Analytics Analysis

When it comes to tracking and analyzing a website‘s traffic, Google Analytics (GA) seems to be the obvious choice: everyone knows it, it’s powerful, it’s free, it’s used by millions of sites. 53 % of sites worldwide, to be precise. No wonder many clients ask for it and many people who build websites willingly add it to the sites they build and sell.

There are, however, a lot of downsides that come with using GA. And some of them are actually real downers. Using GA can be bad for the performance of your site, you are giving all the stats about your site to the largest ad-tech firm in the world for free (that companies readily do this still blows my mind), and most people will never use it for more than to occasionally access a few (often partially inaccurate) stats, also lacking any proper strategy on which insights they really want to collect and how to translate those insights into real action. The most daunting drawbacks, however, are related to privacy and regulations like GDPR. When you add GA to a site, it will transfer personal information to Google, so you not only have to adjust your privacy policy accordingly but also obtain consent from your users. The same goes for the cookies that GA stores on your users’ machines. Using GA means that your site needs a cookie consent banner – lovely!

Looks like there are many good reasons to look for alternatives to Google Analytics. And thankfully, there are quite a few these days, many of which not only provide a nice set of features but are also privacy-focused and often even cookie-free.

Here’s a short list of some interesting options. Many of them were suggested to me by all the lovely people who replied to a post of mine on Mastodon. By the way: if you ask a question on Mastodon, you’ll receive so many helpful answers – it’s wild! Imagine Twitter but with real human interaction.

Also, Pelle shared a link to a longer list of European alternatives to GA.


35 Webmentions

Photo of @nhoizey
@nhoizey I don’t care! 😊; It depends on the project and what insights you want to get. So if server/logs-based solutions are sufficient, e.g. for getting page views, that’s even better I guess.
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott are you looking only for JS based frontend solutions, or would you consider backend solutions like Netlify Analytics, more based on server/edge logs?
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott big +1 to Plausible. Strikes a really nice balance of simplicity and utility due to how filtering works.
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott The title is a little misleading. Many of these are not real GA alternatives. But then again, most people only use a fraction of the features. Matomo is pretty close in terms of features. The rest are great analytics tools but not very comparable to GA.
Photo of
RT ✍;️; New post: Analytics Analysis There are many privacy-first, cookie-free alternatives to Google Analytics available these days. Time to use them!……
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott I’m on team Plausible. Does the tiny job I need, very well.