Some time ago I began questioning the value of tracking viewership of
this blog and my various other websites. Additionally I felt that
tracking code was a bit invasive to my readers' privacy. So I disabled
the Google Analytics tracking plugin and accepted that I would just be
ignorant about my readership outside of comments. This sentiment
coincides with a general trend of mine to stop relying on Google and
other free service providers and roll my own services where possible.
Yet I still wanted to know some general information about my visitors.
Enter Piwik, the free software analytics system. You can host it on
a standard PHP/MySQL stack, so it is easy to roll your own. The data it
collects stays with you. You can also configure it to provide better
privacy for your readers, including anonymizing IP addresses and
providing an opt-out feature. I installed it, loved it, and added it to
all my sites. I am not storing the last two bytes of IP addresses,
meaning the best I can do is narrow users down to a class B subnet.
So, yes, I am back on the analytics bandwagon.