Sam Wilson's Website

Statistics for simple sites

I’ve got a couple of static websites that I generally want to be low-maintenance and ignorable for multiple years at a time. About the only active part of them is their 404 Not Found pages: they contain Google Analytics reporting, because I want to know if people are failing to find things. I sometimes think it’d also be nice to know what pages people do find, and how often etc. — which of course is what GA does, but I don’t want to load it on every page. I don’t like the idea of feeding the Google machine any more than the bare minimum!

But I realise that actually the resilience and longtermedness of the websites isn’t all that impacted by some stats-gathering. I can just install Matomo on my VPS, under the same domain names even, and use it there. If one day the VPS is turned off then it’ll stop working, but nothing else will break with the sites. I think this is a better way to do it.

(Does this mean that I’ll now end up putting analytics on my own blog? Probably! To a person with a Matomo hammer, every website is a data nail an’ all that…)

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