Here are 6 Google Analytics alternatives that care about your privacy
I tried out many analytics SaaS on my blog to find a great alternative for my tracking needs. I was using Google Analytics before, but now I want to use something that cares about my and other user’s privacy.
My feature requests are very simple:
- tracks page views without using cookies
- can track events
- offers a way to use a custom domain to deny ad blockers
- (optional) possibility to share the dashboard via a link
Most alternatives I found offer (most of) those features and even more. Before going over each alternative, I want to talk about why you might want to get rid of Google Analytics.
Why you should not use Google Analytics
Privacy. Google Analytics is a free service from Google. When something is free, you probably will be paying with something else. In Google’s case, you will be paying with the data that you collect for them. Google is a big ad company that generates money by using your data. So this is one big reason not to use Google Analytics. I try to reduce my services that depend on Google and I always look for alternatives. Pieter Levels created a website where you can find alternatives for Google services called No More Google.
Cookies. Another reason why you might not want to use Google Analytics is that you will have to show those ugly cookie banners. If you are using services that put cookies on your site you will have to show those cookie banners to stay GDPR compliant. You will also have to put in place the option to opt-out of it and have a policy page. It’s not that difficult to implement, but you could skip it.
Complex Dashboard. Google Analytics is way more than just tracking pageviews, therefore it has lots of features and the dashboard is not that easy to use. If you only want to track page views and maybe some events then I think Google Analytics is overkill for your use case.
Ad-Blockers. If you use Google Analytics you will not track all page views, because of the well-known domain name that it is blocked by most ad blockers. With other services, you can use a custom domain that is not blocked by ad blockers and you will get way more analytics data.
In the next sections, I want to give you an overview of 6 different analytics services that I can recommend without blinking an eye. Some of them are free to use and open-source, others will require a subscription.
Frustrated with Google Analytics? So are we and that's why we built Plausible Analytics, a simple, lightweight (< 1…
Simple and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics
Plausible Analytics is one of my favorite Analytics services I have used.
The UI is very modern and clean, it is privacy-friendly, can track multiple websites in one account, you can self-host it because it is open source, it allows the use of custom domains, sends you weekly or monthly reports and much more.
It ticks almost every checkbox of the features I need and if it is not currently implemented it will be soon. Plausible Analytics is working on more features and they have a public roadmap where you can see what will be added next!
I like to host services myself therefore I love that Plausible is open source and that I can host it myself. Of course, with self-hosting, I need to take care that the server is always online and the database is backed up regularly.
If I don’t want to do that, I can let Plausible take care of it for a very fair price depending on the amount of traffic you have. They even offer a free trial of 30 days without requiring a credit card.
https://usefathom.com/ (affiliate link)
Your website analytics should be simple, fast and privacy-focused
Fathom is one of the first analytics SaaS that focused on privacy.
It offers a clean and easy to use dashboard with only the information that you will need. You can use your Fathom account for multiple websites, the pricing is fair, you can use custom domains and you can track events by creating goals.
They are currently working on new branding and as it looks like a new dashboard with additional features like API access.
Additional to analytics Fathom also provides website monitoring. You can get notified if your website ever goes offline and that is included with your account for FREE!
Recently Fathom published the Phantom Analyzer. A simple tool where you can check if a site is using some shady trackers or if your site is trackers free.
If you care about privacy then I would suggest that you check out Fathom. They offer 7 days free trial and if you decide to delete your account, they make sure that your data is gone for good!
own your website analytics
Umami is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics developed by Mike Cao that you can host yourself.
Umami offers simple page and event tracking with a beautiful minimalistic UI. You can add as many websites as you like. Create a shareable link for the analytics and see real-time visitors.
I like how simple and clean the dashboard from Umami is. New features and improvements are added regularly. Hosting is very easy too and documented well!
Hosting the analytics service yourself will allow you full control of the data that is tracked of your visitors. As I already said if tracking data is critical for you, you should probably invest some time into setting up some backup strategies. Therefore Umami is “free”, but you will have to pay with your own time and stress I guess 😅
https://simpleanalytics.com/ (affiliate link)
Simple, clean, and friendly analytics
I found Simple Analytics via Twitter and thought I might check it out too.
Simple Analytics offers privacy-friendly analytics that won’t sell your data. It has a strong focus on being privacy-friendly and transparent with what it will track and store.
You will see all the important information you need at a glance with a beautiful dashboard. Event tracking is possible but stated as being highly experimental.
Simple Analytics have a public roadmap too, where you can see what will be implemented next and even request missing features!
Splitbee - Your friendly all-in-one analytics & conversion tool
Splitbee helps us measure and improve our onboarding process easier than with Mixpanel. The granularity and the simple…
Your friendly all-in-one analytics & conversion tool.
Splitbee is a bit different than the other analytics SaaS, as it offers additional features too that are not only focusing on analytics.
Splitbee offers a modern UI where you can see your top pages and top sources in addition to how many unique users you got in that period.
Additional to analytics you can do automation where you can send emails or trigger a webhook when a certain event or pageview happens.
You can do “experiments” like A/B testing or Redirect testing.
If you are using Splitbee with your app where users sign in you can identify users so you can track them and see how they interact with your app.
I haven’t used many of the offered features besides page and event tracking. I could add automation where I send myself a message when some successfully sign up for my newsletter, which is neat.
Matomo - The Google Analytics alternative that protects your data
Matomo's the Google Analytics alternative that protects your data and your customer's privacy. A powerful web analytics…
Google Analytics alternative that protects your data and your customers’ privacy
Matomo is probably the most known alternative to Google Analytics. I have used it for some time, but I am not a big fan of it because it offers way too much functionality for my use case.
It is probably the most mature alternative to Google Analytics as it offers a great selection of plugins and settings. If you just need to track page views with some events then I think Matomo might not be the best choice.
Like Plausible Analytics and Umami, you can host Matomo yourself which I think is great!
You see that there are many great alternatives for Google Analytics out there that focus on privacy and won’t sell your data.
I think there is no need to continue using Google Analytics for simple projects that won’t use any other Google Services.
If you care about privacy you should probably switch to one of the mentioned alternatives.
Every single product I mentioned offer great features and I can recommend them all. I wish I could use all of them, but that would be counterproductive to bloat a website with all possible trackers 😁
I think Plausible Analytics is the one that speaks to me the most. I like the UI and the reason that it is open source. They have a great product and offer a good service with their hosted solution which allowed them to reach an MRR of over 6K$.
Do you still use Google Analytics and if so are you thinking about using an alternative? Let me know what you think in the comments I am very interested to hear what you have to share!
Originally published at https://phiilu.com on November 9, 2020.