Matomo an alternative to google analytics

By: Sam Light
On: 23rd March 2019

I have been considering an alternative to using google analytics for getting statistics on websites that I run for a while now. I was looking into the idea of a server log file analyis tool. This would work for some basic stats, like how many hits I get on pages but doesn't include some of the more detailed statistics that google analytics offers. I came across Matomo.

Matomo is an Open source Analytics solution. It has a focus on keeping the data in the hands of site owner. I opted for a self served solution which means that the it runs on and all the data is stored on my server. This stops my sites from send usage analytics to google.

So far I have found Matomo to offer all the things that I liked about Google Analytics. Matomo has a nice dashboard it seems to be reporting accurate data. I have left this running along side Google Analytics on a site I run with the most traffic and it seems to be reporting close to the same results. I seem to normally get one or two users difference between the two.

Matomo also has simple ways to setup opt in and opt out features. There is a ton of documentation and settings around privacy and GDPR compliant. This is handy as there has been more hype around data privacy lately and this give you the ability to tightly control what you collect and how its collected whilst documenting why you might want to things.

I think this is a very good tool and if you have the ability to get it setup on a server, its a very good alternative to google analytics. I believe a self hosted solution is the way to go for this. Assuming the software doesn't send the data out to anyone, the server its hosted on is secure and the connection is secure, its unlikely that this data can get into the hand of anyone else. Some people would argue against self hosted solutions over "cloud" services. I think this is largely lazyness and there are many perks of running things your self and being in control.

If your concerned about google collecting so much data on your websites visitors give Matomo a go. Its not quite as pretty as google analytics but it gives you the same data. After using it for a while I have found it easier very easy to access the key information that I want to know.

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