I’ve wanted for a long time to get some kind of idea about how many visitors this site gets. In the beginning I used Google Analytics, but ditched it long time ago and switched to Piwik.

At one point during the last decade I noticed that the integration between Drupal and Piwik was not working. Back then I think I got the idea of switching the blog to some other platform. When I had been using Hugo for a while, I realized that I missed my “analytics”, so to speak. I know that if I have five visitors a month, at least five (or more) of them are bots crawling around the Internet. But still, I like to see a number.

Of course the first step is to find out, what options I have. I tried Umami, Fathom, Plausible and many others. There were various problems, but two were present in most of them:

  1. When you are running Kubernetes, deployments should be easy. But if you are running it on ARM64, your options are suddenly reduced.
  2. What I want is the number of visitors. I don’t care, which site they visited, where they came from, how long the visit lasted etc. This is a simple blog and all I need is a number to ensure me this is worth writing. I understand that most of the Internet wants to sell something and therefore analytics tools are made for fulfilling those needs.

Then I found GoatCounter, which does exactly what I need. By default, it just gives me the number. It doesn’t try to mine all the information from the visitors, it can be self-hosted and it supports Hugo.

My first attempt was to integrate it with Ananke theme that I was using. I found many great guides, such as this, this and this but I couldn’t make it work. That’s when I decided to change my tactics. I searched for themes that support GoatCounter natively and found hugo-coder.

Now I’m just watching the numbers go up. So far, there hasn’t been much to see.