nice UI, is instantly up-to-date with live data and has a very fair price plan.

Trust is a good thing, but control is a better one

If you want, you can even choose to self-host the brains that power plausible, as they offer the core product as Open Source Software. Nice!

  • Tom