Like a lot of my tech based rants, this was brought on by a recent Hacker News post. I won’t go into why the product listed there is a hollow faux FOSS rip-off. I won’t discuss how the ‘free’ analytics option, like many others are just hobby projects taking pot shots at other projects. Or how insanely overpriced most alternatives are.

I will however discuss why and how I transitioned to using the awesome Goat Counter.

Google Analytics

I would like to point out that it is OK to start out with Google Analytics. It is easy, and free, and scales well. There are reasons not to, but it is a good starting point.


  • Google Analytics is free, truly free
  • The metrics are very detailed
  • It is easy to set up


  • Privacy concerns
  • Blocked by people
  • Easy to obsess over metrics

Goat Counter

As with most Hacker News posts, the article itself was nothing compared to the excellent comment thread. It was there that I came across people praising Goat Counter.


  • Is open sourced (here on Github)
  • Super lightweight
  • Anonymous statistics
  • Easy to share


  • Has an upper limit on free accounts (10k a month)
  • I am not very fond of Go


I might eventually go back to GA, if I go over the 10k page view limit. Then again, I might not. It might be more like, I only care about the first 10k people who make it to my site.

UPDATE: This site has since shifted to Clicky, for reasons outlined here