Do you really need tracking on your personal website, even privacy friendly like ?

Genuinely curious, I'd like to see those numbers move, but that doesn't warrant user tracking imo

@yarmo I don't get why people don't do this server-side, why put in some javascript when you can just count stuff on the server?

@Matter @yarmo I feed a slightly modified nginx log into elasticsearch. It's super simple and automagically logs every website I host including websites I can't add Javascript tracking to like plex.

It's weird it isn't just the go to solution.
The reason is probably just that web devs are more comfortable adding Javascript because they're not sysadmins.


The proliferation of proxies, WAFs, edge NAT, etc. makes it hard to get the client IP in a lot of cases. Running a client-side solution like JS eliminates all that mess. Precisely why Google uses it.

I am not saying that situation is OK. I am just answering the question.


@yarmo I think its good for motivation, to see if your content actually gets read and could affect people.

My blog tells me the amount of views each post gets. I'm not sure what a view counts as, but when a post has over 11 thousand, its a nice feeling.

@freddyym @yarmo From what I observed, a view is simply a display of your article without being logged in. Try going to one of your articles in private browsing and refreshing 5 times, it’ll increase the counter by 5 😊

@yarmo Personally I just love watching the live analytics (made them myself) of my site as people visit. It's very motivating in a way.

If it's 1st party and doesn't store any direct identifiers (names, emails, etc.) then I have no issue with it. If it's sold to 3rd parties or tracks me across the web, it's evil.

@yarmo @ben I ran Matomo for a few years and then realised it didn’t really matter to me and removed all the tracking a couple of years ago.

@hugh @yarmo Same. Did Piwik for ages a few years ago. Recently tried goatcounter.

It's a fantastic product. Just not one I need at all.

@yarmo with the privacy-friendly solutions, you're not tracking *users* so much as the general actions (which content is popular etc.) - which is IMO very useful.

Why not use it to know what content are your users interested in? And write more of that :)

@allien @yarmo This is exactly it. I am using Plausible on one of my sites right now and may expand it to others.

I just needed something quick, simple and "privacy friendly" to give me an idea. So far, it has served its purpose. One of my posts has generated far more views than others - so that's obviously the kind of content that people expect to read.
This has resulted in my starting to write a follow-up post to the original.

Perfect solution? No. As @rune mentioned, there are better ways.

@yarmo Sorry to say I got trapped by the shininess of Google Analytics when it was pretty new and thought it was pretty cool to see all the graphs. I've literally not looked at it for years now, and haven't updated the site for ages either. If I get time over the weekend I'll remove it from the site, then there'll be no cookies or anything at all. Hell, maybe I'll start posting to it or something?

@yarmo used to have Jekyll site with tracking on it to see site visits, user engagement but I removed it after some time as It didn't matter to me much. I started using my blog without the worry for hits or engagement better for my sanity.

@null0x0 I do get the other's point about knowing what works best, but… I just don't care. I write the content. Visits anyway don't reflect how good it is. I think…

@yarmo yes! Agree. In the future I will implement Activity pub to my blog If I can.

@null0x0 oh… that's super smart! Your metrics will be likes and shares. I need that on my site!

@yarmo yeah! Comments would be the replies to the toots 🤔

@yarmo @null0x0 :blobpeek:

🤔 ... like @PlumeDev @writeas_org ?? and there's at least another one I don't remember now. You can install it in your server.

Or are talking about some "plugin" to add to your wordpress site, hugo, jekyll,etc?

@null0x0 @yarmo I've added my own small piece of code to the server to track visitors. As I still wanna know which blog posts are read. But I don't track anything else beside URL and operating system.
Also no JavaScript, as I extract information for each request.

@daniels @yarmo do you store the IP of the visitors or just the no of visits?

@null0x0 @yarmo I'm not interested in their IPs. Just added the user agent to extract more info in the future.

Right now I'm only storing the URL, agent and extracted operating system, as well as the time.

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