Things that forced me to leave GA for AWStats

Things that forced me to leave GA for AWStats

Starting on this first day of August, I decided to remove Google Analytics (GA). Ever since I migrate this blog to a new host that gives me AWStats on the cPanel, it looks like there are more and more things that make sense to leave GA for AWStats.

Ad-block usage

According to Statista.com, the Ad-blocking user penetration in the United States is 25.8% on this 2019. This is expecting to raise in the upcoming years.

Since this blog topic is mainly web development and its related tech industries, I believe more of the readers are using ad-block, including myself. This ad-block program usually blocks the GA scripts. It means GA won’t be able to track those readers.

I confirmed this myself by using uBlock origin. Not only that, my ad-block is blocking other Javascript trackers too. This is good from the reader’s side. But it’s not from the webmaster’s side.

On the other hand, no matter what ad-blocks or extensions installed on the browser, AWStats won’t get affected at all. This because it runs on the server’s side. As long as a request hits the web server, AWStats will count it.

AWStats also has a feature to differentiate human requests and bot requests. Though I believe its accurate degree won’t be as good as GA.

It runs on reader’s browser

This means it’s vulnerable to any reader’s browser settings. Either the readers armed their browsers with ad-block or other extensions/add-ons that can manipulate the script runs there.

While AWStats runs on the site’s web server. This makes it invulnerable to any settings changes on the reader’s browser.

Written using Javascript

Even if the readers are not using ad-block, I know some tech-savvy readers turn off the Javascript on the browser they use for browsing information only.

I’ve done it myself too. I usually use Chrome to browse or read the information I need from the internet. I disable its Javascript so my Chrome won’t execute any script.

Since GA is using Javascript, it won’t be able to run on the browser with JS turned off. Again, this means GA won’t be able to count these readers.

Jetpack stats

Yesterday I tried Jetpack Personal plan. I am interested in their unlimited daily back up and the automatic spam comment block. It turns out that it’s still using Akismet, but the plan gives me another Akismet key.

However, Jetpack is coming with its Stats too. I have compared their stats with GA since July. So, it’s been two months and the result of Jetpack’s counter and GA are similar. Not the same in number but they’re pretty close.

Therefore, having both of them is redundant. Instead of using two trackers that run on the reader’s browser, and both of them are not dependable, I prefer to use one of them.

Cloudflare stats

Cloudflare also gives me its analytics. I am not sure if it’s as accurate as GA, but it’s running on Cloudflare’s side. This means it should count any requests to this blog because I’ve put Cloudflare in front of this blog’s web server.

Before the request reaches the web server, it will hit Cloudflare first. This just adds another reason to reduce too many analytics problem on this blog.

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