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Why switching to Matomo for website analytics is a good thing

For years I have wondered why the world so blindly got hooked up with Google services and why almost nobody seems to question if that’s a good thing. Nobody I know has any doubts. Reviews everywhere on the internet tell people Google is the best, or at least it’s very good. And if you search for “best way to sync your android phone” or “alternative for iCloud calendars” or something similar, everyone seems to blindly recommend the Google sync stuff – Which also quietly has you use their services afterwards.

Why? It makes no sense… Oh wait, it does. The Google services as a whole work quite well and they work on pretty much every platform and system. Sure, but so do many others. So why choose, and trust, Google?

Like so many others, I recently started to resent companies like Google and Facebook who seemingly just do whatever they want. Dancing around laws and regulations like they don’t exist or matter and the endless lying to their users. I wrote a bit about that in a previous blog post.

Need stats? Get Google Analytics. Need calendars? Get Google Calendar (or whatever they call it). Need email? Get Gmail. And the list goes on. The internet is larger than Google you know… There are alternatives!

Meet Matomo

Recently I switched my statistics away from Google Analytics. I now use Matomo and I’m a happier guy because of it.
I’ve used both for a week or two to see if Matomo can match Google. This quickly changed from “We’ll see if this works” to “Damn, Google makes even less sense now”.

I now can see stats that I understand.
I now can quickly see what’s going on on my websites.
I now can track links and actually see what’s going on without needing a PhD.
I now can track goals in a way that makes sense to me.
And I get to keep my data! Nobody is looking over my shoulder.

This is of-course because I host my own server with Matomo installed on it. If you get Matomo their cloud service your data is still yours, but it’s stored in the Matomo cloud. So, might as well use Google Analytics then, right? Wrong.

Unlike Google, Matomo is unlikely to spy on you, simply because they have nothing to gain from it. Their mission is to provide accurate stats. Google their mission is to sell adverts. And to know which advert they can show you they need to spy on you so they know what you may want and show you adverts for it.

To me that’s an important difference.

Why I choose Matomo to replace Google Analytics

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t disapprove of the adverts. Hell, I make advertising software myself. But it’s how the advert is chosen that rubs me the wrong way.

So, Matomo it is then. But why Matomo and not something else?
Because Matomo is accessible to most people. You can host your own server for it, like I do, or use their cloud service for a fee. This means that pretty much everyone can use it.
Many of the others, I found, use less mainstream tech like Ruby on Rails or Redis or have strange requirements like NodeJS. Things that often aren’t available on many hosting platforms. Or aren’t as well known.

Matomo uses PHP, MySQL and a bunch of more mainstream technologies that work pretty much everywhere. That and the easier to use dashboard makes it very accessible.

It took me a few days to figure that out and make up my mind about it though. I looked at a bunch of the alternatives, considering where to host my data and such.
Finally I settled on hosting it myself on a VPS I got from Inmotion Hosting and installed Matomo on it, simple as that.

Matomo seems at least as accurate as Google Analytics, but the ease of use of Matomo is far greater, for me at least.
As I mentioned earlier, I now actually understand what’s going on on my site. The terminology is more clear. The dashboard is easier to use – It kinda just works…

Tracking your stats with Matomo

Tracking stats can of-course be done with their Tracking code, this works very similar to Google Analytics. Just stick a piece of code in your websites footer. Nothing all that special. But you need to edit your theme or website to insert that code.

Fortunately if you’re using WordPress you can do this with a plugin. I have developed Matomo Analytics for WordPress to make this super easy. The plugin adds a little dashboard and a few easy to use and understand settings. And you’ll be tracking stats within 5 minutes without editing your theme or adding any code. You can download Matomo Analytics for WordPress for free here – Get Matomo Analytics for WordPress.

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Summer sale 2019 – Get AdRotate Pro on the cheap!

It’s summer time, but it’s also time to get AdRotate Pro and a HTML5 website first! Don’t enjoy the sun too much just yet. Get AdRotate Pro first. Set it up, see the money come in and then go and enjoy the sun with all the time you save by using AdRotate Pro!

