GoatCounter documentation

Other documentation pages:
GDPR consent notices | Site integration code | API | Privacy policy | Terms of use

FAQ

General

I don’t see my pageviews? §
For reasons of efficiency the statistics are updated once every 10 seconds.
What does (no data) mean in the referrers list? §
No Referer was sent; this can mean that the user directly accessed the URL (e.g. from their bookmarks or typing it), that they disabled sending the Referer header, or that the link they clicked on disabled the Referer header with rel="noreferer".
How are bots and crawlers counted? §
They’re not; all bots and crawlers that identify themselves as such are ignored.
It’s easy for a malicious script to disguise itself as Firefox or Chrome, and it’s hard to reliably detect this. In practice it’s unlikely that 100% of all bots are ignored (this is a general problem with analytics, and not specific to GoatCounter).
How is the Do-Not-Track header handled? §
It’s ignored for several reasons: it’s effectively abandoned with a low adoption rate, mostly intended for persistent cross-site tracking (which GoatCounter doesn’t do), and I feel there are some fundamental concerns with the approach. See Why GoatCounter ignores Do Not Track for a more in-depth explanation.

You can still implement it yourself by putting this at the start of the GoatCounter script:
<script>
	window.goatcounter = {
		no_onload: ('doNotTrack' in navigator && navigator.doNotTrack === '1'),
	};
</script>
<script data-goatcounter="[..]"
        async src="//gc.zgo.at/count.js"></script>
What about GDPR consent notices? §
GoatCounter does not collect data which can be used to identify a person, and you almost certainly don’t need to ask for consent See Recital 26, “Not applicable to anonymous data”. See the GDPR page for details.
How do I set up a custom domain? §
Add a CNAME record pointing to your GoatCounter subdomain:
stats   IN CNAME    mine.goatcounter.com.
Then update the GoatCounter settings with your custom domain. It might take a few hours for everything to work. mine.goatcounter.com will continue to work.

You will need a Business plan to set up a custom domain.
Is there any way to record HTTP status codes? §
Not directly, but if you include the status code in your error page’s title you can filter by it. Also see issue #3.
Why do I need to verify my email? §
Having some means of contact is useful in case of questions, problems, or other reasons for communicating.
For example, if you’re sending many (millions) of pageviews then I’d rather contact you to discuss options than just shut down the account. Not having any means to get in touch would leave me in an awkward position.

Pricing and billing

What happens if I go over the amount of pageviews for my plan? §
I’ll be in touch if you consistently go over the number over pageviews, but there is no automated process to shut down accounts or anything like that. It’s not a problem if you go over the pageviews in a single spike of traffic because you wrote something that got shared a lot.
What is “Commercial Use”? §
A website is considered “commercial” if the primary goal is to sell or advertise paid products or services.

There is a large amount of grey area between strictly ‘personal’ and ‘commercial’; for example selling a service as a side-project which provides just a little bit of pocket money is ‘commercial’, but also ‘personal’. As a rule, things like “pocket-money side-projects” are considered personal, especially if they’re open source. Just get in touch if you’re unsure and I’ll tell you if it’s considered personal.
Is there any discount for charities, non-profit organisations, startups, etc? §
The short answer is ”not really”. The longer answer is that it depends on the individual case.

To give an example, Amnesty International is undoubtedly a charity doing great work, and I’d be honoured to facilitate that. But they also have a ~€300 million/year income and it seems to me that asking them for €15/month so I can make a living isn't unreasonable, regardless of their charitable work. After all, people employed by Amnesty are getting paid too, and I also need to pay my rent, food, etc. 😅

Most charities don’t have the kind of endowment Amnesty has, so if you’re running a small charity, non-profit, or one-person startup where €15/month would be a prohibitively large cost then feel free to get in touch and we’ll see what we can arrange.

I’ll be happy to revisit this policy once GoatCounter starts becoming financially sustainable, but right now it’s still quite far from that.