cloudflare

What Do You Overlook if You Use Just Client-Side Web-Analytics?

In the previous article comparing the JAMstack services of two popular providers, I have mentioned that one of my incentives of moving to Cloudflare was its basic server-side analytics provided even for the free tier users. Extended analytics is available on both Cloudflare and Netlify as a paid option: on Cloudflare you have to subscribe to one of the paid accounts (the cheapest is “Pro” plan that costs 20 US Dollars per month); on Netlify you can either subscribe to “Business” plan for 99 US Dollars per member per month, or you can enable this feature for every your site for just 9 US Dollars a month. If you need an accurate web analytics data, I definitely recommend you choosing one of these options because, as my analysis in this article shows, the client-side analytics solutions (e.g., Google Analytics, Yandex Metrica or Microsoft Clarity) overlook a large portion of visitors' interactions due to different anti-tracking solutions (e.g., personally I use uBlock Origin plugin for my web-browser). In this article, I show how much data you may overlook.

Comparing Netlify and Cloudflare Pages

The core idea of the JAMstack architecture (JavaScript, API and Markup) is to substitute dynamic webpages with pre-rendered from a template static pages that use different services exposed through Javascript API to offer dynamic features. During the last several years, the JAMstack architecture has been becoming more and more popular especially due to the proliferation of serverless paradigm. This architecture also gains its interest among bloggers who appreciate full control over their websites. Seeing the rapid development of JAMstack, several companies have started offering services for this architecture: automated builds, build previews, CDN, caching, SSL certificate provisions, hosting. Using these platforms, it is now quite easy for developer-bloggers to launch a website. To my point of view, these platforms may take a piece of a pie from traditional blogging platforms.

For the last three years, I used Netlify to host my website. I was pretty happy with the services this company provides, especially considering that they were free of charge for me. However, recently Cloudflare has also launched its JAMstack platform called Cloudflare Pages, and I decided to try it myself in order to discover its pros and cons. In this article, I compare the services provided by these companies from a blogger perspective, and share my opinion when each of them should be used.