I don’t like using third-party services. Like the gas stations of old, they may do everything I need them to do but… I prefer serving myself.
I’ve spent days testing and thinking about what I’m doing. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t need to do as much as I think I do.
This isn’t the first time I’ve worked on removing third-party services.
Website owners tend to get wrapped up in statistics. Many add in Google Analytics and let it do all the data collection for them. Some, like me, use the WordPress Jetpack plugin to collect statistics. Then we spend too much time looking at them and thinking about how to improve our metrics.
I’m not doing it anymore. I use Google AdSense for display advertising and it counts how many times the ads are viewed. That’s all the data I need. I deactivated the Jetpack plugin this morning. I realize the AdSense page views won’t be accurate. Some people block them. Still, it’s better than relying on other analytic programs that aren’t accurate either.
I used the proofreading option in the Jetpack plugin until this morning. Now I’m using the After the Deadline (ATD) Google Chrome extension. The service comes from the same place anyway.
If Automattic shuts down the ATD service or stops supporting the extension, I’m sure I can find something to replace it with. I don’t even know if it’s necessary. I don’t tend to make a lot of mistakes, with grammar or spelling.
It’s the only third-party service I’m still using. If I stop using it, I might as well close up shop. Frankly, it’s the only thing keeping me going. Very few people post comments anymore (I blame it mostly on how awkward it is to do it with a phone).
I don’t make much of a “profit” with AdSense. At one time, I made hundreds of dollars a month. Now I make far less, and I only get paid once or twice a year. Still, as long as I break even or do a little better than that, it’s enough to make me think twice about quitting.