Product Development April 5, 2020

Which analytics tool do you use for your projects?

Askar @magneticz

Hey IndieHackers,

I am working on a side project, that will not generate any revenue or anything. It is really just a fun project. But, I would still like to see, how many visitors I have, from where they are etc.

So, my question, what analytics tool do you use? Google Analytics? Is it overkill? Something else, more simple? Of course, because this is just a "for fun" project, I don't want to use anything, where I need to pay

  1. 4

    Hey @magneticz. I use Fathom by @pjrvs for all of my projects, which you can either host for free or pay monthly. Unlike GA, it is privacy-focussed and you don't need to display that you're collecting cookies.

    Also check out similar products Simple Analytics by @adriaanvanrossum or Metrical by @francescomarassi

    1. 2

      Hey, @dr

      Fathom looks great, and I also looked into Simple Analytics earlier. Would love to use them, instead of GA, for privacy reasons, but at this point, it doesn't make sense to go with paid solutions.

      At the same time, I understand, why these products don't have free tier, and will definately switch to those tools once I have a serious project

      1. 1

        Hey @magneticz, Francesco here of .
        Since we are in beta, we are offering a free account where you can track up to 2 websites for free!

        So if you want an easier and more privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics you can try Metrical and let me know if you have any feedback :)

        1. 1

          Hey @francescomarassi,

          That sounds great. Quick feedback already 😃
          I actually went to your website after @dr's comment, I saw "we have only two plans" section and didn't read further 😅 (and went to look again after your comment)
          So, if you want to get more beta users, maybe make it more noticable (or maybe you don't want everyone to notice that, in that case it is perfect)

          And while you are here, I have a question. What happens, number of pageviews exceeds given limit? Are users of the service automatically charged more?

          1. 2

            Yeah @magneticz, I should definitely change the pricing section to mark more about the beta and free options :) I'm doing some tests on the homepage (this version went live yesterday) and I didn't notice this. Thanks!

            If you exceed the pageviews limit for a month, nothing will happen. I know that it can happen to have a huge spike of visits for a day or a week (let's call it the hacker news effects) so we didn't want to charge more users for only that period and we won't disable your plan or stop storing your new visits.
            If you exceed your pageviews limit (currently at 50.000) for 2 consecutive months, then you will receive an email from us and we will discuss a fairer price together.

            1. 1

              That's fair. Thanks for clarifying, I will give it a try 🙂

  2. 3

    I use mostly Google Analytics. Also, this week discovered Plausible here on IH and giving it a try. @ukutaht @markosaric

  3. 3

    Hey @magneticz - I do analytics full-time in my day job.

    Google Analytics will meet your needs, based on your post. It will give you the simple 'fun' metrics with a single JavaScript drop-in. Also, its reach is so large that it's now supported across countless device types and anything else that would ever integrate with your project, such as email/marketing tools or no-code builders. Also, its free tier is insanely generous.

    There are IH community services that would give you the 'fun' metrics with the same installation effort, but they charge.

    If you ever decide you want to know more on a future project, my free email series at will help you have even more fun with the data coming from your project.


    1. 1

      Hey @blakerson,

      Thanks, will definately sign up!

  4. 2

    I'm building, enjoyable analytics & A/B testing!

    There is a free plan for up to 1000 monthly users. So as long your side project isn't generating a lot of traffic, you are mostly fine! :)

    I'm using it also for multiple projects already to improve my conversion rates.

  5. 2

    Hi @magneticz - GA is simple to add and good enough for most projects.
    You can also use the free plan at hotjar to get great insights on your visitors.

  6. 2

    I'd +1 on Google Analytics as well, it's what we use. It's definitely not overkill if you just want to take a look at the out-of-the-box reports, especially the real time ones which is always fun. It's only going to be as complicated as you want it to be. Setting up is quite easy and almost every publishing platform or front-end framework has a plugin for GA.

    I agree with @kevinsimper, if your audience is technical they will most likely have tracking codes from GA blocked. I've heard good things about Amplitude ( but haven't used it personally.

    1. 1

      Hey @plandrive,

      The audience is technical, so it is my concern, that GA will be blocked, but tbh, more concerning is the fact that I need to have cookie concent popup, which I peronally hate 😃, and i think, most technical people will just leave the site at that point

      Amplitude looks really nice, do you know if they do cookie tracking?

      1. 1

        Good point - I don't know if Amplitude does that but if I had to guess, I would say yes. They are pretty comparable to GA from what I can see from the outside looking in and they'd have a similar setup.

  7. 2

    If your audience is technical they likely block Google Analytics, so know if you use that, it may not be reporting correctly :)

  8. 2

    GA, Firebase analytics.

    Since we are using Cloudflare, we getting analytics there also.

  9. 2

    You could try our analytics, it is free at the moment & will have free tier forever, but there will be paid ones later on. It's easy to integrate and we respect the visitors - no cookie is used!

    You can also catch javascript & Vue.js errors with it as well.

    Let me know if I can help you!

    1. 2

      Hey @andrasbacsai,

      This looks cool, I will look into this. Tiny thing, your link in the comment seems to be broken 🙂

      1. 1

        Oops just corrected it. :)

    2. 1

      Just leave a mark here. I'll check it out when Im home.

  10. 2

    I've been using Google Analytics for all my projects..

    1. 1

      how complicated is it to set up, on a scale of just drop your api key in your code to you need to tweak everything like installing linux in 2000s? 🙂

      1. 1

        It was very easy setting up and shouldn't take much time. Based on your hosting provider, you might already have a dedicated place in the hosting control panel to add the Analytics tag and that's it.. It should be activated within 24 hrs!

        1. 1

          cool, will look into google analytics

  11. 1

    I'm using Google Analytics as well as Facebook Pixel and Mixpanel sometimes

  12. 1

    I just use Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager.
    Doesn't seem like overkill to me, Doesn't flood the site and it's consistent.

    Really like it, and of course free!

  13. 1

    Matomo! Don’t see it evangelized here yet. I self-host it on Linode Kubernetes and I think it was one of the more painless installs :P. It works similar to GA, but last I checked the events/actions were a little different. I have it set to scrub parts of IPs, but still geoIP works and there’s add-ons to do even more. I wish I had more to say about it, but it just works, has a mobile app, and has a pretty sleek and friendly interface despite it once being a somewhat ugly PHP app.

  14. 1 has some useful analytics tools listed that operate fully transparent

  15. 1

    Big fan of hotjar! Hotjar gives a visual aspect and also shows how users interact with your screen by recording their movements too!

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