Is the inability to track sources across the site a limitation of cookie-free analytics?

I posted a while back about Missing Top Sources where I was confused about my conversions not showing sources.

I now realise this isn’t specific to conversions, but how sources are only actually tracked on the entry page and then supposedly lost once a visitor browses to another page. This can be seen on Plausible’s own public analytics where, right now, for example, there have been 9.4k visitors to the /sites page but only 1 visitor where the source was tracked.

Is this a limitation of cookie-free analytics? Are cookies the only way to be able to track a visitor’s source across their session?

Being able to track the source of my conversions in e-commerce is absolutely essential. I really want to make the jump to Plausible!

good point! would be good to expand the referrers to track the source across the session. let me explore why this works the way it does (if it’s technical issue or something else) and get back to you.

Here’s more information: This is not a limitation of cookie-free analytics and referrals are not lost as visitors browse to other pages.

We actually show all referral sources for all the goal conversions. See for instance the goals on our live demo. So as long as you add your e-commerce events they’ll all show session referral sources for conversions.

The reason why we don’t show all referral sources in the page drilldown is that we’ve focused referral sources report in the main view to only show referral sources that start a new session on the site.

So for instance if a visitor lands from Google directly to /sites they will be shown in referral source for /sites. But if a visitor has a journey that goes Google -> Our home page -> /sites then they’ll show in the referral source for the home page but not for /sites.

And again for referral sources for goal conversions we show the initial referral source of the session that converted on the goal.

Does that make sense? Let me know what you think please, thanks!

That makes perfect sense. And you’re right - the individual referral sources all add up to the total number of goal conversions on the Plausible live demo.

Thanks for the prompt response! I’ll have a play at getting it set up.

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you’re welcome! and enjoy!