A Privacy-Friendly Alternative to Google Analytics for WordPress

If you’re looking for a simple, privacy-friendly WordPress traffic analytics tool, then the Burst Statistics plugin may be the one for you. With over 50,000 active installations, it is one of the Top 10 WordPress plugins of 2022.

It’s not a complete Google Analytics alternative, as it lacks any ecommerce tracking features. It comes from the developers of the popular Really Simple SSL and Complianz plugins.

Plugin Installation and Easy Configuration

To get started, go to your WordPress dashboard and install the Burst Statistics plugin from the official repository.

Activate the plugin and it will start collecting information about your visitors right away. You will see a new Statistics page in the Dashboard section.

A quick tour is available, even though there’s very little to do.

Switch to the Settings tab and look at the available options. On my websites I tend to enable all 3 options.

Burst Statistics WordPress Plugin - Settings page.

In the Advanced panel you can exclude certain roles from being tracked and even exclude certain IPs. A nice feature is the ability to quickly add your own IP.
Don’t forget to save your changes.

This is what the statistics page looks like on a website after several days.

Burst Statistics WordPress Plugin - Statistics page.

You can see the number of pageviews, sessions, visitors and the bounce rate. There is also information about the devices used by your visitors, where your traffic is coming from and your top pages by pageviews.

In the Insights panel, you can include the other 2 metrics for Bounces and Sessions. Clicking on a graph label will hide it.

When browsing your list of posts and pages, a new Pageviews column will become available. You can hide or display it from the Screen Options panel.

If you’re worried about the database, currently the plugin creates 3 new tables and uses two of them. After more than 3,000 pageviews in 3 days, the tables grew to ~1.6MB.

Burst Statistics WordPress Plugin - tables in the database.

I also noticed that the plugin collects the user’s device resolution, but currently this information is not displayed in the Statistics panel, though it may be in the future.

Burst Statistics WordPress Plugin - device resolutions in the database.

This plugin is a good fit for your website if all you care about is some basic website traffic information. I already replaced Google Analytics with it on over a dozen of my own websites.

What are the benefits of privacy-friendly website analytics?

Privacy-friendly website analytics refers to the use of tracking and analysis tools that prioritize the privacy of website visitors. These tools typically do not collect or store personal identifying information, and they may allow website owners to anonymize or aggregate data to protect the privacy of individual users.

There are several benefits to using privacy-friendly website traffic analytics:

  1. Protecting user privacy: Traditional web analytics tools often collect and store personal data, such as IP addresses and user behavior, which can be used to identify individual users and their browsing habits. Privacy-friendly analytics tools, on the other hand, do not collect or store personal data, ensuring that users’ privacy is protected.
  2. Complying with regulations: Many countries have strict laws governing the collection and use of personal data, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in California. Using privacy-friendly analytics tools can help businesses comply with these regulations and avoid costly fines and penalties.
  3. Improving user trust and confidence: By protecting user privacy, businesses can improve trust and confidence among their users, which can help to build a strong and loyal customer base.
  4. Enhancing security: Privacy-friendly analytics tools do not collect or store personal data, which reduces the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. This can help to protect against cyber attacks and other threats, which can be costly and damaging to businesses.
  5. Improving website performance: Privacy-friendly analytics tools are often designed to be lightweight and fast, which can help to improve website performance and speed. This can be especially important for businesses that rely on their website to generate revenue, as slow loading times can drive away potential customers.

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