The simple answer to how Matomo compares to Plausible is this:
Matomo is a web analytics tool with a full range of features, similar to Google Analytics.
While Plausible is compact and offers the most essential metrics and reports.
However, if you’re here for the meat and potatoes of this comparison, read on!
Something special about both tools is that they’ve embraced open web analytics. The source code is there for all to see and they encourage their community to get involved, make improvements and share these with others.
This article will discuss:
Most of Matomo’s clients report that it is easy to set up and use. Although, this is subjective.
If you’ve been using Google Analytics for a few years and have experience with analytics tools in general, Matomo will be easy to use.
If, on the other hand, you’re a newbie, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by a large number of reports and mountains of data.
But learning how to use Matomo skillfully just requires a bit of time and effort. If you’re willing to take on the learning curve, you’ll soon be navigating around Matomo like a pro.
Plausible is a web analytics platform with a much gentler learning curve.
Their dashboard is simple with all the essential information presented to you on a single page. With no additional menus or custom reports, you’ll be given all the data you need at a glance.
The script size of the standard Matomo tracker is 22.8 KB.
There are, however, a few ways you can load the website tracker quicker. (1)
The script size of Plausible is less than 1 KB.
Because it’s a far simpler platform, they can keep the size down and your website loading quicker.
Why does script size matter?
Well, how long are you willing to wait for a page to load while browsing?
According to the stats, a 3-second delay is enough to make visitors press the dreaded back button.
And page load speed is also a significant ranking factor for Google. Site speed could be the difference between you appearing on the first page of search, or not.
Matomo analytics is not short on features. It is similar to Google Analytics and offers a huge amount of metrics, dimensions and reports.
Here are some of the more unique features offered by Matomo:
Many website owners find it hard to make sense of numbers and percentages. But Heatmaps give you a visual representation of where your visitor’s clicked, spent time and scrolled.
They let you know how engaging your content is, where website visitors experience frustration and what content is grabbing their attention.
With Matomo, you’ll get a complete list of keywords and phrases that users search for and that bought them to your site.
The Combined Keywords report will give you:
In the words of Matomo, “If your business relies on potential customers to watch video or listen to audio content on your website, then you need to know your time and investment spent on creating your media content is paying off.”
Media Analytics tell you how users are engaging with the video and audio files on your site.
It tells you what content is being watched, how long it is played for and if it is converting into sales.
A/B testing allows you to test different versions of your site’s pages to see which one leads to the most conversions. For each test, you define what your goals are. For example, to lower bounce rates or to increase the number of page views.
No more guessing which font or CTA is better - You can now make design decisions based on facts.
In the words of Plausible themselves, “We built a simple web analytics tool that is focused on the essential website stats and metrics only.”
With Plausible you might not get all the bells and whistles, but you’ll get focused data that can easily be turned into actionable insights.
Their data and reports include:
But don’t underestimate this powerful platform just because it has fewer features.
If you’re new to the world of analytics or simply don’t have the time to learn how to use advanced tools - then Plausible will be the better choice for you.
No frills. No fuss.
Before you go cookieless with Matomo, it will take some work to set it up. You’ll need to anonymize IP addresses, tracking data, location data and disable cookies.
Matomo can be configured by site owners to comply with data protection laws, including GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, LGPD and PECR.
It also comes with a range of advanced privacy features, namely:
Plausible is a privacy-focused tool that is serious about protecting your data. They are able to track users without:
In their own words, “The goal of Plausible is to track overall trends in your website traffic, it is not to track individual visitors…All of the data is aggregated data only and it has no personal information.”
With Plausible, your clients can rest assured that there will be no personal data collection.
And because Plausible stores data on a server in Germany, it is fully compliant with all the latest European privacy regulations.
Matomo On-Premise is a free version that is self-hosted on your servers. It includes an unlimited number of websites, up to 100 custom dimensions, and no data sampling. Additional features can be purchased as needed.
Matomo cloud starts at 19 Euros a month and increases with your monthly traffic. Hosting is on Matomo’s servers and includes features like A/B testing, heatmaps and Funnels.
The monthly cost of your Plausible subscription starts at $9/month (on a yearly plan) and will increase along with your monthly pageviews.
All plans include up to 50 websites, unlimited data retention and Email/Slack reports.
If you opt for the On-premise plan, all data will be hosted on your own servers. You choose which country the data is stored and there are absolutely no data limits.
With Matomo Cloud, data is stored on a server in Germany and thereby complies with EU regulations. The benefits are that it's easy to set up and all updates and maintenance work is done for you.
With Plausible analytics, you can also choose to either host on your own servers or on the cloud.
Self-hosting gives you maximum flexibility but requires technical knowledge and your own server or cloud service. The only cost involved will be paying the cloud provider, and you won’t have access to a customer support team.
What are the benefits of Plausible’s cloud hosting?
For those not on a paying plan, you’ll have to settle for posting a message on the Matomo forum.
While paying customers can access professional support by sending a message on the Matomo site.
You can also purchase an On-premise support subscription, that includes 24/7 support, an onboarding questionnaire and access to all user guides.
The plan comes with a pretty hefty price tag though, starting at 1790 Euro/year.
You can find most answers on Plausible’s FAQ section, by reading their documentation or by consulting their forum.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Github or on Twitter.
While contacting them by email may seem like a painfully slow way to get needed support, the team at Plausible promises to answer your query by the close of business each day.
As stated at the outset, a key difference between these two platforms is the number of metrics and reports available.
If you want a tool that provides only the most essential data, is easy to use and is fully compliant with privacy laws straight out of the box, Plausible is the better choice.
However, if you want deeper insights from reports, cool additional features and the ability to tweak the program to suit your needs, choose Matomo.
Are you curious how Matomo compares with other web analytics platforms? Are you wondering if it's a viable alternative to Google Analytics?
Check out these comparison articles on our blog.