Piwik - Alternative for analytics


Piwik is free and open analytics that’s available hosted or self-hosted. We use self-hosted Piwik on the Ind.ie site, though I’m sure we could use it in a more sophisticated way.


  • free and open, available as self-hosted option
  • also available as a paid-for hosted option (which provides Piwik with a sustainable business model)
  • self-hosted option means yours (and your visitors’) data is secure

Potential problems

  • interface can be a little clunky/hard to use
  • a lot of us are using blockers (such as Ghostery) that block client-side analytics which may limit the usefulness of the analytics

Cloud-hosted version is $29pm for 100,000 “actions” (tracked page views/downloads/events/etc). One install can be used for multiple sites.

Not feature-equivalent, but a very worthy alternative to Google Analytics.

Laura’s Diary — Thursday, 30th July, 2015
Stopgaps and Alternatives
Is there potential for “ethical analytics”?

Regarding the blocking of client-side analytics. A solution could be (for self-hosters) to have a way to have a first-party dummy tracker, that merely resubmits the appropriate requests to your actual Piwik server.

Ghostery for example ignore first-party trackers.


There was a time where server side logs have been used for analytics, without invading user privacy by collecting nothing more then what the HTTP spec decided to share. I see Piwik has 'em http://piwik.org/log-analytics/ and more famously AWStats http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/a/4858

It all depends on what are the questions.

EDIT: There are even solutions from the big data more modern world, stuff like https://www.elastic.co/products/logstash


Hi Laura

I am new to data privacy, but in love with the idea. One thing I can’t get my head around is how to get the best of both worlds.

If you have a website and needs to communicate to other people, you must be able to be found by the search engines. I am not at all an expert in such matters, but I have installed the google analytics on my websites, just because this is the way I was told it should be.

I know the google analytics tracking does not by it self gives you a visibility for the search engines, but I am sure it has a part in the game.

I know that by having google analytics on my site, my users are tracked and saved in the big google database. And as of such I am guilty in adding data to their personal profile.

I agree with @Aral that the one thing missing is an alternative to the user experience, we get from using the tools Google provides us with, but when it comes to SEO or simply being visible to search engines, how can you do that without selling out on user data privileges?

A majority of users are using Google search, so how can you not be in the google universe, but still be visible on it so users can find your content?

Do you have any tips on this issue? I will check out Piwik, but it is a conflict of interrests to not depend on google but still need them to be around for the wast majority of the users?

Perhaps it is as simple as you can’t have it both ways. But if that is the case I would love to read more about it.


It really doesn’t, and assumptions like this have dangerous implications. Google may tell you how to better optimise your page for their search results but having Google Analytics installed will make no difference to your search results. In fact, I believe it would be in breach of anti-competition rules if Google penalised those not using Google Analytics. Let me just make sure I am clear about this: not using Google products will not affect your site’s Google search results. Unless you’re using Google ads, which is a different issue.

Google themselves have good recommendations on how to optimise your pages for search.