Clicky Analytics: A Great Alternative to GA 4

If you’re finding GA 4 as painful as many website owners are, you may be looking for another option. Clicky Web analytics is the webstats program I’ve used for 11 years now, and I’m going to tell you why I love it so much more than GA.

The simple answer is: it’s simple! It tells you everything you need to know, including some things that are very hard to find or not even available in GA. But it shows you just what you need to know in a fraction of the time and clicks.

Screenshot from Clicky website

What is Clicky?

Clicky is a web analytics app with an extremely user-friendly interface. It was developed in 2006 by Sean Hammons or Roxr Software Ltd. and has gotten popular with website owners and marketers because it combines robust features with ease of use.

It has a free level and then paid levels with more features. The free level is very useful, but the paid features will blow you away.

Why Pick Clicky over GA?

As I said above, and we’ll explore below, Clicky does a couple of things GA doesn’t. GA has caught up with it on a few features since I started using it in 2011.

For example, Clicky was real-time long before GA, and still is a little more real-time. It has a Spy Feature that shows you a map with visitors appearing as dots on the map almost the second they access your site.

But again, even when they both have the same feature, it’s much easier to see the data you need at a glance in Clicky.

Another advantage: the look and UI of Clicky hasn’t really changed in the 11 years I’ve been using it. Some might complain this is boring, but it’s perfect for a stats app.

Look how much GA has changed in the past decade, moving features and menu options around, changing what they’re called. Going all-in on the sessions metric and now backing away from it.

Reading stats takes enough time away from my work. I don’t want to have a learning curve with my analytics software every few years, too.

NOTE: I do have GA installed on my sites, but only because ad managers require it as an industry standard performance benchmark to sell ads. If not for that, I’d remove their increasingly bloated code. It slows my sites down.

Key Features of Clicky


Clicky has great, responsive support. I suspect for years Clicky was just Sean Hammons, because he was the person who answered every email I sent.

It’s nice to deal with a developer directly – not that you’ll need to, if your experience is like mine. But when you suddenly see your visitors drop off or double, it’s great to know you can contact an actual human who knows how to troubleshoot that problem.

I see so many bloggers run into problems like that with GA and desperately ask in groups on Facebook what they’ve done wrong. Because Google doesn’t provide any support.

Everything at a Glance

One of the things I most love about Clicky is how much I can see about all my sites just by logging in. The main screen shows all of them, with a bunch of useful data.

Main Clicky page screenshot

The gray numbers beside the blurred site names are how many people are on at the moment. The chart shows visitors for the past 28 days, and defaults to comparing it to the last 28 days.

So much data without having to navigate to a specific site and then drill down and down and down some more.

Effortless Outbound Clicks (Paid)

One thing Clicky has over GA: with no code, no adjustments, no effort from me, Clicky will show me outbound clicks.

Clicky screenshot showing outbound link clicks

At a glance, I’m seeing which outbound links are getting traffic. There’s also a search box where I can type in something like “amazon”. I use that frequently on my affiliate sites to see which Amazon links are getting clicks.

Below the link, it shows you anchor text. To the right of the link, you’ll see two icons. The second one is Path Analysis (also a paid feature), and it shows you the path your visitor took on your site.

Screenshot of Clicky's path analysis feature

What this is telling you is that all visitors who clicked on the above outbound link did so from my “Pinning Perfect Pinterest Course” page, which is a review of that course. Which is sadly now over – RIP, awesome Pinterest course.

The Next Pages section shows you that some of them came back to my site and visited other outbound links on that page. This is just what I’d want to see for this page, so I know it’s doing well.

At a Glance Comparisons

Clicky is constantly in comparison mode. You have a button at the top toolbar to set your “Trend” to Previous Day, 7 days ago, 28 days ago, Last year, or Same day of week average (which is a four week average).

Screenshot of Clicky's Trends feature

With this, you can see at a glance how your traffic is trending against some other period in time. I switch these around frequently.

While we’re here, note the two dropdown boxes to the left of it. You can switch sites or which period of time you want to be comparing with a drop down. In GA, that’s several button clicks.

Real-Time Analytics

One of the standout features of Clicky is real-time analytics. Unlike some web stats apps that have a delay in reporting data, Clicky updates your metrics instantly. This is true for free accounts as well as paid.

