Matomo vs Plausible: Why Plausible is a great Matomo alternative

Matomo, formerly known as Piwik, was founded in 2007 and has long been the most well known open-source alternative to Google Analytics.

Plausible Analytics is a brand new player on this market so what are the differences between the two? Let’s take a look.

Matomo vs Plausible

  1. Plausible vs Matomo comparison: What are the differences?
    1. Both tools are open source
    2. Both are developed in the open
    3. Both allow you to completely own the data
  2. Simple web analytics vs complex web analytics
    1. Matomo is more like a full blown Google Analytics alternative
    2. Plausible is built with simplicity and ease of use in mind
  3. A lightweight analytics script that is optimized for speed
  4. Privacy regulations and the need for cookie notices and GDPR or CCPA consent
  5. One of the largest web analytics platforms on the web versus a brand new startup
  6. Sign up for a free Plausible trial

Plausible vs Matomo comparison: What are the differences?

In our post on why we believe Plausible is a great Google Analytics alternative, we listed several ways in which Plausible Analytics and Google Analytics differ from one another.

In the case of Plausible versus Matomo things are a bit more similar. Let’s start with the similarities before we focus on the differences.

Both tools are open source

Both of our tools are fully open-source web analytics first of all. This means that the code is available on GitHub for anyone to view and inspect. You can read it and review it to understand how it works and to ensure it keeps the data private and secure.

This gives you and everyone else full transparency on how the tools handle website stats. It is this transparency and openness that means that open source products can be more trustworthy than proprietary and closed source products.

Both are developed in the open

Both of our tools are developed in the open too welcoming user feedback and suggestions. You can for instance view the public roadmap of the Plausible development and add (or vote on) your favorite feature suggestions.

Both allow you to completely own the data

By using Plausible or Matomo, you are completely in control and have 100% ownership of all the website stats and other data collected.

You don’t have to worry about anyone else getting access to your website data, your visitor data is not being shared or sold to third-parties nor is it being mined for behavioral insights for advertising purposes.

If so many key aspects of Matomo and Plausible are similar, in which ways do we differ? Let’s explore the main differences.

Simple web analytics vs complex web analytics

There are big differences in the way that Plausible and Matomo approach analytics.

Matomo is more like a full blown Google Analytics alternative

When you enter your Matomo dashboard, it has that Google Analytics feel in terms of the amount of features, charts and the huge number of metrics and reports you have access to.

There are 12 main sections on the left-side navigation menu with more than 70 individual reports within them.

This means that Matomo collects and displays hundreds of different website metrics. For some website owners, all of these metrics and reports might be useful but the majority will probably never look at more than a fraction of them.

Plausible is built with simplicity and ease of use in mind

This is the idea behind Plausible. We built a simple web analytics tool that is focused on the essential website stats and metrics only. You get to see unique visitors, page views and bounce rate for the chosen date or time period. You can see the comparison to the previous period.

You also get to see the most popular pages on your site and the most popular sources of traffic. On top of that, you can see the geographical overview of where your visitors are coming from and the overview of devices, operating systems and browsers that they use.

You can do event and goal conversion tracking too and we plan to add more useful metrics as we go along but you get the idea behind it.

Simple, easy to understand and quick to review website analytics. We’ve made it easy to open publicly or share your website stats privately with other people such as your visitors or your clients who have no prior experience with analytics.

We have an actual live demo for you to view. It present you the live website analytics of our website.

A lightweight analytics script that is optimized for speed

Web analytics scripts like any other website element add extra page weight and extra loading time to your website. Every KB matters when you want to keep your site fast to load.

Plausible Analytics is a lightweight web analytics tool that is built with speed and performance in mind. Plausible script weights under 1 KB. That’s more than 22 times smaller than the Matomo script which weights 22.8 KB.

  • Matomo https://example.org/matomo.js 22.8 KB
  • Plausible https://plausible.io/js/plausible.js <1 KB

Plausible Analytics script you need to integrate into your site looks like this:

<script async defer data-domain="domain.com"
src="https://plausible.io/js/plausible.js"></script>

While the Matomo script looks like this:

<!-- Matomo -->
<script type="text/javascript">
var _paq = window._paq || [];
_paq.push(['trackPageView']);
_paq.push(['enableLinkTracking']);
(function() {
var u="//{$MATOMO_URL}/";
_paq.push(['setTrackerUrl', u+'matomo.php']);
_paq.push(['setSiteId', {$IDSITE}]);
var d=document, g=d.createElement('script'),
s=d.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
g.type='text/javascript'; g.async=true; g.defer=true;
g.src=u+'piwik.js'; s.parentNode.insertBefore(g,s);
})();
</script>
<!-- End Matomo Code -->

By being a more simple and more lightweight alternative, it means that Plausible also tracks and collects fewer data points by default.

With Matomo being a full-blown Google Analytics-like tool, it is using cookies and it is collecting personal data by default for reports such as session recordings and heatmaps.

To make Matomo privacy regulation compliant and to not have to ask your visitors for cookie or GDPR consent, you can take these steps. To make Matomo compliant with GDPR and other privacy regulations without obtaining consent, you need to:

  1. Anonymize visitors’ IP addresses
  2. Disable the creation of cookies
  3. Anonymize URLs which include personal identifiers
  4. Anonymize the tracking data which includes the user ID and order ID
  5. Anonymize location data so a full IP address is not used to geolocate visitors
  6. Anonymize all keystrokes which users enter into forms of your site

Without taking the above steps, you would need to compromise the visitor experience by prompting them to give you consent to place cookies on their devices or for collecting personal data.

Plausible doesn’t use any cookies and we don’t collect any personal data so by using Plausible you don’t need to obtain a cookie consent or the GDPR consent at all.

One of the largest web analytics platforms on the web versus a brand new startup

Matomo is one of the most popular website analytics providers. It is installed on 1.5% of all the websites that use a known traffic analysis tool. This means that Matomo is used on 1% of all websites on the web. It’s a great success for a great open-source web analytics project.

Plausible is a brand new and independently developed project. We’re a small team and we’re self-funded. By using Plausible, you will support indie-developers, indie-businesses and the independent web.

Sign up for a free Plausible trial

Sign up for a 30-day free trial to explore our simple web analytics dashboard while getting a faster website that doesn’t require you to annoy your visitors with the different cookie and privacy regulation prompts and notices.

Ready to dive in?
Start your free trial today.

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