This isn't strictly true though. Google Analytics has a free and a paid tier with GA360, which is for larger businesses.
More to the point, half of these aren't suitable for marketing decisions when you have multiple paid entrypoints to your site. The major, but simple, ones for marketing;
* Channel Groups - being able to merge multiple UTM tags or referrers into a single channel for comparison
* User Retention - even privacy first, it's important that you can track user activity onsite via a logged-in user ID.
* Bot Removal & IP removal - Excluding an office from the GA stats is important to track actual users compared to your colleagues checking in on details.
* Channel comparison for conversion rate - i.e. Google Ads vs FB Ads.
Fathom seems like the top one from this, but it still doesn't have any of these features. It has self removal via the console, but that's not quite the same. The dashboard Pirsch shows doesn't show any of these features, and most of them seem to have filters, but no general comparison windows. Same for Umami.
People who advocate for alternatives to GA I suspect miss this very crucial aspect of the service. When you have a long running site, especially one that has user accounts or conducts ecommerce, it can be dominated by automated traffic. The longer the site has existed and the more popular it is, the more this is the case.
I'm not even referring to legitimate search engine crawlers but the automated exploit bots, the spam bots, the people running site suckers, and who even knows how many other things people get up to for malicious purposes.
Any GA alternatives that rely on server logs is instantly never going to be a viable alternative. Alternatives that don't rely on logs still cannot do a sufficient job of weeding out the automated traffic. I have never, not even once, heard of a solution that can tackle this overwhelmingly critical problem.
I was disappointed that Cloudflare didn't automatically detect the traffic as malicious but feeding the bots a captcha almost completely mopped up the problem.
For those folks, I would recommend to use a GA alternative (for example one from the list).
But you are right, at the top enterprise level, for folks focusing on marketing measures and decisions, most of the GA alternatives might not be suitable simply because they are missing some features.
There are just so many options out there. I gathered a similar list with a lot of overlap, but also includes info on self-hosting/source-available options: https://til.marcuse.info/webmaster/alt-analytics.html
I am also going to link to your list as there are more alternatives that I have not mentioned.
This looks good and one of the few where you can know your unique and return visitor.
> I gathered a similar list
Such a great list on all the points I am looking for. As I generally look at price / 1M event as well so it was perfect.
License as well. My only other interesting is knowing return visitors. Which many of the new "privacy" analytics doesn't support . But thank You.
Edit: And plausible pay plan is no longer $36 /month but $50. Although they significantly lower the higher tier pricing.
Most people in marketing departments just don't care about privacy, and it's hard to beat inertia, especially for a solid product with a lot of documentation which is "free as in beer".
I personally use http://microanalytics.io which is very slick for my needs and free for up to 10k visits per month, but I don't think it's a Google Analytics replacement.
What I mean is, that you do not need to use GA on your portfolio website or blog. I agree with you that some of the alternatives mentioned lack in enterprise features. Also, therefore most of the mentioned alternatives are not competing with GA, but they are a more suitable solution for folks who simply want to get insights about the traffic happening on their website, lightweight, simple, and minimal.
If the author of this post is still checking comments here, I’d suggest adding some labels next to each heading that indicate if it’s free, paid, open source, self-hosting option available, etc. That would make it easier to read only those that fit some basic criteria.
If you want you can also check out the Airtable database I have created, which lets you conveniently browse and sort all the services mentioned within the post.
It's stupid-simple, just like my Hugo-based blog hosted on Github.
All I wanted was a rough idea of how many "hits" my site has, and for that it worked perfectly.
It's not Google Analytics. It's missing a ton of features, but if you want to track visitors and events, it's plenty. It's faster and easier to use for this.
One thing missing from GA competitors in my opinion is some explanation of what to expect when switching. I would like to switch but am not just going to swap analytics and have stats go up or down in a wild manner because things are calculated differently.
I like that it's privacy friendly but the real reason I switched is because Google analytics is too bloated. Simple analytics just gives me the info I need in a clean interface and improves my websites loading speeds.
In terms of architecture, things that are cross-site (i.e., a script that sends a data to a service that is not yours) are getting blocked by ad blockers and browsers like Brave. This is because, even with the best of publicly stated intentions, there is no way to know what the third-party will do with the data.
Privacy operations itself is exceptionally challenging, because you need to manage consent and purpose, provide auditability, support DSAR, etc. -- unless you operate at the strict minimum (typically what falls within “legitimate interest” under the GDPR).
My company, Blotout (YC W21), approaches this with a cloud native privacy data engineering platform that lets you ingest event and ETL data into to your own lake, and provides a complete privacy operations suite. Since it’s same-site, you’re not blocked as a tracker. And because it pulls and unifies all of your data in your own infra, it’s vastly more efficient than a third-party stack and it lets you do things with you data that you can’t when it’s spread across providers.
Of course, for your personal blog this might be overkill. :)
Volument - A new take on website analytics
Think about that...