A recent blog post I read encouraged me to make some changes to my website, the biggest ones being:
- Remove Google Analytics
- Remove Google fonts
- Inline CSS
I’m not as concerned about eliminating all images from the site, but I decided to turn the bottom logo image into a base64 string. I come and go on my view about that – once the image is downloaded, it’s cached by the browser, so it won’t need to be downloaded on subsequent pages. But, I figured I’d give the base64 string a shot and just see how I feel about it for a while. It does reduce download calls to the page, and that’s interesting to play with. Many pages on this site now have just a single HTTP request. That’s sexy AF.
The biggest thing in my mind was the decision to remove Google Analytics. Let’s face it, this blog has historically gotten very little traffic. GA did give me some good insights into blog posts that were getting traffic, ones that were more popular. But, as time goes on, I’m less interested in having access to that data and I’m even less interested in managing it. I’d like to limit the data collection tools and services I use.
There’s definitely some FOMO creeping in as I removed GA from this site. What if one day I need to know what kind of traffic I’m getting? How will I ever cope without having GA? Shouldn’t everyone know their blog traffic stats? What about that time I discovered that someone had linked to my blog article on removing those nasty bright blue LED lights from my Das Keyboard? That was really flattering. Didn’t that make you feel good, Gaelan?
And then I sit back and say to myself, “Who gives a fuck?”
And, no more Google fonts. I really like design, and fonts, and typography, and layout. And I’m a control freak in many ways. I’m going to miss Roboto and Source Code Pro, but I think there’s something really beautiful about what the author in the KISS site said about letting go and just using the device’s default
sans-serif font. Every time I look at this site on a different browser, a different device, there will be a slightly different look to it. That’s interesting to me. Devices these days have gorgeous font rendering on them, and now I’ll get a little surprise and maybe even some joy when I check out how the text on this site renders on strange, new devices.
So, if you’re one of the dozen people to hit my site a month, enjoy not being tracked by creepy Google Analytics anymore.