When you have a fresh start, you can rethink everything. With Notify My Team, I was excited to be able to make decisions that aligned with our vision of the future of the web.
One big decision along those lines was to only load a single external script, the privacy-focused analytics platform Matomo. When I updated this blog a few years ago, I tried out the self-hosted version of Matomo and found it to be a perfectly acceptable Google Analytics alternative. When it came to set up Notify My Team, I didn’t want to have to manage the self-hosted version, I liked some of the additional features of the cloud hosted version, and I wanted to open up our wallet and support Matomo in a meaningful way, so the paid cloud hosted version was the obvious choice.
One positive side effect of this was how relatively easy it was to score a 100 on Google’s PageSpeed. It’s not that hard if you’re developing with PageSpeed in mind, and the site isn’t very complex, and it doesn’t require a lot of external scripts and third-party libraries. Even on our home page, our largest page:
(This is in contrast to the difficulties I had last year getting Detailed Image up to a passable score. A large e-commerce site with 15+ years of legacy is a completely different animal.)
My mindset as a developer has shifted from “do everything, collect everything, it might help” to “collect only what we absolutely need to collect.” I think the consensus is slowly moving in that direction. And the result will hopefully be a faster, safer, and simpler web.