Marketing

Matomo Vs Fathom

April 19, 2022
8 min read

Your choice of analytics solution plays a crucial role in how you collect, measure, and analyze website data to achieve your business goals. 

So, you must choose a website analytics platform that offers:

  • a cost-effective model relative to your business size,
  • an easy-to-use interface,
  • fast loading of analytics data,
  • mutual integration with relevant marketing tools, and
  • total control of your website data.

Keep reading if you're looking for good analytics tools and want a detailed Matomo vs. Fathom comparison to help you narrow down your decision.

This article discusses the key differences between these analytics tools - their main advantages, pros and cons and the best tool for different audience types.

What Is Matomo?

Source: Matomo Home Page

Matomo Analytics (formerly Piwik) is an open-source web analytics tool based on PHP MySQL software that provides detailed reports on your website and its users.

The report tells you who your users are, how they interact with your content, what marketing channel they came from, and how they convert …or bounce off your website.

So you can see what works and what does not on your marketing funnel for better conversion.

Matomo gives you total control of your website data. No third party can access your website data without your authorization.

What Is Fathom?

Source: Fathom Home Page

Fathom Analytics is a simple, open-source web analytics platform that helps you track, analyze, and report your website data while placing a premium on data privacy.

So, unlike Google Analytics, Fathom does not collect personal data of your website visitors. 

And it does not use cookies, so you won’t have to bother about the ugly cookies notification bar on your website anymore.

Fathom is an easy-to-use analytics tool for website owners at any technical level. It has a dashboard that allows you to monitor:

  • number of website visitors
  • site pageviews
  • bounce rate
  • average time on site 
  • goals completion

The Core Similarities Between Matomo And Fathom

Matomo and Fathom have some fundamental aspects in common. Let’s look at these features before we dive into their core differences.

  • Open Web Analytics 

Matomo and Fathom encourage user feedback and suggestions. 

For example, you can look at the Fathom development's public roadmap and add (or vote on) your preferred feature recommendations.

  • Open Source Analytics Tools

Both Matomo and Fathom are open-source analytics tools - the analytics tracker codes of both are available on GitHub for you to view and inspect. 

Open-source tools ensure transparency and openness. You can read and review their tracker codes and learn how they keep your data private and secure. 

  • 100% Ownership Of Your Website Data

Both Matomo and Fathom Analytics are privacy-friendly analytics solutions. 

But what does this mean?

Your analytics and website data are all yours. Unlike Google Analytics which collects personal data of your website visitors for ad purposes, Matomo and Fathom Analytics give you total control over your website data.

So you need not worry about unauthorized access or use of your website data. 

The Core Differences Between Matomo And Fathom 

Besides their user interface and other features, the core differences between Matomo and Fathom are the differences in their pricing plans, hosting, integration with other tools, loading speed and use of cookies, and trackable metrics.

  • Pricing Plans

Matomo has two models, namely Matomo Cloud and Matomo On Premise:

Matomo On Premise: This version of Matomo is FREE. To get started, you need to host it on your server. However,  you can purchase specific bundles for better analytics.

These bundles include SEO web vitals (starting at $86.67/year), multi-channel conversion attribution (starting at $86.67/year), Roll-Up reporting (starting at $218.33/year), etc.

Matomo Cloud: This version of Matomo is cloud-hosted and comes at a price that varies with your website’s traffic and use. The price ranges from $0(21 Day free trial) to $15,250 annually. 

Fathom has two versions, namely Fathom Analytics (main software) and Fathom Lite.

Fathom Analytics: Cloud-hosted, uses no cookies, offers additional metrics, and comes at a price. The price starts at $14/month; for business is $24/month; for enterprise is $34/month. 

Fathom Lite: FREE, but it has limited features.

Overall, when it comes to pricing, Fathom is the better choice because it offers about the same features as Matomo at a cheaper cost. 

  • Integration With A WordPress Plugin

Because they are both cloud analytics tools, Matomo and Fathom Analytics have similar WordPress integration processes.

To set up Matomo for WordPress, download the WP-Matomo plugin from your WP admin dashboard. The WordPress-Matomo integration uses Matomo API to provide you with metrics about your website visitors and how they interact with your website. 

On the other hand, to set up Fathom for WordPress, download the WP- Matomo Analytics plugin from your WP dashboard. Alternatively, copy your Fathom Pro tracking code and paste it into your footer theme file.

  • Trackable Metrics

Source: Fathom Dashboard 

Fathom Analytics allows you to add unlimited users, goals, segments, and 50 websites. But you can only track 6 metrics.

With Matomo Cloud, you can only add 30 users, 200+ metrics, track 150 goals, 100 segments, 30 websites, and 30 custom dimensions.

