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Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

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 to¬≠day, it stands at ‚āĻ1590/month for just 3 sites and an ap¬≠pro¬≠pri¬≠ately set 50,000 page-views limit. By PPP, that‚Äôs an as¬≠ton¬≠ish¬≠ing US$87/month, ap¬≠prox¬≠i¬≠mately. Or with¬≠out PPP, still an enor¬≠mous $US21/month, ap¬≠prox¬≠i¬≠mately.

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 bal¬≠anced an¬≠a¬≠lyt¬≠ics ser¬≠vice for some¬≠one just start¬≠ing out. It‚Äôs a rel¬≠a¬≠tively new startup, but the prod¬≠uct on of¬≠fer seems good. Their user-in¬≠ter¬≠face is sim¬≠ple and clean, and they don‚Äôt use cook¬≠ies. No con¬≠fig¬≠u¬≠ra¬≠tion is needed to get an¬≠a¬≠lyt¬≠ics up and run¬≠ning. It works out of the box. Part of that is of course how lim¬≠ited the in¬≠for¬≠ma¬≠tion is — it fits on a sin¬≠gle page — and that‚Äôs 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 lit¬≠tle point¬≠less now, that I ever was con¬≠cerned. Of course, I do feel mo¬≠ti¬≠vated! I am thrilled! ūüėĄ These might look like rookie num¬≠bers or ac¬≠com¬≠plish¬≠ments, but I want to ac¬≠knowl¬≠edge that this is al¬≠ready much more than I ex¬≠pected when I started with the re¬≠solve 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 in¬≠cor¬≠po¬≠rated a pri¬≠vacy pol¬≠icy on my site now, which in¬≠cludes in¬≠for¬≠ma¬≠tion on an¬≠a¬≠lyt¬≠ics, how I use them, and how you can opt out — psst‚Ķ just add goals.rus¬≠ingh.com to your ad block fil¬≠ters.

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