Or, if you’re not looking for advertising managers, consider getting your own website. A pretty looking HTML5 website to support your social presence online or impress your recruiter at your next job interview! Get it done with a modern and professional looking website.

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AdRotate Free v5.0 – Polish and shine

This update brings many small improvements and updates to the dashboard. A few minor improvements to the underlying code. But mainly visuals. Over time the dashboard got a bit out of balance and looked untidy in a few places. This has all been fixed and updated.

Not immediately noticeable for many people but a lot of little irritation points have been ironed out and the plugin looks much better now. I’m still working on some new features but haven’t really decided where in AdRotate (Pro) they belong, if at all.

If you find quirks with the dashboard, anything at all, let me know.

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AdRotate Pro 4.18.2 – Fixed update slug

Update Slug

Turns out something was wrong with the update slug in AdRotate Pro. This is the behind-the-scenes-name for the plugin to get updates. This has been fixed in version 4.18.2. If your update doesn’t work you can update manually using these steps: Update AdRotate Pro to a newer version. This takes only a few minutes.

However, the automated update should work just fine, too. If the update doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll help you update where required.

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AdRotate Free 4.14 – Available now!

The first update of the year for AdRotate Free. Starting off with some updates to the dashboard and relevant links.
Earlier this month I revamped the whole website and a few things changed. This update implements those changes. New URLs and such.

Demo banners

The demo banners used to link to a separate domain. Recently I let this domain expire a bit prematurely as I didn’t use it and wasn’t planning on using it. Now someone bought the domain and put a fake website on it. Don’t let that fool you. And yes, my lawyer is looking into it.

The only place to get AdRotate Professional or any related service legitimately is on this website – https://ajdg.solutions/

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AdRotate Pro 4.17 – Improved PHP7 Compatibility

This is the first update of the year for AdRotate Professional. And we’re starting with some PHP7 Compatibility improvements. Keep reporting the quirks guys, it really helps ๐Ÿ™‚

Earlier this month I revamped the whole website and a few things changed. This update implements those changes. New URLs and such. So the relevant urls, my LinkedIn and some other things for contacting me have been updated to be up-to-date again.

Demo banners

The demo banners used to link to a separate domain. Recently I let this domain expire a bit prematurely as I didn’t use it and wasn’t planning on using it. Now someone bought the domain and put a fake website on it. Don’t let that fool you. And yes, my lawyer is looking into it.

The only place to get AdRotate Professional or any related service legitimately is on this website – https://ajdg.solutions/

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AdRotate Free 4.13.5 – Last update of the year

This update fixes the semi-broken readme. Updates several support documents and has some dashboard tweaks. The “Help” tab got some tweaks to the formatting.

Christmas Sale

Earlier today the christmas sale for 2018 went online. Check it out here; Christmas Sale for AdRotate Pro.
It runs from December 24 to December 30, 2018. Check out the article to see whats up and what the promotion is.

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Get your campaigns going with Media.net!

As you may know I’ve partnered with Media.net a while ago to encourage the usage of other advertising businesses other than Google Adsense. For Black Friday, through Cyber monday they have a great offer for new accounts. Check it out!

Media.net is a leading global advertising company with one of the most comprehensive portfolios of advertising technology in the industry. They offer ads across search, native, display, mobile, products and video. Media.net manages high-quality ad supply on over 500,000 websites and its partners consists of some of the largest publishers, ad networks and other ad tech companies worldwide – Forbes, Hearst, MSN, Reuters, CNN Money, NY Daily News amongst many more.

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The importance of using ‘nofollow’ in affiliate links

Using affiliate links on your website or blog can provide an interesting new revenue stream via a few well-placed links for products you endorse.

Search engines, such as Google, crawl and index your website constantly. But they also monitor if the site contains too many paid links. Most major search engines penalise you where it hurts the most. You show up less in search engine results!

how to promote affiliate products without getting punished?

In this post I’ll provide you with a simple solution to protect your site from getting a bad rating.

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