Experiments, status updates, tutorials and opinions on web development - particularly surrounding Laravel, Vue and interacting with third party APIs’.

Laravel Analytics

I wrote this on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

TLDR:Analytics is a simple website analytic package for Laravel giving you just enough data to be practical without any of the data-sharing, third party crazyness you get with hosted web analytic tools. Check it out at https://github.com/jakeydevs/analytics

When I check my site analytics for sites such as this one - I really only look at a few metrics:

  • How many page views I have had
  • How many people have visited
  • How long were they on the site / a page for
  • What is my popular content
  • How are people visiting my site (browser, device)

So why am I sending SO MUCH of my users data to a third party service who slurps up so much meta data? Lets not do that anymore.

There are a lot of privacy focused Analytic services out there, but all are pretty expensive (ranging from $9 to $20 a month from what I've found). My current site is hosted on a $5 droplet from Digitalocean - that means I can pop MYSQL or Postgres on it to use as my database rather than using a third party at all!

So, I did a search online and through Packagist (PHP Libaray manager) for analytic packages that let me collect my own pageview data, parse it and display statistics but the results were more than disappointing. There are hundreds of Google Analytic data display plugins, but very little options about gathering your own stuff.

So lets build one.

Below is my stream from Tuesday 13 October where I took to building this package. We've managed to get the basics of data collection and data parsing nailed - to get it to a workable version we need to build out the stats part. We'll do that on our stream on Friday 16th October between 1pm and 4pm!

You can find my stream at https://www.twitch.tv/jakeydev and I stream twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays between 1pm and 4pm GMT.

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