Second steps with Hugo: RSS, Cloudflare, Analytics

Feb 15, 2020

There are a bunch of smaller things I wanted to do, and here’s how they went.

RSS Feed

Hugo already provides RSS feeds out of the box, so I didn’t need to configure anything. The XML output for the feed was already available at https://manse.cloud/index.xml. Neat!

Cloudflare

Cloudflare has turned out to be quite a useful service, even on the free plan, for protecting a site, improving performance, and giving controls for a variety of things that might be needed in short order. For this blog, I’m just using the free plan.

Analytics

I have a strong preference to avoid Google Analytics. I think we’ve handed too much control to the one company in our digital lives, and Google Analytics is a powerful tool for them to get a deep understanding of the web and movements that I just don’t want to contribute to.

Furthermore, on a technical side, despite its ease of implementation, many visitors are invisible to Google Analytics. Those who use tracking blocking plugins and browers will not be able to be detected by Google Analytics, and if you rely on it you’ll never know they were there. If I want to get a good sense of traffic to my site, then server side logging is the answer. To that end, I enabled logging in Caddy Server and will use that with GoAccess. After a brief look, this will serve me well, and gives me complete control over the process. I have some ideas to improve this at a later time should it be needed. I may do a blog post at a later time detailing how to do a similar setup.

Something else will likely need to be done if I take advantage of Cloudflare’s proxy, but for now this will work.

Still to go

  • Newsletter
  • Commenting system
  • More content
  • Check out other analytics tools like Snowplow
  • Forward logs from Cloudflare