Keeping myself motivated to write.

One of the things that eventually became apparent to me as I promised myself to write more and more on this blog: I needed some visibility.

Am I getting any readership at all? Or am I just talking into a void? If I have readers, which of my content is getting views?

Being privacy-conscious, the last thing I wanted to do was pull up the Google Analytics dashboard, copy its snippet on to this site, and call it a day.

So, I looked around.

Picking an analytics service

Netlify

While I no longer use Netlify (more on that soon), their Analytics product looked good. They would simply expose the data from their server logs in a nice UI, zero JavaScript involved.

With no free tier in place, I opened a feature request on their community forums for a cheaper tier than the one they have as on the date of my request – $9/month.

I’m a freelance developer from India. I have a small blog on a site I host on Netlify that I’d like some visibility on. Are there any plans for a cheaper tier? 25k pageviews for $9/mo or $90/yr is simply out of my budget, and of most Indians too. Perhaps something in the range of $3/mo or $30/yr for 7.5k-8.5k views? I do feel there’s an economic sweet spot for the non-US people using Netlify that goes unrecognized in most tech companies. Perhaps this could be useful for even smaller, indie blogs within the US.

Google Play store has regional pricing on many apps and games, which allows people like me to be able to afford paid tiers even when I’m not making my money in USD.

Unfortunately, a response from their Support Engineer indicates this is not going to change anytime soon. That said, I still hope it was at least discussed internally, and even put into a Someday list.

Piwik/Matomo

Almost instinctively, the next search was for Piwik, having heard great reviews on multiple platforms over the years.

Rebranded as Matomo Analytics, even their regional pricing was not convincing.

As of today, it stands at ₹1590/month for just 3 sites and an appropriately set 50,000 page-views limit. By PPP, that’s an astonishing US$87/month, approximately. Or without PPP, still an enormous $US21/month, approximately.

This was not sustainable in the slightest.

Plausible

I came across Marko Saric promoting Plausible Analytics as an alternative to Google’s offering on Fosstodon, and decided to check that out next.

Honestly, they look like the most balanced analytics service for someone just starting out. It’s a relatively new startup, but the product on offer seems good. Their user-interface is simple and clean, and they don’t use cookies. No configuration is needed to get analytics up and running. It works out of the box. Part of that is of course how limited the information is — it fits on a single page — and that’s a good thing!

My search ended with Plausible. It’s a pay-only service but has a relatively affordable tier at US$5/month or US$48/year for unlimited sites and 10,000 page-views per month across all sites added.

I have also taken the time to create an idea for PPP pricing on their ideas page. I hope it sees light of day one day.

Five weeks in, how do I feel?

I have had Plausible on my site for about five weeks now.

Notably, I have:

Well, then… do I feel motivated?

It seems a little pointless now, that I ever was concerned. Of course, I do feel motivated! I am thrilled! 😄

These might look like rookie numbers or accomplishments, but I want to acknowledge that this is already much more than I expected when I started with the resolve to write more.

I also know that by promoting my RSS/Atom feed as the primary and only subscription method, I lose out on some analytics, but I really don’t care. Every one should have the option to read my blog however they best feel comfortable and whatever they find convenient.

Privacy policy

I have also incorporated a privacy policy on my site now, which includes information on analytics, how I use them, and how you can opt out — psst… just add goals.rusingh.com to your ad block filters.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email and I’ll add more details to the page if required.