Welcome back, Piwik (and farewell, Google Analytics)

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Last updated on December 10th, 2021

About a year ago, I moved Anthony’s Notes to its current webhost. At the same time, I also switched my site’s traffic tracking from Piwik, an open-source self-hosted tool, to Google Analytics. At the time, not finding an easy way to export Piwik’s data made me decide to go with Google Analytics as an easy solution (nothing to install, data being Google’s main business model, etc.).

A few days ago, however, I decided to move back to Piwik. A few reasons why include:

  • Exporting Piwik data seems to be a matter of exporting the database it uses, from what I can tell. While it’s still not straightforward as it should be, more Piwik documentation/etc. since early 2012 has helped clarify a few things. Plus, Piwik’s data is also actually capable of being exported period. Google Analytics is much more locked-in than I expected, with no way of exporting its data easily. And no, a third-party-created script requiring me to install various Python modules isn’t “easy.”
  • Since Piwik’s self-hosted alongside one’s own site, all the data stays with me, not a third party. I admit the recent government Internet/phone spying news made me wonder if I should try to rely a bit less on “the cloud.” Still, I am still pretty heavily reliant on Google for other things, such as Google+, Gmail, and my Android devices for starters.
  • Piwik’s a bit easier to use/read than Analytics. I also get the ability to export charts/data categories in various formats easily.

For more on Piwik, visit their website.

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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