Hello again, Fathom Analytics

It turns out one set of numbers justifies my getting, once more, to see another set thereof.


This isn’t, and likely never will be, a high-traffic website. But it has its moments. Occasionally, it catches eyes as a result of a mention on Hacker News, or Dev.to, or the Hugo Discourse forum. Or wherever. And, when that occurs, it’s nice to be able to watch it happen. It gives me a clearer picture of where my readers are in the world, what browsers and devices they’re using, and which sites sent them to me.

— Or, at least, that had been possible, back when I was using Fathom Analytics1 to monitor my site’s traffic. As I explained in June, 2020, Fathom is essentially the anti-Google-Analytics: it gives you all the traffic data you need, but without violating any visitor’s privacy. I happily latched onto Fathom and kept a close watch on its data stream every day for the next two years.

Then, this past June, as I wrote in “A goodbye to analytics,” I decided that my traffic no longer justified having Fathom, so I didn’t renew my annual2 subscription.

Well, the traffic likely is no better, but today I came back to Fathom, anyway. Why? Two reasons, mainly.

First: after I checked the numbers from the affiliate referral commission I still receive even after having ceased to be an active customer, I realized those funds were actually more than paying for a bottom-tier Fathom subscription, just as I’d had before.

Second: as I wrote today in an update to “A goodbye to analytics” . . .

I like using products made by good people for good purposes, and the folks at Fathom surely fit that description.

Thus, I’ve gladly reunited with Fathom.

If your site needs analytics, but you don’t want all the ugliness that Google Analytics inflicts upon your unwary visitors3, I highly recommend you give Fathom a try. I certainly won’t mind if you sign up through this affiliate link, giving yourself a $10 first-month credit and me a little commission; but, even if you just go directly to the main Fathom site and sign up there, you’ll be making a very wise choice.

Before I wrap up this piece, I think I should add one more thing.

Some readers with their own websites told me they agreed with my earlier departure from Fathom, not because they had a problem with Fathom but rather because they purposely avoid using any analytics for their sites. They said they prefer, instead, to write about what they want to cover, without worrying about any resulting numbers.

Well, that’s a perfectly legitimate point of view, and I share it — at least the part about content. After all, if I wrote based on likely traffic rather than my own nerdy predilections, you’d see a totally different set of content around here.

So, yes, the numbers are back; but, no, they won’t have one tiny effect on my freedom to pick any subject matter on which I want to share some thoughts. After all, that’s part of CTCAJW Mode, to which I’ve committed the site for the remainder of its days, whatever that particular number may be.

  1. That’s an affiliate link, with that affiliation explained in the main body of this post: i.e., if you use it to sign up with Fathom, you get a $10 credit toward your first month with Fathom (and, yes, I get a little commission). ↩︎

  2. You can subscribe to Fathom on either a monthly or annual basis, but the latter is cheaper on an annualized basis: each year, you get two months’ worth of data services for free. ↩︎

  3. Besides, tech-savvy users usually block Google Analytics (and most other such intrusions), thus depriving you of accurate data where those visitors are concerned. ↩︎