Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Analytics On This Page

30 Mar 2021

I’ve recently migrated from write.as to a Jekyll site. I liked write.as, but this version is free and I’m getting more control over the site in the long run while keeping things simple and straight forward. One thing that I’m not currently getting is any form of analytics of traffic. I’ve been looking at several options, and this is what I’ve decided to do.

Years and years ago, I used to use Google Analytics on my website. Forgive me for that, it was a really long time ago. Say what you will about Google, they’re really good at analyzing web traffic. It’s pretty much what they do after all.

Eventually I moved away from Google out of sheer laziness. I don’t really recall why, but I think I migrated hosts or something like that, and I just never bothered to set it back up again. I was using WordPress to host my site at the time, and there were built in analytics that, while not as good as Google’s, was good enough. I used that for quite a while until I really just stopped blogging. I suppose I technically was still using the built in analytics during that time, but zero is zero no matter what solution you’re using.

As anybody who reads this blog probably recalls, my friend Kev issued a challenge last year, #100DaysToOffload. I liked the idea of the challenge and I had been wanting to fire the old blog up again, so I took him up on the challenge. I migrated my blog from the dilapidated WordPress installation it was on over to write.as and the rest is history.

So, back to analytics.

During all this time, I’ve had some form of analytics at least giving me a glimpse into the traffic patterns on my site. Until I moved to Jekyll. Now I don’t. I’ve been thinking of adding some kind of analytics back to the site. Of course I’m not going to go back to Google at this point. I’ve been making an attempt to move away from their services due to their constant spying. After a little bit of research, I was leaning towards Plausible, which is both lightweight and open source. I may still go this way eventually.

There’s only one reason I’m not going with Plausible right now, and that is this: During my research, I had to ask myself exactly what I planned to do with the information I was going to be getting from the analytics. The honest answer is I was going to look and see how many people were reading the posts I was making. That’s it.

Am I going to change the content I post? Nope. This is a personal blog and I’m going to write what I’m going to write. I’d love it if people found it interesting, but if they don’t I’m still going to write it. I’m not tailoring my content to maximize clicks or anything weird like that. I’m not making money from this site by selling advertising, so what is having analytics on the site really getting me in the long run?

That’s a question I just couldn’t answer with any satisfaction. So, regarding analytics on this site, I’m currently planning on sticking with none. If I change my mind, Plausible is at the top of my list, and if you’re looking for an analytics solution, I highly recommend them. That is, of course, assuming anybody read this. I can’t tell.

Day 18 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.

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