Client-Side vs Server-Side Analytics: Data Comparison

Published: Jan 14, 2022

I currently use GoatCounter for client-side analytics and am pleased with it. Shout-out to Martin Tournoij for creating it – Google Analytics needed some quality competition.

Netlify currently hosts my site. They happen to collect analytics, which they’ll show you for $9 a month. I figured, why not, I’ll pay it once just to compare.

I compared data for the last month: Dec 14, 2021 to Jan 14, 2022. The results were interesting.

Seemingly 1483 visitors went under the client-side analytics radar. Why? Who knows. It could be any number of things: they’re behind a (strict) VPN or proxy, they use browser extensions that block the counter script, they navigated away before the counter script loaded, etc.

Regardless, now I feel like I can safely overestimate total unique visits reported by client-side analytics. Zing!

Metric Client-Side Server-Side Diff
Total Unique Visits 15,182 16,665 9.8%
Source: Google 10,232 10,465 2.3%
Source: DuckDuckGo 436 931 113.5%