Big week for web agencies

a web agency day's work
This photo shows a light skin man with facial hair and a hoodie working on multiple monitors doing what looks like website admin work. The starting image was licensed from Envato and then edited.

Google Analytics 4!

Is your site still collecting data?

The day has finally come, July 1, 2023. The day after which Google promises to no longer track web properties using Universal Analytics tags. This means that all websites needed to be migrated to Google Analytics 4, or to another analytics solution, by today.

Here’s what we’ve been up to around here.

Wherever possible, we have been moving sites that we manage onto alternative analytics solutions, away from Google Analytis entirely. In this post, we explain briefly why. If you are a client, you should have already received a personalized email with this information this past week, letting you know that your analytics are all set. This blog post is for general, public knowledge.

Privacy-friendly tracking: Koko Analytics

For most of the sites that we host and manage, we have shifted away from Google Analytics and onto a more privacy-friendly tracking solution. That solution, which we currently recommend, is Koko Analytics. Koko Analytics is open-source and has a ton of privacy-friendly and lightweight features to it, that still let it meet the needs of most organizations.

Koko Analytics is also packaged on the Wordpress repo as a plugin. We love this solution as of right now, and believe it to be the way to do, prioritizing site visitor privacy and site load speeds. You can read more on github and the Wordpress repo listing.

Nonprofits-only: Google Analytics 4

Unfortunately, we currently manage a website for a nonprofit that has Google for Nonprofits, which requires that the site be connected in to Google Analytics. That means we had to transition the site from a Universal Analytics prroperty over to Google Analytics 4.

To maximize privacy of site visitors, we turned off most data collection settings.

To minimize the burden on their already overtaxed, nonprofit-level, shared website hosting environment, we load the minimal javascript version of google analytics 4 (analytics-minimal.js) which is a smaller, optimized, and open-source version of Google Analytics (more here on minimal analytics).

The minimal analytics script is cool because is covers the basics: page views, locations, devices, and not all of the rest that’s possible with the big analytics.js file. The analytics-minimal.js file gets locally hosted and browser cached.

Do you need analytics for your site?

No, although Koko Analytics is really lightweight, privacy-friendly, and can give you some basic data to guide your content creation strategies for growth marketing pretty smoothly. These data can guide you:

to help you decide what to publicly share,
to select where to focus your time and efforts, and
to know what drives traffic to your site.

Have questions?

Be in touch.

About Erika Sanborne

Erika Sanborne is the WordPress developer and agency owner at Our Future Site, a division of Erika Sanborne Media LLC. In addition to web development, Erika produces digital graphics, videos, animated explainers, and portraiture work. Her other hats include: long-time math and psychological science educator, ordained UCC clergy, disabled veteran for peace, disability justice advocate, population health and disability policy researcher, and sociology PhD candidate. All at the same time. Yeah. She keeps busy. | More About Erika