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Use analytics.js without Segment in Gatsby (gatsby-plugin-analytics-without-segment)

A Gatsby plugin to use Segments open-source analytics library (analytics.js) WITHOUT using the paid Segment service (segment.com).

Why this package?

The concept of analytics.js is awesome. BUT Segments’s free tier (max 1.000 monthly users) might not work for you, if you have a lot of non-paying visitors on your website.

So if you want an easy-to-configure analytics.js-wrapper for your analytics (Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Hotjar, YouNameIt, …), then this is your go-to! Basically ALL big analytics-integrations are supported.

This solution is open source, unlimited and free forever!

Background (state 2018-10-24): Segment.com has aggressive pay-or-leave policies, which they will apply after you hit the 1000 free monthly users limit. They will lock your account and stop processing your events after a deadline.

Features

  • Best-practise loading of analytics.js: This plugin loads Segments analytics.js following best-practises and enables you to easily set options (cdnUrl and services) via Gatsby-config.
  • Unlimited and free: You’ll use the free analytics.js and not depend on Segment (which has aggressive pay-or-leave policies, after you hit the 1000 free monthly users)
  • Auto-Track route changes: Routes are automatically tracked via analytics.page() via Gatsby
  • Track events anywhere: You can track custom-events anywhere in your code via analytics.track()
  • Supported integrations: A LOT of analytics-tools are supported. see https://github.com/segment-integrations.
  • Development-mode: In development you’ll only see the events in the console. Your events will NOT be forwarded
  • Production-mode: All events will be routed to the services. Check your console for possible errors.

INSTALL

Install via npm

npm install gatsby-plugin-analytics-without-segment --save

Usage

In your gatsby-config.js, add:

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    // your other plugins...
    {
      resolve: 'gatsby-plugin-analytics-without-segment',
      options: {
        cdnUrl: 'https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/analytics.js/2.9.1/analytics.min.js',  // host yourself or use cdnjs (https://cdnjs.com/libraries/analytics.js)
        services: {
          // see integration https://github.com/segment-integrations/analytics.js-integration-google-analytics/blob/master/lib/index.js
          'Google Analytics': {
            trackingId: 'UA-XXX-1',
            anonymizeIp: true,
          },
          // see integration https://github.com/segment-integrations/analytics.js-integration-mixpanel/blob/master/lib/index.js
          'Mixpanel': {
            token: 'XXX',
            people: true,
            trackAllPages: true,
          },
          // see integration https://github.com/segment-integrations/analytics.js-integration-fullstory/blob/master/lib/index.js
          'FullStory': {
            org: 'XXX',
            debug: true,
          },
          // ... other service? See supported integrations (that can be loaded via analytics.js) at https://github.com/segment-integrations.
        },
      },
    },
    // ...your other plugins
  ]
}

In your code you can track events like:

analytics.track('Some event', {
  property1: 'xyz',
  // more data
})

WHY using this?

Advantages:

  • You will NOT run out of segments free tier after hitting 1000 MPU (monthly users), because you simply do NOT use it
  • You’ll have a single API for tracking analytics (p.e. analytics.page() or analytics.track())

Disadvantages:

  • This does NOT work on server-side
  • It might take a bit more time to configure than using segment
  • You do NOT any of segments other cool features (which you will not need when starting a side-project)

Question: What analytics-services are supported?

You should be able to use ALL services that segment itself supports and has integrations available. You’ll have to dig around a bit in segment’s code to find the options for each individual tool.

Check out the supported Integrations (that can be loaded via analytics.js) at https://github.com/segment-integrations.

Credits

This is project is based on https://gist.github.com/typpo/5e2e4403c60314e04e8b6b257555f6de and the related blogpost at http://www.ianww.com/blog/2017/08/06/analytics-js-standalone-library/.

Contribute (Development notes)

Copy this to your local /plugins/gatsby-plugin-analytics-without-segment-directory. Gatsby will prioritise local over remove.

On the command-line, start a second terminal, go to /plugins/gatsby-plugin-analytics-without-segment and run npm run build-watch to auto-compile on file-change from /src to / via babel.

CLI cheatsheat:

npm run build-watch;  # auto-compile on file-change from /src to / via babel

License

MIT


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