We starting using @plausible on our website as a way to see which pages people spent the most time on, which pages made people leave, and which pages need improvement (our new feedback buttons at the bottom of each page are powered by Plausible!). In our effort to be as transparent as possible, those statistics are now open to the public:

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I'd like to ask @privacyguides - out of the viable & affordable alternatives to the web analytics functionality of GA, why @plausible?

Don't get me wrong - I think Plausible it's great, but I wrote a post a while ago (like everyone else after the Austrian DSB decision) about alternatives, and it wouldn't have been an obvious decision to me.

By sharing you can help others to make up their minds as well, specially now that GA is sunsetting.
#privacy #dataprivacy #dataprotection

@alberto I would be interested to see that post/which alternatives you explored. It's really as simple as Plausible providing the features we need as well as the privacy protections our users deserve.

@jonah Exactly, at the end of the day it's all about picking a software that fulfils the needs of the organisation.

What I'm interested in is understanding the arguments that motivate choosing one option over the other, since the positioning of many of the options is really similar - although not identical.

Here's the post, please feel free to share your thoughts:

Note: I use the blog to pour my data protection/privacy thoughts, but always open to new topics.

@alberto so we considered a few different options.

Matomo was out of the question because it uses cookie-based tracking, which seems overkill in 2022. It also simply collects far too much mostly irrelevant information as a result, when we are only interested in certain key metrics (mainly visitor counts, visit times, and bounce rates). We think Plausible's approach with no IP logging is better for user privacy than even the anonymized IP logging Matomo does.

@alberto We didn’t look at Fathom, but self-hosting was a priority for us, so we couldn’t go with any hosted-only services. We host Plausible ourselves rather than use, because we want to eliminate any third-party scripts on our site.

We looked at some other self-hosted alternatives like Umami analytics, which was probably our next closest pick, but Plausible supported a bit more features...

@alberto Its Google Search Console integration is neat example of this, because I previously didn’t have a way to share things like search keywords with team members without Google accounts.

@alberto We also looked at some server-side analytics platforms, but we found them to generally be inaccurate. We would have been over-counting which is less useful than under-counting IMO. They would have also required keeping server logs in the first place, which we wanted to avoid. They wouldn’t have provided some metrics like visit times that really require client-side analytics.

@alberto And also, server-side analytics would have been impossible to let users opt-out of. While I hope people generally don’t opt-out since we’re doing everything in a privacy respecting way, running client-side JS always gives users a variety of methods to opt-out of any tracking whatsoever.

@alberto One thing I do wish @plausible had is image-based/no-script tracking, but it wasn't really worth switching to another solution for that alone.

One final thing we considered and tried to go with was choosing a project with a sustainable business model. We like businesses like Plausible which can sustain themselves while publishing fully free and open-source software, which is super important.

@jonah really nice and useful insights. I'd like to suggest that you put together all these thoughts in a post/case study. I'll give you the title: "Beyond the Riddle of GA: Move Forward by Choosing the Best Alternative" 😄

No, seriously, companies/organizations are really lost (and they'll be for a while) and they could learn from others' decisions - I could give a hand if you wanted.

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