Google Analytics dominates the market when it comes to website owners wanting to gain insights about visitors to their sites. It’s a tried and tested service, not to mention free, so it’s easy to see why many people may not bother looking for an alternative.
It’s also common practice to sign up for Google Tag Manager to help with the management of Google Analytics and other 3rd-party offerings. The two services complement each other, meaning that by signing up to one, you’re able to get more out of the other. It’s also common for Google Data Studio to be used in conjunction with the Analytics tool.
But is it worth searching for a better alternative? What if there was an open-source, privacy-friendly solution that is also simple, lightweight and easy to use?
Scale8 can offer exactly this. So why not see for yourself if our service can offer you all of this, while you also help to break the cycle of Google Analytics being installed on websites as a default?
We’ve put data ownership first for a reason. When using Scale8 products and services, you retain the ownership of your data. We help you store and process that data, but it never becomes property of Scale8 and we will never sell or share your data with anyone.
We will not use your data for the development of our own products or services. Your data will never be shared with third parties, advertising companies or otherwise.
The same can’t be said for Google Analytics. It is often unclear how your data will be used and processed. Since the Google Analytics product is free, it’s reasonable to conclude that Google is making a profit from your use of their services in some other way.
In previous roles, both the co-founders of Scale8 helped clients to set up and configure Google Analytics. For the vast majority of website owners they simply do not require all the functionality that is offered by the service. It is a complex tool and can take a long time to learn how to use.
Scale8, on the other hand, provides simple analytics straight out of the box. Our intuitive product can also be run in analytics only mode - a super lightweight version without our tag manager included. Even then, the installation process and the analytics offering is the same.
We provide a simple dashboard that provides the website owner with just the important information they require. For those who want to go beyond our offering, we make it easy to configure your own data management endpoint and stream your data to another storage backend ready to be analysed.
Our analytics product aims to reduce the tracking of website visitors. We aim to provide the optimal balance between providing much needed analytics to website owners, but without compromising the privacy of their website visitors.
It’s clear that Google benefits from and takes advantage of your data, and this is reflected in their Google Analytics product. This is why using Google Analytics will require you to notify your users before tracking them.
If you include Google Analytics on your website, you are obligated to inform your users about this. This can lead to a poor user experience, and means that the user is forced to understand what data is being collected, by who, and what data is being processed. Cookie banners and consent management platforms (CMPs) can be off-putting for visitors, and can often lead to a higher than expected bounce rate.
It is important to check with your legal team before using Scale8. Our code is open-source and we are completely transparent about how we build our analytics product.
A recent GDPR judgement that came from the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA) concluded that Google Analytics had violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This was the first time the law was tested with regards to EU-US data transfer and a decision likely to be replicated when tested by other EU member states. Since this ruling, several other data protection authorities have released similar findings.
Scale8 data is only processed and hosted on servers in the EU. Furthermore we do not store any personally identifiable information (PII). We believe that the strict data protection laws from the EU are unparalleled and we adhere to GDPR guidance.
Please note that it is possible to send your data anywhere you’d like using our Data Manager service. It is also possible to gather more information about your users such as their IP address and in doing so you must make sure that you adhere to any and all rules and regulations that apply.
On the other hand, Google Analytics does not provide any form of Tag Management. Instead, you will need to use a separate Google service, Google Tag Manager, to add that functionality.
If you do later decide that you would like the Scale8 tag management tool, you can easily enable it with no extra account requirements or associated costs.
While it is possible to track errors using Google Analytics, that’s not what the service was primarily designed for. It needs extra configuration and the tools available fall short of many other products on the market. Website owners that are serious about tracking errors will turn to services like Sentry, Rollbar, Airbrake or TrackJS to plug the gap.
Unlike Google Analytics, Scale8 is completely open-source and free to host yourself. We believe in the open-source community and the value it brings to software developers.
Our code is available to view on Github and we have no plans to stop there. We are in the process of adding multiple deployment options for our self-hosted version via Terraform. We believe this will help us grow even quicker and help us drive the product forward for the benefit of all website owners.
Google is a data driven company and a very large portion of their income is directly derived from collecting, analysing and processing data. By using Google Analytics and agreeing to their terms of service they are free to use your data for other business activities (good and bad!).
Scale8 does not sell your data or use your data for any other purposes. We unfortunately have costs to cover for running our commercial offering and this is why we have to charge for our service.
Our product is fully compatible with GDPR, CCPA, PECR and other privacy regulations. We help you take ownership of your data and protect your users’ privacy.
You will benefit from having error tracking at your fingertips without having to install additional services on your website.
Just switch on the tag management service when you are ready to use it. There is no extra cost!
If you have a blog, a forum or a website and want to give your visitors a better experience then give Scale8 a try. We offer a free 30 day trial and there is no credit card required.
Matomo does offer Error Tracking, which is a handy tool for tracking any potential errors. Scale8 and Matomo offer various monthly plans, with prices based on how many monthly views your website gets. Scale8 offers a 30-day free trial, which is longer than Matomo's 21-day trial. Matomo also offers a free version when hosted on their servers, but this requires you to opt in and pay for extra features.Continue Reading →
Cloudflare Web Analytics is one of a number of free web analytics tools. Unlike most, Cloudflare doesn't profit from the use of your personal data. This means that no cookies are used and your data isn't sold onto third parties. Scale8 and Cloudflare Web Analytics are both built with speed in mind. This means that you only get information based on a very small percentage of samples.
Scale8 offers extensive reporting with much larger timescales, so you can make the important decisions based on the full set of data. Cloudflare Web Analytics is GDPR compliant and free, but it misses out on so many key features that any website owner would need.Continue Reading →
Scale8 is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics. Fathom is a simple and privacy focussed analytics tool that provides website owners with exactly what they need. Both products share the belief that protecting the privacy of website owners and visitors is their number one priority. Scale8 and Fathom both offer a 30-day free trial before committing to buying. While Fathom only offers a 7-day trial, Scale8 offers a 30 day free trial with no credit card details.
Scale8 and Plausible are both privacy focused alternatives to Google Analytics. Both aim to put the data back into the hands of website owners and users. Scale8 has found that many features offered by Google Analytics are never used by website owners. Scale8 and Plausible are two great alternatives to Google Analytics for website analytics. There are, however, some important differences that are worth exploring.
Scale8 offers a large number of plans so that you can find the one that suits you best. Scale8 is a great alternative to Google Analytics and Plausible. Our Tag manager has been designed to be efficient and easy to use. It also offers website owners the ability to easily clone and experiment with tags and preview any revisions made so that you can find what works best.Continue Reading →
Scale8's Simple Analytics package includes tag management, error tracking and analytics tools. Our easy to install tag manager makes integrating and editing tags on your site a simple process. With our plans starting from just $10 a month, you can get the whole package for less than it would cost you to get Simple Analytics.Continue Reading →