Free Hosted Analytics Providers that Aren't Google


#1

Given Google tracks most of the Internet and is likely EVIL despite the fact they weren’t supposed to be but probably are due to their ad business let’s use this thread to share alternatives to the data behemoth which controls most of your life besides Facebook.

I’ll start with one shared with me by an After Dark user: https://metrica.yandex.com/. Metrica is 100% free for life and hosted (so it’s really, really free), has plebeian-approachable usage policies and supports heat maps and all the stuff you need to understand UX. And my favorite part…It’s not Google!

What free, hosted analytics providers have you found?


#2

Excuse me for being cynical and apologies to any Russian Hugo’ites here.

Given that this is connected to a major service based in Russia and given the issues many of us are currently facing with apparently state-sponsored hacking and misinformation from said state.

I think that many of us may be very nervous about using such a resource.


#3

Let me to tell you what I found out so far.

Site admins can set up Google Analytics without cookies and user identifiers. See how I did it over here

In the past I’ve tried the free StatCounter (not good) and back when I was using a traditional hosting company AWStats through cPanel (that was basically a glorified version of server logs).


#4

The intent here is information sharing. If you’d prefer to use a centralized analytics (and other other data) storage provider which Princeton Research has shown to have trackers in 75% of the top 1 million websites by all means please don’t let me stop you. But if you have an alternative to share, regardless of any ethnocentric views you may have, please by all means feel free to share it here.


#5

As mentioned in the GDPR thread Matomo (formally Piwik) is a sensible ( read: open source, self hosted etc.) alternative to Google Analytics.


#6

Thanks for chiming in. Looking for hosted providers only here. Keen.io may be an alternative. But it’s not as batteries included as many might want. Thanks for bringing up the GDPR thread. This is the first I’d heard of it and @onedrawingperday also links to some GDPR-related discussion on GH above as well.


#7

IPFS? Works perfectly with Hugo as it is static :slight_smile:


#8

I love the marriage of blockchain tech and privacy. Will take a look into this. Thanks @olafghanizadeh.


#9

I love the sound of that! LOL! Thanks for the link.


#10

But perhaps not everyone is …

Matomo/Piwik does a hosted version too. But any hosted analytics solution surely presents many of the same privacy problems associated with Google only on a smaller scale.


#11

As far as I know, Russia is accused only of hacking the mail server Hillary Clinton. I have not heard of anyone accusing Russia of hacking static websites. I also want to recall that one of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, was born in the Soviet Union, and like Donald Trump can also be a Russian spy.


#12

@TotallyInformation @Mikhail

Please keep politics out of the forum or I’ll have to lock this topic.

Thanks!


#13

Hi @balibebas, I wasn’t trying to be critical of your suggestion - though it probably came across that way.

I guess the main thrust of what I was saying is that Yandex is a wannabe Google based in Russia. That raises a number of warning bells to me. I may, of course, be totally wrong as I’ve not investigated how their analytics service works.


#14

Hi, I don’t want to sidetrack this into something totally offtopic. I’m happy to talk about this in PM’s or another forum. I also don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat argument about our respective government’s approaches to cyber warfare nor about the politics of why Russia might be a particular focus for such issues right now. However, if you follow any of the government level security services across any EU/US/CAN government, you will see direct references to Russian state-sponsored hacking. Russia are certainly not alone as it would seem - and I do have some knowledge in this area - that ALL capable governments are doing this to some extent.

The key issue is about capability and government enforcement. Some governments are more able to force national organisations to do things than others are. This is the thrust behind recent announcements from EU/US governments regarding Chinese infrastructure equipment manufacturers. It isn’t necessarily that these organisations are doing something bad, it is that they could be forced to do so at any time by their governments.

Bringing this back to focus, the big issue on analytics right now is the EU GDPR law and the responsibilities it places on information providers and handlers. Swapping one potentially problematic analytics service for another of similar type is probably not sensible for anyone doing business or providing information that may be consumed in the EU at this point.


#15

Apologies - also that I replied before reading this. No more from me. Though in my defence, I did try to bring things back on topic.


#16

The first question I’d suggest anyone ask is: Do I need analytics?

A few years ago I removed Google Analytics from the sites I host because I felt it was slowing them down on first load. My customers are happy with a total visitors this year count and all I need are browser usage stats.

Your use case may be different, you may need them, but it’s worth asking because with frameworks like Bootstrap including GA code OOTB I suspect most devs don’t even think about it.

PS @TotallyInformation I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to point out that Yandex is hardly a less evil company than Google, given that the OP was expressly raising related issues with Google.


#17

Probably worth mentioning that Matomo (was Piwik) has a cloud hosted version available as well as self-hosting option.


#18

I did … :wink:


#19

That is a great question. I pulled GA from my sites (rather Google pulled it for me) when I canceled my account with them not too long ago as a step towards beefing up privacy. Having heat maps for clicks can be very useful for UX as I’ve noticed users tend to click on typos (silly but true). For sites without ads it’s helpful to have a way to track referral link clicks. But all that can be done without Google using something more Spartan.

The more I think about it the more I’m starting to think the answer to “hosted” may rest on what comes of what @olafghanizadeh mentioned with IPFS. As distributed web takes shape with PubSub (already supported with IPFS JS libs it seems) this new tech may completely reshape the way we think about analytics anyway making this whole conversation moot.

Takeaway for me. Leave a feedback button and maybe track page views.


#20

Not mentioned yet but not as useful as it once was unless you’re lucky enough to be grandfathered under a legacy plan is Segment.io. Using Segment you can track all the good stuff in one place and then send it simultaneously to a number of analytics providers, or even an S3 bucket, for further processing. The nice thing about Segment is that it makes integrating with various providers a cinch.