Spy Feature (Paid)

But if you pay, it also has a Spy Feature that enables you to watch a representation of visitors as they arrive and load new pages and eventually leave.

Screenshot of Clicky's Spy feature

The map shows you where the visitors are from. Red dots are visitors who’ve only done one action and blue is for those who’ve done more. Actions are page loads and link clicks.

To the right you see which pages are being visited, and by how many visitors. You can look at their referrers, cities and countries here, too.

Below you’ll see them pop on and off the list in real time. You can see their IP address, their country, the post they’re visiting… and a unique tag you can click to see where all they’ve been on your site.

Clicky does a great job showing you what you need to know about visitors without compromising their personal information.

Clicky Got GDPR Compliant Before Google Did

Something that really impressed me was that Sean was right on top of GDPR as it was happening, and got Clicky into compliance before it went into law.

At first he set it up so we could opt in or out of these features. Then he came to believe – correctly IMO – that we all need to comply with GDPR and the newer, similar laws from US states and other countries.

Clicky includes a form for removing the personal data of a visitor by several methods. I love this detailed explanation and instructions for its use.

GDPR has been so confusing for everybody, so we need help like this.

Screenshot of Clicky's Personal Data removal tool

Heatmaps (Paid)

Clicky offers heatmaps on Pro Plus and higher plants. These are yet another great way for understanding how visitors interact with your website.

Clicky’s heatmaps are as good as any I’ve seen or paid separately for. And you can visit them from a little box that shows up for you (only you, never visitors) on your pages. If you’re on a page and want to see a heatmap, you can set it up there.

Heatmaps come with options to show you the past 7 days, past 28 days, etc. It’s pretty useful.

Goals and Conversion Tracking (Paid)

Setting goals and tracking conversions is essential for measuring the success of your website. Clicky simplifies this process by allowing you to define and track goals easily.

This does take some set up on your end, but it’s easier than in many analytics apps. You can track people completing a purchase, submitting a form, or visiting a specific page.

And Clicky will give you some pretty comprehensive data on goal completion rates, conversion funnels, and more.

Uptime Monitoring (Paid)

Clicky has uptime monitoring through a third party, at no extra charge. But this feature is entirely set up and managed at Clicky – you don’t need to sign up for the third party.

You just set it up in your Clicky account. There’s a form for each site, and it takes seconds to fill out.

Customizable Dashboards and Reports

Clicky offers customizable dashboards and reports. You can create personalized reports with the metrics that matter most to you, making it easier to analyze data and share insights with your team.

This is kind of like GA’s reports, except much easier and simpler.

Real-Time Notifications

With Clicky’s real-time notifications, you can stay on top of important events as they happen. Whether it’s a sudden increase in traffic, a goal completion, or a spike in bounce rate, you can set Clicky up to send you instant alerts via email or push notifications.

Sitespeed: Tiny Little Script

Clicky installs on your website with a tiny little 6 KiB script you put in the footer of your site. It’s much smaller than the GA tag manager, which is becoming more and more bloated.

It will not slow your site down at all. And installation is easy. You can use any header/footer script insertion tool, or Clicky’s own WordPress plugin. I use an insertion tool, but have tested the Clicky plugin and it didn’t slow my sites, either.

Cost-Effective Pricing Plans

Clicky offers several pricing plans  that vary by feature and by how many visitors you’re getting. There’s a free plan for small sites, and a free trial for larger sites with too many visitors for the free plan.

Downsides of Clicky?

Limited Free Plan Features

I have happily paid for the Pro Plus plan (at this time, $159.99 a year) for most of the 11 years I’ve been with Clicky. A lot of analytics apps cost far more.

GA obviously costs $0, and it does actually give you a ton of data if you work with it and really get to know it, and then re-educate yourself on it whenever they come up with a whole new version (I’ve been through 2 massive upgrades in which everything changed).

All I can say here is that Clicky is the best blogging tool I pay for.

You Might Need More

If you have a very big site, you might need some really specific nit-picky data Clicky either doesn’t provide or doesn’t provide the way that makes sense to you.

In that case, GA could be a better option. Or you might pay for a more expensive analytics app.

Free Trial

The best thing to do is get a free trial of Clicky and see what you think.

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