I’m the kind who blocks tracking scripts and third-party cookies, so I want my website to be as simple and transparent as possible. I don’t use Google Analytics or include embedded share buttons from any of the social networks, because I don’t want anyone reading this to have to give any of their personal data away.
I do, however, want to know if what I write is actually being read; if it is, I’m likely to put more effort in – I’d like an equivalent to YouTube’s view count. There are a number of privacy-focussed analytics companies out there (e.g fathom, Simple Analytics, Plausible, etc.), but being a student and having a very small audience, I can’t afford a paid analytics product. Enter GoatCounter (I don’t know why goats): it’s open source (all the best things are), privacy-focussed (essential), and free for non-commercial uses.
This solution uses no cookies (so there’s no need for annoying full-page pop-ups), and anonymises the small amount of data it does collect. I have no idea who you are, unless you tell me (which I’d love).