I’m a big supporter of trying to somewhat get the Internet back to more small niche sites instead of everyone only hanging out at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and a couple others. Partially because of privacy.
The large social media sites have been known to share your information and browsing habits.
Plus, there’s the fact that privacy laws are getting more and more strict.
One part of building and running a website that is that you need some way to see if people are visiting your site or not. You need analytics. But, the majority of the analytics platforms out there are quite invasive. Sometimes, they store a lot of specific information about you. Which conflicts with the reasoning around wanting to build sites which are more private than the big social media sites.
One easy solution is simply not worrying about having very complex and detailed analytics. If you have a small business or blog, all you really need is to see how much traffic your site is getting.
I have been using Matomo which is the most popular, free analytics platform right now. However, it stopped functioning after an upgrade. Rather than troubleshooting I took this as a sign that it’s time to try something else. Mainly because of the fact that I’ve been thinking about privacy and I’ve always been concerned about how Matomo slows page loading down. On top of that, to be honest, I rarely look at all the stats in Matomo. It’s too much for me personally.
I started looking for minimal analytics tools. Just something to so me number of visitors. That’s really all I care about. Plus, I knew something like this would be fast, and would help with my concern about privacy. If all you are tracking is number of visitors, you can’t get much more private than that. After some searching I found TinyAnalytics.
TinyAnalytics is a very small and very simple analytics tool by Joseph Ernest (@JosephErnest). It’s small, very easy to install, and all it does it tracks unique visitors. But you get a nice graph/visual too. And, you can incorporate as many sites as you want.
Here’s a description from the GitHub page:
TinyAnalytics is a lightweight web analytics tool based on the idea that:
- The two most useful things are: number of unique visitors per day (with a nice chart) and list of referers who send some traffic to your websites,
- It should give the idea of the traffic, even for multiple websites, on a single dashboard (without having to click in lots of menu items to change the currently displayed website, etc.),
- It should be fast and lightweight.
If you’re looking for more informations than those (such as country, browser, screen resolution, time spent on a page, etc.), then TinyAnalytics is not the right tool for you. Please try Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics or Piwik instead. I personally found the two last ones not very handy for me.
So far so good. I like it. And it means that any of the websites I use it on, versus something that Matomo, are instantly more privacy conscious and faster.