Update: It turns out Cloudflare Web Analytics does everything I wanted to do except custom events for free, so I’m going to stop working on this for now.

Femtostats is a super lightweight, tiny, privacy-focused web statistics provider.

build status

CleanShot 2022-09-20 at 19 05 11@2x


I needed:

  • A simple way to track visits on various web properties I manage
  • A way to collect statistics without using the privacy-invasive Google Analytics, which half of my visitors probably block
  • The ability to track custom events triggered from JavaScript, as well as other client-side stats like screen size
  • Realtime visitor count when there are surges
  • A container that I can add to docker-compose.yml or host on Fly.io trivially
  • No database dependencies because my main host is low on RAM

Why not use your web server’s log files and something like GoAccess? A good idea, but I want client-side information and custom events.

Why not Plausible? Plausible is awesome but requires installing both Postgres and Clickhouse. I’m short on RAM.

Why not an AWS CloudFront load balancer that hosts a single pixel and sends logs to an S3 bucket which you can query using Athena? This is an awesome scaleable and cheap solution, but the CloudFront logs are only dumped once per day, which is too infrequent for me.

Getting Started

  1. Host the image ghcr.io/statico/femtostats wherever you want. Check out the docker-compose.yml file in this repo as an example. Specify a PASSWORD env var to protect your dashboard behind a password (the username is admin).
  2. Include the tag <script defer src="https://your-femtostats.com/fs.js"></script> on the pages you want to track.
  3. Page views (including history changes on SPAs) are tracked automatically. For custom events, call window.femtostats('event name')

Enabling Country Resolution

To record which country the user has originated from, you need a geoip database. Femtostats will automatically download a free one from Maxmind and refresh it once a week if you do the following:

  1. Go to https://www.maxmind.com/ and register for a free account
  2. Under “Manage License Keys”, get a license key
  3. Under “Download Files”, scroll to the “GeoLite2 Country” row and click “Get Permalinks”. Get the database URL (it will look like https://download.maxmind.com/app/geoip_download?edition_id=GeoLite2-Country&license_key=YOUR_LICENSE_KEY&suffix=tar.gz) and replace YOUR_LICENSE_KEY with your license key.
  4. Set this URL as an environment variable MAXMIND_GEOLITE2_COUNTRY_URL

Disabling Cookies

By default, Femtostats stores a simple cookie on the client to keep track of user sessions. You can disable the use of cookies entirely by setting the env var NO_COOKIES=1. Sessions will still show in the dashboard, but without cookies, the definition of a session changes from “a user’s browser session” to “a single page view.”


Requires Node.js 16+ and Yarn. Run yarn and yarn dev.

The default database location is /tmp/stats.db. Run yarn exec knex seed:run to populate the database with some sample data.

This project uses Next.js, React, SWR, Recoil, Chakra UI, and Chart.js.

Future Ideas

  • Realtime visitor count
  • Visitors vs. pageviews
  • Track country codes with the MaxMind database
  • Do some load testing
  • Use the better-sqlite3 driver
  • Support other databases, maybe, I dunno


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