Why Fathom Analytics is a great Matomo alternative

Matomo, formerly called Piwik, is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics. It gained traction early as an open-sourced website stats analysis project.

Fathom Analytics is newer and started in 2018 as another alternative to Google Analytics. So why should you consider Fathom Analytics over Matomo? And what are the differences between Fathom Analytics and Matomo (Piwik)? Well, let's dive into those details so you can decide for yourself.

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Fathom Analytics dashboard

What are the similarities between Matomo and Fathom Analytics?

We know that Fathom is an excellent alternative to Google Analytics, and we list the differences between both website analysis tools on our website.

Compared to Matomo and Fathom Analytics, these tools are more similar. After all, neither is an advertising monopolistic company like Google. Let's look at why that is before we explore the differences.

Both are focused on digital privacy

Matomo, like Fathom Analytics, protects your data and customers' digital privacy. Both website analytics software were built with digital privacy and GDPR compliance in mind. These products help bring awareness to the need for more digital privacy and protection from online advertisers using our personal data against us.

And, because any website owner can be fined a percentage of their yearly revenue for data/privacy breaches, compliance with the EU's GDPR (Article 83) is essential.

Matomo's software has a GDPR manager and IP anonymization; most importantly, the data is not used for other purposes (unlike Google Analytics). However, these features require setup and knowledge to be used correctly.

Fathom Analytics is also built from the ground up to comply with GDPR in that we only process personal data for our own purposes as a controller (e.g., relating to customer invoices). When we process visitor data through our website analytics (as a data processor), we anonymize and practice data minimization.

You can learn more about the personal data we process and briefly pseudonymize. With Fathom Analytics, there's no setup or knowledge required to comply with GDPR; that happens by default for every customer on every plan.

Both allow you to own and control your own data

With Fathom Analytics and Matomo, you (the customer) are entirely in control and own your data for all website stats collected. That means you can export that data, delete/wipe it, or keep it forever (as long as you're a customer).

While Matomo on-premise has unlimited data retention, their cloud/hosted product only keeps your data for up to 24 months. That means if you're a customer for five years, they'll delete your first three years of data. With Fathom Analytics, our data retention policy is forever. This means that as long as you're a paying customer, you can view and export your data from the day you started collecting it. We never delete your data.

Both let you import your Google Analytics data

Matomo and Fathom Analytics let you import your Google Analytics data from UA and GA4.

Matomo's import process is quite involved and requires you to generate an API key inside Google Cloud's developer console. For non-developers, this is a relatively complex series of steps.

On the other hand, Fathom's Google Analytics importer has a few simple steps. You simply authorize your Google Analytics account (by clicking a button), select which sites you want to import, and then run the import. That's it!

What makes Fathom Analytics a great alternative to Matomo?

While there are similarities (as listed above) between Matomo and Fathom Analytics, let's now explore the differences and why we believe that Fathom Analytics is a great Matomo alternative.

Matomo is like a full version of Google Analytics

One of the most fundamental differences is how Fathom Analytics and Matomo approach what data we collect and how it's displayed to customers.

If you look at Matomo's central dashboard, there are dozens of links to pages of reports. It's as complicated as Google Analytics. There are lots of charts, features, and a vast number of metrics available. With 12 main sections and over 70 individual reports, there's a lot of data to look at in Matomo's software.

This amount of data makes sense for some data analysts or full-time statisticians. For many other website owners, small business owners and entrepreneurs, that's too much information to look through daily (and most wouldn't).

Fathom Analytics is a simple, easy-to-use website analytics tool

Beyond a focus on privacy for Fathom Analytics, our second goal is that our software is simple. That means we've made it simple to use, easy to understand, and quick to learn.

That's why our dashboard is a single page of data. It's manageable with metrics most website owners don't need or care about. Our website analytics software focuses on showing our customers only the information they need to make quick business decisions.

The Fathom Analytics dashboard focuses on live visitors, total visitors, page views, the top pages, referrers, countries, devices, browsers, events, and UTM campaigns. You can watch a full dashboard demo (about 8 minutes long).

You can also filter your data, generate email reports for it, and so much more.

Website analytics optimized for speed and SEO

Any script, plugin, or resource you add to your website adds extra file size, page weight, and loading time. That means every KB should be essential and as minimal and fast-loading as possible to keep your site speedy.

That's why Fathom Analytics embed code is minimal (just a few KB) and loads deferred (so it doesn't hurt your PageSpeed score). We load our script via our lightning-fast CDN, so it loads quickly whether you're in Europe or anywhere else in the world. Using Fathom Analytics doesn't hurt your SEO.

On the other hand, Matomo's script is over 20KB (50KB if you use more of their features). While it also loads deferred, you must set up your own CDN to host your Matomo script file to load as quickly from anywhere in the world as Fathom Analytics embed code.

Privacy regulations and cookie notices for GDPR

Fathom Analytics collects fewer data points than Matomo and anonymizes that personal data, too. Our embed code doesn't use cookies and was built from the start to focus on compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws.

The most significant point here is that Fathom Analytics doesn't require a cookie consent notice to comply with GDPR (which also saves you page loading time because you don't have to install/use a cookie consent manager).

Matomo, being that it's a full-blown Google Analytics-like website analysis tool, uses cookies and requires GDPR consent notices unless you take several steps to avoid it:

  • Anonymize visitor's IP addresses (Fathom does this by default).
  • Anonymize URLs with personal identifiers in URL parameters (Fathom does this by default).
  • Disable cookies (Fathom doesn't even use cookies, ever).
  • Anonymize precise location data from the full IP address (Fathom does this by default).
  • Anonymize keystrokes on forms on your site (Fathom never tracks keystrokes).

And so, if you don't take the above steps in Matomo, you can't be GDPR compliant without a cookie consent notice. With Fathom Analytics, you're compliant without a cookie consent notice by default because we don't do the above items by default.

Fathom Analytics free trial

Now that you know why Fathom Analytics is a great alternative to Matomo, feel free to give our software a free 30-day trial.

Just a few of the companies already using Fathom Analytics
Mclaren Automative IBM HashiCorp GitHub New York Times Laravel

I consider Fathom a must have tool if you want to understand what's happening with your website traffic—it's simple, speedy, and accurate.

Ruben Gamez Ruben Gamez
Founder Signwell & Bidsketch

After switching to Fathom for my web properties, I find I'm more attentive to my sites because I'm always aware of how many people are on them and which pages are most popular.

Caleb Porzio Caleb Porzio
Creator of Alpine.js

They are the best Google Analytics alternative who really care about privacy and simplicity. Fathom’s simple dashboard with clear metrics makes it easy to understand what's happening across all web properties.

Jessica Joyce Jessica Joyce
SEO Expert

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Is there a better alternative to Google Analytics?

Fathom Analytics is a privacy-first alternative to Google Analytics. Our software was built for industries managing sensitive information, such as governments, businesses, or finance, it's a only choice for organizations prioritizing data protection regulations like GDPR.

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