In September, we announced that we’re building a new, free Web Analytics product for the whole web. Today, I’m excited to announce that anyone can now sign up to use our new Web Analytics — even without changing your DNS settings. In other words, Cloudflare Web Analytics can now be deployed by adding an HTML snippet (in the same way many other popular web analytics tools are) making it easier than ever to use privacy-first tools to understand visitor behavior.

Cloudflare’s Web Analytics product was previously only available for Pro plans and above. Now it’s available for everyone, but there’s a small difference. The new free analytics service relies on a JavaScript snippet, while the paid service (which requires a paid Cloudflare plan) doesn’t.

As someone who’s obsessed with performance, I really enjoyed the paid service when I tested it out for a few weeks when it first came out. Not having to load additional JavaScript just for analytics was (and still is) something that’s very appealing to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a use case for a paid Cloudflare plan, and paying $29/month just for analytics was a waste of money.

As I mentioned in a post from earlier this month, I’ve been starting to look into replacing Google Analytics with a privacy-oriented analytics solution. I was taking a serious look at Fathom Analytics which clocks in at $12/month until I saw Cloudflare’s free analytics service pop up this week. I like the idea of supporting small businesses like Fathom Analytics, but I’m really trying hard to minimize costs for this site as much as possible.

I’ve already installed Cloudflare’s new service on this site. Cloudflare uses a single beacon.min.js file for analytics tracking, and it’s very lightweight at 4.28 KB. For reference, the Google Analytics tracking script weighs in at 73 KB, though I currently use Minimal Google Analytics Snippet, which reduces the JavaScript file to 1.5 KB. Anyway, my plan is to see how Cloudflare’s traffic stats compare to Google Analytics. If the numbers are comparable – say ±15% – I’ll probably get rid of Google Analytics and switch over to Cloudflare’s solution.

I’ll monitor for a few weeks, and provide an update. Thrilling stuff!

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