Alternatives to Google Analytics

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Let's say you have an open source app and you would like to use some analytics tool to see how much traffic you have, where do your visitors come from etc.

But you do not want to use Google Analytics.
You want something that respects user's privacy. You want something that developers wont complain about when they look at your code.

What tools would you use? What are alternatives to Google Analytics?

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This is a question I recently also started asking, and actually figured that the answer is actually quite simple.

Before I'm going ahead with it, I am going to tell you that this purely theoretical and also might not be GDPR compliant.

You can make use of a tracking cookie, which basically lives until the user leaves the website (closing tab, browser, etc). When the session gets started, you can look at the request server side and look at the referer header to figure out where the user came from and save this in a database combined with the remote address. This way, you can see how many distinct visits have been made to your app and where they came from.

It sounds very basic, which it is and that is the beauty of it. You are not dependent on services like Google for your analytics, although your analytics are smaller (you don't get to see the keywords a user used in Google for example)

Alternatively, tools in the following article seem promising but definitely got no experience with them:

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Boris Joskic profile image
Boris is a front-end developer who has a love-hate relationship with Angular and has a strong passion for design, open source and JavaScript.