Fathom Analytics - Product Stars
Best products of August 2018

Fathom Analytics

Simple, trustworthy website analytics (finally)

Upvotes 824 PH Page >
Abadesi
I admire the privacy driven approach of your product, when did you come up with the idea? @dannyvankooten @pjrvs
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@abadesi Hey! The idea started when I questioned my "product development stack" which I wrote about here: https://pjrvs.com/transparent/ Basically, as Tristan Harris said in a NYT piece, if we aren't paying for the product, we are the product. That really resonated as I had never questioned what I was trading for free software. So I started looking for open-source and alternatives to GA, and came up short. Some options were too expensive for me, a tiny bootstrapped business. Some open source options (like Piwik) were too complicated for my needs, and their UI wasn't great (I'm a designer, haha, so that's important). I decided to build my own, but I wanted to see if there was traction around the idea first, so I spent a day working on a screenshot and tweeted it here: https://twitter.com/pjrvs/status/985874315563286528 Within hours it had lots of retweets and favourites, and hundreds of folks signing up for the mailing list. So it seemed I wasn't the only one wanting a simple, easy, open-source alternative to GA. I spoke with my friend @Danny (from MC4WP fame + a solid developer) and we decided to build it together. So version 1 is the open-source version you'll find on github today. Next, we're working on adding more features (roadmap is coming soon) and offering a hosted, paid option for folks that don't want to manage/update the code or server configs. It'll be a simple cut+paste of javascript into WordPress or any other CMS. Thanks for the hunt! It was a nice surprise in my inbox this morning :)
Swizz
Hunter
@dannyvankooten @pjrvs I am glad that Fathom was my first hunt. I was looking for a privacy-first solution for a while and I was hyped at the seconds I have seen it in my Github trendings flow. And you two are sharing a great open mind with a great back story. I hope the track.js file to be shared as an npm module someday soon. If you are looking for testers I am up and ready !
Paul Jarvis
Maker
Thanks so much Swizz :) Great first hunt, I think. Feel free to test it now, the code is available on our Github repo.
Swizz
Hunter
@pjrvs You are on a really good track. I would love to contribute but I am not a go developer. I am more on the JS/Frontend side. Maybe once you will be looking at pushing the tracking client further.
Brandon Bayer
I’m super excited to try the hosted version when it’s ready!
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@beedesignllc Thanks Brandon!
Marko Saric
I'm looking forward to trying this. Google Analytics tracks way too much and this seems like a more simple and user-friendly solution.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@markosaric Thanks Marko! I agree, 109430493 pages in GA and I'm like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ just gimme the 2 things I was looking for :P
Andrew Paterson
@markosaric Totally agree, overkill ;-)
Val Geisler
*wishes I knew more about managing server configurations so I could use Fathom right the eff now*
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@lovevalgeisler We'll soon have a hosted version that's just a copy+paste (probably also a simple WP plugin to add the code) - you can be a beta tester if you'd like, when we're ready.
Rachel Shillcock
@lovevalgeisler Hahaha, this is me! Can't wait for the hosted version too @pjrvs :)
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@missrachilli soon :)
Val Geisler
@pjrvs count me in.
Miguel Piedrafita
@lovevalgeisler @pjrvs Can I also help?
Jan
@lovevalgeisler @pjrvs I've only dabbled in server configs, and am well acquainted with not getting things right. I'm definitely not going to try it while I have a concussion! Bring on the hosted version!
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@lovevalgeisler @m1guelpf if you hop on the list, you'll know when things are ready 👌
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@justjanrose hop on the list to know when it's ready :)
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@m1guelpf hop on the mailing list, and we'll keep you posted :)
Simon Schmid
Looks awesome @dannyvankooten!
Danny
Maker
@s2imon Thanks Simon. (Although the looks are mostly @pjrvs's doing!)
Simon Schmid
@dannyvankooten absolutely aware, though @pjrvs doesn't know who the 🌀🌀🌀 I am, so I've kept the praise among us ;)
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@s2imon @dannyvankooten it's a 50/50 awesome split ;)
David Sherlock
@dannyvankooten is an exceptional developer and I have complete faith this will be great project! Definitely going to check this out as a lightweight alternative to Google Analytics! 🚀
Danny
Maker
@davidsherlockio Appreciate you saying that David. Thank you!
dmitrizzle
I’m interested to know how you render your data to the users. I’ve got some experience running an analytics engine for high-traffic situations, it cost a lot of dollars and engineering to keep that running.
Danny
Maker
