Fathom vs Matomo
Looking for a privacy-focused web analytics solution that ensures GDPR compliance? Matomo and Fathom are two popular choices. Learn how Matomo vs Fathom compare in terms of product features, integrations, compliance and pricing.
Matomo is a powerful, privacy-first web analytics solution. Since starting as an open-source project in 2007, Matomo has since evolved into a leading Google Analytics alternative. Today, Matomo is used by over 1.5 million websites in 190 countries.
Fathom is a light-weight, privacy-friendly web analytics solution. Launched in 2018, Fathom aims to offer an easy-to-use web analytics solution that doesn’t compromise visitor privacy for data.
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|Google Analytics Data Importer
|No Data Sampling
|No Data Limits
|PRIVACY & COMPLIANCE
|100% Data Ownership
|Advanced Privacy Controls
(All standard visitor metrics and reports including location, device, OS and engagement behaviour)
|Website Actions (Tracking behaviour on your website including entry pages)
|Channel Referrer / Campaign Tracking
|Built-in Tag Manager
|Funnels and Multi Attribution
|Data Driven Attribution
|Search Engine Keyword Rankings
|Downloads and Outlinks Track Automatically
|Integration with Google Search Console
|Integration with Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Yandex Ads
|Integration with the Full Google Marketing Platform
(Including Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360 etc.)
|Integration with Bing and Yahoo Search Consoles
|Full access to raw data via SQL
|Full access to raw data via API
Similarities between Matomo and Fathom
Both Matomo and Fathom have in-built data collection, processing and reporting mechanisms, designed to protect user privacy. When using either solution, you can rest assured of your GDPR compliance status. The two also share quite a lot of product functionality.
Full regulatory compliance
Matomo is compliant with global privacy regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, ePrivacy and PECR among others. With Matomo, you don’t have to worry about collecting consent for personal data collection or plastering cookie banners all over your website. In fact, we’ve been approved by the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) as one of the few web analytics apps that can be used to collect data without tracking consent.
Fathom Canada’s entity has GDPR adequacy ruling and the team applies EU traffic isolation to tick all GDPR boxes. The analytics app doesn’t collect any personal data and uses anonymized logs. These features make Fathom GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, PECR (and more) compliant.
On-Premise or Cloud hosting in the EU
Matomo has two hosting plans:
- Self-hosted on your own servers
- Cloud-hosted on managed Matomo servers in Germany
In both cases, you can easily track where your user data is stored and implement extra privacy controls to suit your needs. Because Matomo Cloud infrastructure is based in the EU, we can assure full GDPR compliance, unlike Google Analytics.
Fathom has its Cloud infrastructure hosted in Canada and Germany. All traffic from European users gets automatically re-routed to their EU infrastructure. This mechanism prevents personally identifiable information (PII) from being transferred across borders. which is against GDPR.
No data sampling
To uncover meaningful information within a larger dataset, some web analytics solutions (like Google Analytics) apply data sampling. In other words: you get approximated website metrics rather than factual reporting.
Both Matomo and Fathom provide 100% accurate, unsampled reporting. All the visitor data collected is aggregated straight to your dashboard. With either tool, you’ll always get the real picture of your website performance to make accurate, data-backed decisions.
Since no data sampling is applied, you can make confident decisions based on real data, rather than guesswork with some other tools.
100% data ownership
Your website — your data. With Matomo and Fathom your data is yours to own. Neither solution shares collected insights with third parties or re-sells to advertisers. This is another key factor making both tools GDPR compliant.
Google Analytics, on the contrary, uses data for its own purposes – advertising.
Matomo is a community-led project. Our product source code is publicly available on GitHub. You can download it and install it on your servers for free. By “working in the open” we can assure our users that no eerie data collection happens in the background.
Fathom also started as an open-source project. Fathom Lite source code is available on Github. However, this is a beta version of the premium solution the team now distributes as a SaaS product. Fathom no longer adds new features to the open-source version, but continues to support it.
Basic metrics covered
Fathom and Matomo supply you with a familiar list of traditional website stats such as:
- Total website visitors
- Total page views
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources
- And more!
You also get real-time analytics. Matomo updates analytics stats every 10 seconds (you can also programme a custom delay). Fathom also offers real-time insights, but doesn’t disclose the update frequency.
