Unless you’ve lost your Internet connectivity for a while, you’re surely aware of Google Analytics 4. The last time I checked it out, it was a monstrously complex piece of software that requires you to jump through hoops for even the simplest analytics. I’d posted a review of Google Analytics 4 at the time and noted how confusing it was. I’m a simple guy – I just need to see which pages on my site were viewed, and which links were clicked. And GA4 made that hugely complicated.
July 1st, 2023 – The Day We’re All Forced into GS4
On the 16th of March 2022, Google announced that it’s going to retire Universal Analytics to make way for GA4. On that date, the old Google Analytics will stop processing new data. You’ll continue to see reports for previously collected data in the dashboard, but after 6 months, that too will stop working.
So this is it then. Google is going to force us to make a choice. Do we move to Google Analytics 4 with all its complications, or do we migrate to another analytics solution?
Tools other Than Google Analytics are Typically Not Free
There are plenty of options for those of us who want to switch to another analytics solution. The problem is that hardly any of them are free. Now a case can be made that such tools shouldn’t be free in the first place. After all, these alternatives use a 3rd party backend server that they need to maintain to send back pings and reports. A way around this is to have a self-hosted solution, but then there are costs to developing and maintaining an analytics solution.
Unfortunately, with Google Analytics, we’ve all gotten used to analytics software being free. I see this as the single biggest hurdle to people wanting to make the switch. Especially if you’re a small or medium-sized business spending say $10 on hosting, the typical cost of an analytics solution can cost more than what you spend on hosting!
Many Analytics Tools aren’t Easy Either
Another problem with some Google Analytics competitors is that they’re just as complicated – if not more so than GA4. For example, one well-known product in the market is called “Amplitude”, and I’ve heard about it a lot as a replacement for Google Analytics 4. They even have a free tier! But when I sign up for their service, I get a dashboard like this to get started:
Alternatives to Google Analytics 4
The other player is Microsoft, with their “Clarity” software. Like Cloudflare Web Analytics, it’s free and I’ll be doing some testing of my own to see if I can replace Google Analytics with it. Of particular interest to me is the impact on page load speed. For now, I’ve only installed it on a few pages on my site and I’m still gathering data. I’ll post a review on this blog with my findings!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!