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Setting up site analytics

As with any other service offered on the web, understanding how your project documentation is actually used can be an essential success factor. Material for MkDocs natively integrates with Google Analytics and offers a customizable and extendable cookie consent.

Configuration

Google Analytics

7.1.8 · Default: none

Material for MkDocs integrates with both, Google Analytics 4 and the now phasing out Universal Analytics. Depending on the given property prefix, add the following lines to mkdocs.yml:

extra:
  analytics:
    provider: google
    property: G-XXXXXXXXXX
extra:
  analytics:
    provider: google
    property: UA-XXXXXXXX-X

Site search tracking

Besides basic page views, site search can also be tracked to understand better how people use your documentation and what they expect to find. To enable search tracking:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics admin settings
  2. Select the property for the respective tracking code
  3. Go to the view settings tab.
  4. Scroll down and enable site search settings
  5. Set the query parameter to q.

Site search tracking is not supported with Google Analytics 4 due to the more complicated manual setup. If you want to set up site search tracking yourself, this tutorial is a good start.

Insiders · insiders-2.10.0 · Default: none

Material for MkDocs ships a native and extensible cookie consent form which asks the user for his consent prior to sending any analytics. Add the following to mkdocs.yml:

extra:
  consent:
    title: Cookie consent
    description: > # (1)
      We use cookies to recognize your repeated visits and preferences, as well
      as to measure the effectiveness of our documentation and whether users
      find what they're searching for. With your consent, you're helping us to
      make our documentation better.
  1. You can add arbitrary HTML tags in the description, e.g. to link to your terms of service or other parts of the site.

Note that both, title and description, are required. If Google Analytics was configured via mkdocs.yml, the cookie consent will automatically include a setting for the user to disable it. Furthermore, custom cookies can be integrated by using the cookies field:

extra:
  consent:
    cookies:
      analytics: Custom name # (1)
  1. The default name of the analytics cookie is Google Analytics.
extra:
  consent:
    cookies:
      analytics: Google Analytics # (1)
      custom: Custom cookie
  1. If you add a custom cookie to the cookies field, the analytics cookie must be added back explicitly, or analytics won't be triggered.

When a user first visits your site, a cookie consent form is rendered:

extra.consent enabled

In order to comply with GDPR, users must be able to change their cookie settings at any time. This can be done by creating a simple link as part of any document, e.g. your privacy policy:

[Change cookie settings](#__consent){ .md-button }

Customization

Custom site analytics

In order to integrate another analytics service provider offering a JavaScript-based tracking solution, just follow the guide on theme extension and create a new partial in the overrides folder. The name of the partial is used to configure the custom integration via mkdocs.yml:

<script>
  /* Add custom analytics integration here, e.g. */
  var property = "{{ config.extra.analytics.property }}" // (1)

  /* Wait for page to load and application to mount */
  document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function() {
    location$.subscribe(function(url) {
      /* Add custom page event tracking here */ // (2)
    })
  })
</script>
  1. As an example, this variable receives the value set in mkdocs.yml, which is "foobar" for property.
  2. If you're using instant loading, you can use the location$ observable to listen for navigation events, which always emits the current URL.
extra:
  analytics:
    provider: custom
    property: foobar # (1)
  1. You can add arbitrary key-value combinations to configure your custom integration. This is especially useful if you're sharing the custom integration across multiple repositories.

Custom cookies

If you've customized the cookie consent and added a custom cookie, the user will be prompted to accept your custom cookie. Use additional JavaScript to check whether the user accepted it:

var consent = __md_get("__consent")
if (consent && consent.custom) {
  /* The user accepted the cookie */
}
extra_javascript:
  - javascripts/consent.js
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