I’ve recently removed Google Analytics from this blog and switched to Counter. I wanted preserve my users’ privacy, avoid GDPR banners and make my blog pages load faster. In this article, I’ll list the key differences between the two services and the crucial factors that made me choose Counter.
Google Analytics is owned by Google, which means that all data collected on your website belongs to them. This data is used to improve their advertising services, and who knows what else (unless you read and trust all their T&Cs). On the other hand, Counter is an open-source project. You have complete control over your data if you self-host an instance. Otherwise you can use their managed service (in the case, you’d need to trust the Counter team).
Google Analytics is known for collecting a vast amount of data from users, which can raise privacy concerns (and annoying banners!). Counter, on the other hand, respects user privacy by anonymizing data and only collecting data that is necessary for simple website performance analysis. No personally identifiable information is collected, so there is no need to add banners to be GDPR-compliant.
Ease of Use
Google Analytics is known for being a powerful tool, but it can be overwhelming if you just want to count pages visitors. Counter, on the other hand, is designed to be simple and easy to use, making it a great option for those who are new to website analytics. This also means your page can load faster and work better on slow Internet connections with Counter because its JS bundle size is smaller.
Google Analytics is free to use, which makes it a popular choice among website owners. Google Analytics also offers a paid version, which is more robust and offers advanced features. Counter is completely free and open-source, which means that all features are available to all users. The cloud version is also very affordable on a “pay what you want” basis.
Both Google Analytics and Counter offer valuable insights into website performance, but their approaches and features differ significantly. Google Analytics is a free powerful tool with advanced features, but it can be overwhelming for small blog owners. Counter, on the other hand, is designed to be simple and privacy-conscious, making it a great option for small tech bloggers who aren’t looking to monetize content.