The current system of analytics tracking is so very broken, let us count the ways:
Most solutions require third party trackers
- These are easily blocked by third-party ad blockers/privacy tools
- They are a privacy nightmare, even when implemented properly
- They slow a site down by increasing http requests and the overhead of additional offsite requests
Most self-hosted solutions are equally bad
- Most self-hosted solutions, including open source, require either a cloud service, (again, the problems above),
- or a full application with mysql as a database (large overhead for small, low-volume websites).
Return of Weblog Analysis
What is needed, with a bit of fine tuning, is a basic weblog analysis. After all, most of what is desired can be managed through http headers, including using session and tracking cookies, all accessible from well-configured weblogs. In turn weblogs can be parsed and information structured and placed into additional logs and/or sqlite databases, which can then be accessed via clients for realtime or reporting data.
Apache log content available
- Query String
- Client IP address (which can be then compared with GeoIP)
- Date/time of request
- Cookie information
Apache per user Sessions
Apache supports user sessions, and also encryption of those sessions prior to being written to a database or http cookies.