Product Development May 28, 2020

Never thought I would consider binning Google Analytics

Mick @Primer

I have zero concerns about the ethics of using GA. Literally none.

It's free and it's awesome.

AND THEN.........

I installed Plausible Analytics.

It. Is. Amazing.

I have absolutely no affiliation with Plausible but I do know that it's maker @markosaric is a fellow Indie Hacker.

I feel like I've had my eyes opened to the cognitive overload that is Google Analytics. The ONLY reason I am now keeping it around is for click tracking / events. I reluctantly check google analytics when something crops up that I feel I need to check, however I've been looking at my Plausible dashboard all day simply because it's delightful.

In many ways I'm extremely envious of the Plausible founders because I really think they're onto something here.

Anyway if you hadn't gathered already... I recommend it.

UPDATE

Google analytics is now gone from SongBox

  1. 6

    Just to add to Mick's points, GA also requires a cookie banner=terrible UX and it doesn't work with ad blockers (50%+ people have them nowadays).

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      That's one of the main reasons why I deleted GA. Cookie banners are horrible.

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        Yeah, it was the same for me!

        As a user, when I encounter a cookie banner, I immediately close the website, unless it is something that it's really hard to replace (hint: very few are).

        I believe that most indiehackers and small businesses that still use it do so to save a few bucks. Yes, GA is insanely powerful but those business don't need or can't use its thousands features, so, to save a few bucks on a GDPR compliant analytics software, end up losing a lot more.

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    Vouch on OP post. Very nice tool. Unless you've spent years in GA - plausible is a very good alternative.

    I'll be moving lots of my projects over to them soon because, like OP said -- GA is just overwhelming. It's a click-burden for me, and I don't have time to setup custom dashboard etc...

    1. 1

      Sounds great, thanks Johnny!

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    That's crazy good timing: I was about to get started with GA on https://airvoute.com but for some reason, something didn't feel right (maybe I follow DHH's tweets too closely!).

    This. is. perfect. I'll definitely be implementing Plausible as it looks super light, affordable and tracks just what I need.

    Thanks @Primer for sharing!

    1. 1

      thank you Lukas!

  4. 3

    Wow what a message to discover at the start of the day! Thanks very much for the kind words and the support Mick!

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      Cool product and awesome landing page!

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        thanks Mark!

  5. 3

    I haven't used Plausible, but what are the main pros over GA? Hard to justify paying for something that does the same thing GA does, and GA is not short of any features you need afaik.

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      Here is my take.

      I will still use GA for my larger SASS products because I'm able to do deeper channel/funnel analysis, especially with Google Tag Manager ( totally needed if we have ad spend).

      However, I do a lot of experimenting with sites and apps. In most of those cases, I'm not digging in super deep. I just want the basic analytics and I want to get to them fast/quickly and move on.

      Over the course of the next 6-weeks, I'll be launching 3 or 4 experiments. I recently setup GA on one of my small projects and the setup process alone took about 10 minutes for GA and 10 seconds for Plausible. When I want to look at analytics or a project on GA, it takes a dozen clicks to get the information I want (several wasted minutes). It takes 1 or 2 clicks on Plausible, and I get it done in under a minute.

      Time is money, convenience is value. Plausible charges by number of visits, so I can pay $48 - $96/year total, not per site/url. Instantly, I have that convenience on all my experiments. No brainer to me. If any of these projects get traction/revenue, then I'd have to switch that specific project to GA to get the extended GTAG capabilities to track better funnel success.

      One caveat here is that I still need Google Search Console since knowing how I'm ranking by keywords is super important.

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        Thanks for this take Johnny! I like seeing how people think about and use Plausible to help them do better.

        Google Search Console is the only Google tool I still use. It doesn't need me to put any Google scripts on my site and gives me some very useful data on what search terms people search for when they discover my site. This is also why we've built the Google Search Console integration into Plausible so you can view all those search queries directly in your Plausible dashboard.

    2. 2

      yeah for me this is the real difference between Plausible and the other contenders (Fathom etc). I would normally never pay for analytics because GA is free. But Plausible has very bootstrapped friendly pricing. It's like $6 a month... basically nothing. and it's funny but just a few dollars more, like over $10 and I wouldn't do it.

      The other point is this gives you JUST the good stuff from GA. The stuff you actually care about. I got really annoyed last night in GA by stumbling around trying to find the device split on my site (I've been using GA for about 10 years but it still confuses me trying to find things). And then same again with referrals. This just gives you all of that, in a beautiful design, on one clean page. No messing about.

      If you're unsure I'd recommend the trial.

      LOL I should be on commission.

      1. 2

        Thanks very much Mick! :-)

  6. 2

    I had pretty much the same experience actually. I kept GA because of FOMO but I checked plausible everyday and I realized it was actually all the info I really needed. I think they plan on adding more features but plausible is definitely something I'd recommend.

    1. 1

      Thank you! We do plan to add more features according to what the community requests and votes for in our public roadmap. But Plausible is built with simplicity, speed and privacy in mind so we will always consider these principles as a priority when trying to add something new.

  7. 2

    Google Analytics is an eye sore to look at. Plausible is... BEAUTIFUL! Bookmarked, will use over GA on product launch in few weeks. @markosaric great job :)

    1. 1

      Sounds great, thank you Matt!

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        @markosaric Who designed Plausible's logo?

        1. 1

          I believe @ukutaht did that!

  8. 1

    I find GA useful for tracking funnels/flow of a user's visits. Which pages have high dropoff rates for example. Then optimize those pages further.

  9. 1

    Will bookmark it and see when I launch my second product if it's worth the hype

    1. 1

      Sounds good! We have a live demo where you can see our own traffic. This is exactly how your own dashboard would look like too.

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    This comment was deleted 24 days ago.

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      Thanks for your support Steve!

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      I'll stick to the $6 a month route as you don't even notice that.

      It's funny how psychology works as you wouldn't really notice $11 or $12 either but it just feels different.

      1. 1

        That's very true Mick!

        And also one lesson learned for us is to always offer both monthly and annual subscription plans for your startup. We only recently introduced annual plans. People are different and some prefer monthly while some would rather pay annually and get a bit of a discount. By offering that choice, you are making things convenient for both types and more likely they might take your offer.

        1. 3

          @arvidkahl just wrote about this https://thebootstrappedfounder.com/not-all-subscriptions-are-equal-offer-yearly-plans-from-the-start/

          Very interesting :)

          I'm myself very glad to have offered annual plans from the start, it has secured a lot of funding and showed to me commitment from users that I wouldn't have thought possible.

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            Makes sense. Thanks for sharing!