Matomo vs. Plausible: Which Web Analytics is Better [2023]?

Both Matomo and Plausible are like trusted web analytics tools that are easy to use.

I have used Matomo in the past year, and I’m currently testing Plausible. If you want to know the difference, here’s what I found out:

The main difference is that Matomo offers extensive features like real-time analytics, e-commerce tracking, and custom dashboards, providing high customizability but can be complex, while Plausible focuses on privacy with essential metrics like page views and referral sources, emphasizing a minimalist and lightweight approach, suitable for those valuing simplicity and user privacy.

Key Features of Matomo and Plausible Compared

Let’s set up a comparison chart to help you weigh the options:

Real-time Analytics
Visitor Tracking
E-commerce Tracking
Custom Dashboards
Open Source

What is Matomo?

Matomo is an open-source web analytics platform that provides detailed insights into website performance.

It’s known for its extensive feature set, including real-time analytics, visitor tracking, e-commerce tracking, and customizable dashboards.

Matomo offers full data control, allowing users to host their data and tailor analytics to their specific needs. However, it can be complex for beginners and resource-intensive when self-hosted.

Key Features of Matomo:

1). Real-time Analytics:

Matomo offers real-time insights into website traffic. It allows you to monitor visitors’ actions as they happen, providing immediate feedback on the performance of your website or campaigns.

2). Visitor Tracking:

With Matomo, you can track individual visitor journeys. This means you can see how users navigate your site, which pages they visit, and for how long. It’s like having a guide through a maze, showing you the path your visitors take.

3). E-commerce Tracking:

Matomo’s e-commerce tracking is a treasure trove for online entrepreneurs. It helps you understand which products are selling, who your most valuable customers are, and how they found your online store.

4). Custom Dashboards:

Matomo’s custom dashboards are like a control panel for your ship. You can create personalized dashboards with the specific metrics and reports you care about most. It’s like designing your own navigation tools.

5). Open Source:

Matomo’s open-source nature means you have complete control over your data. You can host it on your servers, ensuring data sovereignty and compliance with privacy regulations. It’s akin to owning your ship and choosing your crew.

Use Case Example: Sarah, an e-commerce entrepreneur, used Matomo to track customer behavior on her website.

By analyzing user paths, she discovered a popular product that was often abandoned in carts. With this insight, she optimized the checkout process, leading to a 25% increase in sales.

Pros of Using Matomo

  • Total Control: Matomo allows you to host your data, ensuring full control and data sovereignty.
  • Versatile: Its extensive features cater to a wide range of business types.
  • Customization: You can tailor Matomo to your unique needs with custom dashboards and plugins.

Cons of Using Matomo

  • Complexity: The abundance of features might overwhelm beginners.
  • Resource Intensive: Self-hosting Matomo may require dedicated server resources.

What is Plausible?

Plausible is a privacy-focused web analytics tool that offers simplicity and ease of use. It provides essential metrics like page views, referral sources, and bounce rates.

Plausible excels in user privacy, with no cookies or tracking of personal data.

It’s a lightweight, affordable option, making it ideal for those valuing data privacy and a straightforward user experience.

Key Features of Plausible:

1). Page Views Tracking:

Plausible offers a straightforward metric, tracking page views. This simplicity is akin to counting passengers boarding your ship. It gives you a clear idea of your site’s traffic.

2). Referral Sources Tracking:

Plausible helps you identify where your visitors come from. Whether it’s from search engines, social media, or other websites, you’ll know who’s guiding them to your content.

3). Bounce Rates Monitoring:

Plausible tracks bounce rates, indicating whether visitors stay or leave quickly. It’s like measuring how long guests stay at your event. Low bounce rates signify engaging content.

4). Privacy-Focused:

Plausible respects user privacy by avoiding cookies and not tracking personal data. This approach ensures your website visitors feel secure, as if they’re in a private cabin on your ship.

5). Minimalist Interface:

Plausible’s interface is clean and simple, like a well-organized navigation chart. It’s easy to use, especially for those new to web analytics. This simplicity ensures you can quickly grasp the insights you need.

Use Case Example: Mark, a blogger, switched to Plausible to respect his readers’ privacy. He noticed that his bounce rate decreased after the switch, indicating that visitors were engaging more with his content.

Pros of Using Plausible

  • Privacy: Plausible excels in respecting user privacy and GDPR compliance.
  • Simplicity: Its minimalist interface makes it user-friendly, especially for newcomers.
  • Speed: Plausible’s lightweight scripts won’t slow down your website.

Cons of Using Plausible

  • Limited Features: Plausible may lack some advanced analytics features.
  • Less Customization: You have fewer customization options compared to Matomo.

Matomo vs. Plausible: Pricing Comparison

Matomo offers both a free open-source version and a cloud-hosted paid version, while Plausible operates on a subscription model.

Matomo Pricing: The cloud-hosted Matomo starts at $19/month, offering additional features like support and automatic updates.

Plausible Pricing: Plausible’s pricing starts at $6/month for the basic plan, making it a cost-effective choice for entrepreneurs on a budget.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Analytics Tool

When selecting a web analytics tool, several factors should guide your decision. These considerations ensure you choose a tool that aligns with your business goals and objectives:

i). Features and Capabilities

Consider the specific analytics features you need. Are you interested in real-time analytics, e-commerce tracking, or custom dashboards?

List your requirements and compare them with the tool’s capabilities to ensure they meet your needs. Remember, more features aren’t always better; choose what’s essential for your goals.

ii). Data Privacy and Compliance:

Evaluate the tool’s approach to data privacy. Given the increasing focus on user data protection, ensure the tool aligns with regulations like GDPR.

Tools like Plausible prioritize privacy by design, avoiding personal data tracking. If user privacy is a concern, this factor is paramount.

iii). Ease of Use and User Interface:

Consider the tool’s user-friendliness, especially if you or your team are new to web analytics.

A clean, intuitive interface and well-organized reports can save time and reduce the learning curve. Plausible, with its minimalist design, excels in this aspect.

iv). Cost and Scalability:

Analyze the tool’s pricing structure. Determine if it fits your budget, whether you’re a small startup or a larger enterprise.

Additionally, consider scalability. Will the tool accommodate your growth without significant cost spikes? Matomo’s open-source version is cost-effective, while its cloud-hosted version offers scalability.

v). Data Ownership and Control:

Examine whether the tool allows you to retain ownership and control of your data.

Matomo’s open-source nature provides data sovereignty by allowing you to host it on your servers. This can be crucial for compliance and security.

Conversely, cloud-hosted tools like Plausible handle server maintenance but may have data ownership implications.

Is Matomo Better than Plausible? Summary

In the vast ocean of web analytics, Matomo and Plausible are two strong contenders.

At the end of the day, your choice depends on your web analytics goal, and budget.

If you value data sovereignty, a wide array of features, and are willing to invest in hosting, Matomo is your trusted first mate.

However, if you prioritize user privacy, simplicity, and affordability, Plausible might be your ideal co-captain.