A technical and privacy review of Cloudflare’s new free Web Analytics service.

@da nice review! have you seen the alternative that I'm working on?

@markosaric Yes, I have. There should be a few things (eg. including sourceMappingURL (worth the handful of extra bytes) and /.well-known/dnt-policy.txt) in my CF review that are applicable to Plausible too. I’d be a lot more interested if it could track some page-quality metrics like the page-load-time and time-on-page (see tallyPageLoadTime() and tallyTimeOnPage() in ).

@markosaric I’d love to see “self-hosted: unlimited pageviews (RAM/disk limited), 0$, some assembly and maintenance required” included on the slider at too.

@da we list the self-hosted version on the home page but from experience it makes it confusing to people. vast majority don't consider to self-host analytics as GA doesn't provide that etc. and for those that are interested, they know where to find it. trying to be simple and easy in our communication as the priority. same reason we say "open source" rather than FOSS. it confuses more people than it helps

@markosaric I visited Plausible while doing market-price research for the article and failed to notice the free/open-source option. I kind of knew in the back of my mind that Plausible was open source, but didn’t see “free as in freedom-beer” in the comparison list.

@da yeah we're 100% free and open source software. AGPL licensed. self-hosted is possibe too completely free as in beer. i'm just very careful when communicating all this as we're reaching a more mainstream audience of site owners now who don't really come to us for FOSS or self-hosted but more for lightweight, privacy-first etc. this for sure is a great way to introduce new people to the world of FOSS, people that don't necessary care much about it

@markosaric I only mention this as I felt strongly that free/self-hosted should be an option on the table in the table of options. 😉

@da hmm i like that actually! thanks for showing me. seems like an elegant way to show it. i'll share it with my cofounder who does the development and we'll see if we can introduce it

@markosaric @da Yeah. I popped over yesterday to have a look and decided against it because of the no self-hosted option.

I'm currently giving myself a headache working out scripts to make something useful from my access logs.
@markosaric @da Oh nice! I skipped down to the pricing and missed the mention. I'll check it out :)

@david, thank you for proving my point. 😜 @markosaric, promoting the open-source version might hurt short-time sales, but should help sell more cloud-instances over time as people get bored with maintaining their own infrastructure. Assuming they can migrate their data from self-hosted to cloud, of course.

@da @david it's not a concern that it will hurt sales. if we were thinking of that, we wouldn't have built self-hosted. we link to it twice on the home page (one in menu, one in copy)

concern is that some people when seeing self-hosted think it's self-hosted only so they give up on Plausible and move to the next one. it's a problem that i've heard from too many people. many seem to think you either provide cloud or self-hosted but not both.

Matomo suffers from this i think and i want to fix it

@david @da i'm not too techy savvy so not sure what that means. this is the only official way we have self-hosted supported:

feel free to suggest alternative guides / ways to do things on our github

@markosaric @da Basically, will it run on a raspberry pi. I can't find the answer on the plausible website or github

@david @da haven't been asked this before so i'm not sure, sorry. i'll put this on the list to ask my-founder who's the techy in the team. the link i sent are the only official instructions so if that doesn't work on raspberry pi then we don't officially support it. but as with everything open source i'm sure you could hack your way to it 😂

@david @markosaric Try for access log analysis. However, you should abandon the idea of analyzing your access logs. It’s not useful. There are way too many bots and legitimate clients that pre-load pages and assets that no humans ever see. You need a client-side scripts to filter out the phonies.

@da thanks! yeah time on page would be nice. we plan to add it at some point but no promises on the timeline

@markosaric The last thing I thought to myself before publishing this (and going to bed) was how bad I felt for writing 1600 words about Cloudflare when there are so many new open source options that have come along in the last few years. So now I feel guilty af* for spending my time promoting proprietary-wares instead of open source options.

@da it's normal. they're a big name and it is nice that such as big names enters the privacy first / anti-google market. they got a lot of media coverage with this move. even i ended up publishing a review earlier . but yeah if you think Plausible is worth it, do consider us too when covering analytics etc. thanks!

@da great more shit that needs to load

@Tauin Hopefully, websites will replace heavier and more privacy-invasive scripts with more lightweight and privacy-friendly alternatives like Cloudflare Web Analytics instead.

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