So, you can track more metrics on Matomo than on Fathom Analytics. 

In addition, both Matomo and Fathom Analytics offer server log analytics and intranet analytics.

You can access your intranet analytics and see the unique website visitor data of people in your intranet network at a glance.

Overall, if you want an analytics solution that tracks more than the basic metrics between the two options, then you should opt for Matomo.

  • Use Of Cookies

Matomo uses first-party cookies to track your intranet website visitors with similar system configurations, such as IP addresses, computers, etc.

Conversely, Fathom Analytics does not use any cookies at all. According to Fathom, their software “intelligently tracks information about top content, top referrers and more without associating that data to any individual or building profiles about them.” With this, there is no use for storing personal data.

As a result, Fathom Analytics is the better analytics solution when it comes to privacy and the use of cookies. 

  • Loading Speed

The loading speed of an analytics solution is a function of its scripts. Hence, each kilobyte of data matters to your site speed. 

Matomo is a complex web analytics tool with a similar infrastructure to Google Analytics. So, it is built with heavy Javascript codes. For context, the Matomo script weighs 22.8 KB.

Meanwhile, Fathom Analytics is a simple, lightweight web analytics tool similar to Plausible Analytics. Its script weighs 1.6KB.

Comparatively, Fathom Analytics is about 14 times faster than Matomo Analytics. That’s huge! So, if site speed is crucial to your choice of an analytics solution, then you should consider Fathom Analytics ahead of Matomo.  

The Key Advantages Of Matomo Over Fathom

Source: Matomo Dashboard 

Matomo has some advantages over Fathom. We have highlighted them below.

 

First, Matomo is an open-source business intelligence solution that offers many advanced features and metrics because of its complex structure. So, if you are keen on sophistication and your site requires advanced features like Form Analytics, Keyword Tracking, etc., Matomo is ahead of Fathom.  

Another advantage of Matomo over Fathom is the heat map tool that shows how visitors navigate your website. 

Matomo's cloud-hosted business plan provides this feature by recording clicks and mouse movements on your web page, the scroll actions of your visitors, and pinpointing the areas on your pages that your visitors find most useful.

In addition to the heat map tool, Matomo uses the Scroll Map tool to show you how far down your visitors are navigating on your web pages.

Again, Matomo allows customization of your analytics dashboard with movable widgets. Fathom, on the other hand, does not have this function.

Furthermore, Matomo breaks down insights into groups, then sub-groups for you to drill down on your website data - thereby fostering a thorough data analysis. 

Lastly, Matomo On Premise (free version) offers more functionality than Fathom Lite (free version). So, you get more from the freemium version of Matomo than Fathom.

The Key Advantages Of Fathom Over Matomo

Fathom has some advantages over Matomo. We have outlined them below. 

First, Fathom is a simple, lightweight analytics solution that loads data more than 14 times faster than Matomo because of their relative script sizes. In web analytics, the higher your site speed, the better your chances of ranking high on search engine result pages. 

Unlike Matomo’s complex infrastructure, Fathom has an easy-to-use dashboard and interface. The design of Fathom is straight to the point. So you don’t have to bother with metrics and dimensions you don’t need.

Moreover, Fathom Analytics is GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, and PECR compliant by default. Conversely, you need some coding skills to set up data privacy on Matomo. 

Fathom does not use any cookies - even for first-time users. It adopts a privacy-friendly method to bypass ad-blockers. So, your website’s traffic and analytics data are 100%. 

In addition to all these, Fathom has a simple installation process that requires no technical skills - anyone can install Fathom Analytics.

Who Can Use Matomo?

Matomo is one of the most popular web analytics platforms. More than 1.5% of known traffic analytics tools users have Matomo installed on their website. 

These include eCommerce website owners, digital marketers, small business owners, small and big enterprises, etc.

So, businesses of any size can use Matomo to gain valuable insights into their campaigns and traffic.

Who Can Use Fathom?

Fathom is an open-source analytics solution for anyone to track their website, web visitors, and their relationship. 

The users of Fathom Analytics include Fortune 100 companies, Open Web pioneers, Premier League football clubs, banks, government, small and big companies, etc. 

Final Verdict

While some web analytics tools are popular, they are not necessarily the perfect fit for your website. 

More importantly, your choice of an analytics solution must match your business goals and objectives.

We have discussed the comparison of Matomo and Fathom extensively in this article. Both analytics solutions have their perks and downsides when placed side by side.

For instance, if you want an analytics tool that offers advanced metrics and features, then opt for Matomo. However, when it comes to loading speed, Fathom is ahead of Matomo - it is a simple and lightweight analytics tool.

If you found this article insightful, check out other articles on Abralytics that will help you grow your business.

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