Advanced analytics features
Apart from covering the bases, Matomo and Fathom also offer more granular reporting such as:
- Event tracking
- Content interactions
- Campaign tracking (using custom tags)
- Goal tracking
- Roll-up reporting
However, Matomo is a more advanced Fathom alternative since we also provide extra analytics features for Ecommerce websites, multi-attribution tracking and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
In this sense, when you compare Fathom vs Matomo, Fathom errs more on the side of simplicity, whereas Matomo balances basic and advanced reporting.
Cookieless, consent-free tracking
Google is highly-dependent on third-party cookies since this technology allows them to collect more data for advertising purposes.
Since neither Matomo nor Fathom monetise user data, we don’t need to rely on third-party cookies as heavily (or at all).
Fathom has a no-cookies analytics gathering method, based on the principles of IP address anonymization. Instead, the tracking script captures several data points around each visitor. Then anonymizes this information with a unique hash (data encryption method). This way Fathom can identify unique site visitors over the course of 24 hours without relying on cookies at all.
Matomo also employs IP anonymization and several other data anonymization techniques to collect analytics data without using cookies. Alternatively, you can apply a Config_id tag — an even more private method for collecting and hashing website visitor information over the course of 24 hours.
This method of tracking is the most privacy-friendly and industry-leading and fully excludes the processing of any sensitive user information (such as names, addresses, credit card data, etc).
Plus, with cookieless tracking enabled in Matomo, you can get rid of annoying cookie banners, confidently rely on all the data collected and protect user privacy.
Fathom has an extensive collection of Support Docs. If you can’t find your answer there, the team is also available for help via email for Cloud users.
Matomo also has a comprehensive Help Centre with training videos, Knowledge Base guides, Community Forum and FAQs. Plus Support via email is available at no extra cost to all Cloud users and for On-Premise users, there is an option for paid Support plans.
Differences between Matomo and Fathom
Matomo and Fathom share several similarities, namely that both offer ethical tracking and operate on digital privacy-first principles. But the two products also have several noticeable differences, particularly in features.
Seamlessly import data from Google Analytics
Planning to migrate from Google Analytics because of GDPR non-compliance or due to concerns of data loss from migrating to GA4? Matomo has you covered with a Google Analytics data import plugin. You can bring all your historic data, custom workflows and reports to Matomo to ensure data continuity.
Fathom recently announced a Universal Analytics data importer in April 2022, but it’s still under development. The release date is yet to be announced.
Integrations with other products
Over the past fifteen years, Matomo has released 100+ integrations with other software including popular content management systems (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, etc.) Ecommerce shops (e.g., WooCommerce, Magento, etc.), forums, programming languages and more.
We also realise that de-Googling your business is tough (because Google products are free and universally used). That’s why Matomo has integrations with many tools from the Google ecosystem, such as Google Search Console and Google Ads.
Fathom doesn’t offer direct integrations with Google products (at present) or other popular digital advertising platforms.
That said: Fathom does have handy integrations with WordPress, Webflow, Carrd, Ghost, Bloggi, SavvyCal and ConvertKit.
Built-in tag manager
Something unique to Matomo is the native Tag Manager, which Fathom does not offer currently.
Tags help capture and analyse various on-site events such as content interactions (clicks to specific links, forms, buttons, etc), form submissions and traffic flows, generated by different digital marketing campaigns.
As a built-in tool, the Matomo Tag Manager makes it easy to manage your web analytics and tags all in one place.
Script weight and features
Fathom cookie-free tracking script weighs just 1.6 KB. For comparison, Google Analytics’ script has a file size of 45.7 KB and the Matomo tracking script weighs 22.8 KB. Because the Fathom script is lighter, it may offer a faster load time.
Advanced analytics features
Fathom’s main value proposition is collecting, managing and serving essential site analytics ethically and in compliance with privacy laws. Because Fathom’s focus was on simplicity (above all else), the product doesn’t have as many advanced features as Matomo.
Here are some Matomo features that you won’t find in Fathom:
- Search Engines and Keywords Reporting
- Media and Form Analytics
- Session Recordings
- Data-driven Attribution
- A/B Testing
- Advanced audience segmentation
- Ecommerce Reporting
With these advanced features, you can discover what content is most popular, and find out where visitors are getting lost and dropping off so you can optimise for a better user experience. Go beyond pageviews and bounce rates with a complete 360-degree view of the performance of your website.
Built-in GDPR Manager
Fathom is GDPR compliant by design. Since their software excludes personal data from being collected and applies anonymization, Fathom can be used by EU businesses.