@dmitrizzle Hey! Basically what we're doing is we store only daily aggregates on the server and store everything that we need to assemble these daily aggregates on the client. Whenever a new pageview comes in, it includes details about whether that pageview is coming from a new visitor, a new session, etc. Every minute we update the daily aggregates by looping through all pageviews (stored in a table optimized for writes) and then immediately getting rid of these pageview rows. This means that for a site with 100 pages, we only have to store 36.5K rows per year, containing the daily aggregated stats. Additional benefit is that not storing any visitor-specifics on the server happens to be the most privacy friendly solution too. Let me know if you'd love to chat more about this stuff, I'd love to learn from your experience running something similar.
dmitrizzle
@dannyvankooten Sounds good man, for sure, if you're on Twitter feel free to DM or @ @dmitrizzle
Biraj Ghosh
Uh man... love the simplicity! any plans for devices and location tracking?
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@biraj while we are releasing a roadmap soon, we are open to other features if enough of the user-base wants them.
jason silberman
This looks awesome! I’ve been following along since your first tweet about it. I will definitely be trying out the self hosted version soon. I think the way you are doing a free self hosted version and a paid hosted version is a very smart way to do it!
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@_jasonsilberman thanks jason!
Adam Clark
Huge congrats on shipping this @pjrvs and @dannyvankooten. Can't wait to dive in. I've been wishing for a solid GA alternative for a long time.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@dannyvankooten @avclark thank you sir :)
Cristian Nebunu
Awesome! The only other feature I think might be nice, would be to have avg time on page for each page.
Danny
Maker
@cristiannebunu Hey Cristian. That's good to hear, because it is actually already keeping track of that data! Just not showing it anywhere, yet. :-)
Marc Johns
@pjrvs & @dannyvankooten this is such a brilliant idea! I LOVE the philosophy behind it. And GA is so bloody complicated that I think this has a chance of being tremendously successful. Congratulations gentlemen!
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@dannyvankooten @marcjohns thanks marc!
Vivek Sancheti
UI looks cool and classy. Hope to see the real product soon.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@evivz it already is a "real" product, you can use the demo on our site or install it from our github repo :)
Mario Rodriguez
Simply, awesome.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@mariordev thanks mario!
Vikash Rungta
Does this provide access to the data via api - for integration?
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@vrungta not yet, no.
Isiah Hill
This is awesome! Can't wait to test it out. When will the hosted version be released this year?
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@isiahhill a few months hopefully - hop on the mailing list to know when.
Quentin
Looks sweet! would be happy to try out the hosted/WP plugin out. Let me know :)
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@quentinau 👌hop on the mailing list to stay informed about it.
Steven Kryger
I'm looking forward to using this. Have always appreciated what Paul Jarvis creates - and if you don't already, subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@stevenkryger thanks steven, i appreciate that!
Ben
Looks like Mint (analytics, not finance), which is definitely a good thing. Is the goal to remain open source and make money from the hosted version?
Danny
Maker
@heliostatic Hey Ben, Paul and I both loved Mint back in the day! And yes, we definitely plan to remain open-source and hope to make it a sustainable effort by asking for donations and providing a paid hosted version. Much like Ghost, for example.
Ben
@dannyvankooten Sounds like a great plan. Simple, hosted analytics is an underserved space.
Mike Acler
Maybe silly question–but is there more in demo than 1 screen with top pages / referrers?
Danny
Maker
@agilek Hah, no, not yet. We're starting with what we think is most important and working from there, although we plan to keep this simple and frankly, quite opinionated. What are you missing?
Mike Acler
@dannyvankooten A few (not prioritised) ideas: - referrers by channel (organic, email, social,...) - grouping referrers by domain (+ option to drill down to specific pages) - traffic quality + channel (to be able to tell well performing channels from shitty ones) - keywords (don't know if it's possible for you, but I'd like to know what people search for) - data from internal search (to know what are people interested in on my site) - data on content (how people consume, what they like/dislike) - visitors data (stats on new/returning, sessions in time, origin, devices...) - top entry pages (to be able to optimize main landing pages) - be able to define conversions / funnels (on a very basic level) What I need are actionable and easy to understand metrics. I know most of the things in list above are in GA but they are buried in the app or you need to have a skill to set it up / interpret it / use it – basically it's too complicated for BFUs.
Paul Jarvis
Maker
@agilek thanks for sharing mike. we'll be prioritizing features based on what the bulk of are our users are requesting.
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