Due to Google’s announcement that they will force us to move away from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 I wasn’t happy with that. Due to a lack of alternatives in minimal analytics, loading official (bloated) tracking code that weights 171kB (in my instance), that is liable for blocking by various AdBlockers, wasn’t something that I had been looking forward to.
I started searching for a solution. Due to lack of it, I decided, by hit-and-miss approach, to create my own, and I think I did it. It weighs 2kB minified. Its main purpose is to track page views (
first_visit) on our website in Google Analytics 4 property. Since version 1.06 it detects and tracks site searches (
view_search_results), from 1.07 search query (
search_term) and 1.09 scrolls (
scroll) capturing scroll events each time when a visitor gets to the bottom of a page (90% and below).
On the 16th of March 2022 Google announced its plans for a shutdown of Universal Analytics property and replace it fully with Goole Analytics 4 (v4) that been in the market since late 2020.
Google like to kill off their services. Luckily, this is not about shutting down Google Analytics but only the method, how analytics data are collected from websites. If you have been using Google Analytics for some time, then it’s more likely that you have been using Universal Analytics. You will know that by looking at your tracking code that will carry
UA- on front of the numbers.
Analytics in its 4th version (UA is 3rd) has been developed for some time, but it wasn’t adopted as quick as Google could expect (or want), this is why they forcing a change by shutting down one in favour of another.
You may say what you want about Google Analytics, especially about how “they” are, apart from displaying data for you, using data gathered for “their” business purpose (forget about privacy). If you are a website owner and you are looking for a reasonable tracking method for your visitors, this is the solution that you will pick in the first place.
The problem with Google Analytics is that their tracking script weights a lot and that is slowing down your website.
When I moved into a static website made using Hugo I optimised almost everything, including the Google Analytics script. Instead of bulky code loaded from Google, I used Minimal Analytics.
Initially, I put it as always, in the head of my website. Later on, I added it to my 404.html page. I created my own 404 page to override the default Netlify landing page that appears when the visited URL was not found.
The idea was initially to find broken links that visitors are using and to fix them with relevant redirection. However, it didn’t take long until my analytics were spammed by stupid people (and their bots) trying to find a way to break in to my site.