Matomo has a slightly different approach to GDPR compliance. By default, we have privacy-friendly controls enabled (such as IP anonymization) and only collect first-party cookie data by default.
However, we also provide an advanced GDPR Manager to make it easy to maintain compliance and honour the rights of data subjects under GDPR, by giving users:
- Right of access
- Right to withdraw consent
- Right to data portability
- Right to object
- Right to erasure
- Supports “Do Not Track”
- Delete historical data
- Anonymizing features
- Anonymize historical data
Fathom ensures GDPR compliance on an infrastructure level. However, it doesn’t provide self-service tools for managing other GDPR provisions as Matomo does.
That said, JS code is prone to various tampering (which all three minimise through robust security controls). However, because JS codes come with some by-design vulnerabilities, organisations in sensitive industries (healthcare, finance, government) choose to auto-block all JS scripts as part of their cybersecurity policies.
For such companies, Matomo offers Log Analytics. In this case, we derive analytics from historical visitor sessions using log files, generated by your site’s web servers. Using this mechanism, you can still capture important analytics information without collecting any personal user data or using JS snippets.
If you want to offer privacy-centred analytics to your customers, you can white label Matomo. In other words, you can add custom branding elements, remove links and mentions of Matomo and customise your platform.
This is especially handy for marketing agencies that want to offer branded web analytics to their customers without needing to spend time and money developing a tool from scratch.
With Fathom Lite (the open-source version of Fathom) anyone can download, customise and distribute under their own brand under the MIT Licence. However, you get a truncated product version, plus have to custom-code the changes. But you can white label Matomo in a few clicks using a plugin.
Raw data access
By design, Fathom doesn’t store any raw user data. All the collected analytics data is automatically hashed for privacy and security reasons. Hence, there’s no way to request raw data exports.
Matomo has a more flexible philosophy. You can choose which type of user data to collect for analytics purposes. Whenever you need to, you can schedule a raw data export from Matomo either using our API or by setting up direct read-only access to the MySQL database (for Matomo On-Premise).In each case, you’ll receive all the collected information, stripped clean of any filters.
With Matomo, you can collect user behaviour data from locally-hosted web properties such as Confluence-based sites, corporate SharePoints, internal wikis or other intranet resources.
Doing so is an easy way to learn how your people engage with corporate content and design more comprehensive resources for them. Fathom doesn’t provide intranet analytics.
Both Fathom and Matomo have free plans for on-premise installations that offer fewer features. However, with Matomo On-Premise, users have the option to pay for any additional advanced features through the Plugin Marketplace.
As for the paid Cloud versions of both, with Matomo you get a full-feature product, whereas with Fathom you get a simplified analytics solution at a lower price point.
Matomo and Fathom apply progressive pricing, based on monthly hits or pageviews.
- Matomo uses “hits” as a pricing metric. A hit includes either a tracked pageview, an event tracking, a download, a content tracking request or an onsite search. On average, one user makes 3 hits per visit. So 100 visits are equal to approximately 300 hits.
- Fathom uses “pageviews” as a pricing metric. Pageviews are the number of times a page loads on your website. Fathom uses the average number of views per month, plus event completions to determine your pricing tier.
Matomo vs Fathom Pricing
|$23/mo for 50K website hits
|$14/mo for 100K page views
|17% off with annual billing
|2 months free with annual billing
|Free trial period
Up front, Matomo is a more expensive Plausible alternative, but you get access to more advanced features and native tools. This way you save money on custom integrations and additional third-party tools.
Fathom is a new entrant in the web analytics space. By design, Fathom’s tracking script doesn’t collect any cookies (first-party or third-party) so it’s privacy-friendly by default. A simple analytics dashboard at a low cost also draws in plenty of novice marketers and small business owners alike.
But because Fathom is a new website analytics solution, it still lacks integrations with other products namely Google Search Console, Google Ads and Google Analytics for easy migration. Plus, the other side of its simple reporting interface is absent advanced reporting functionality for advanced traffic segmentation, Data-driven Attribution and Funnel Analytics.
In comparison, Matomo is a more mature Fathom Analytics alternative with more native integrations, reporting and customisation features present. We also provide users with more privacy controls, where you can select between consent-free cookieless analytics and cookie-based tracking.
Start your 21-day free trial (no credit card required) no credit card required) to see if Matomo is right for you.