News & Articles

Cookieless Analytics Comparison

Matomo Vs Plausible Vs Fathom

With today's rules on GDPR and cookie consent, almost every website greets you with a cookie notice. This is a frustrating experience for many visitors, and in many cases an unnecessary one.

Traditional analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, rely on cookies to track users. This is a small data file that's stored in a visitor's browser to remember them between pages.

GDPR and the ePrivacy directive have been brought in to enforce restrictions on the use of these cookies. The most noticeable change is that in the EU (and UK), visitors need to actively give consent for non-essential cookies. This has led to the proliferation of cookie consent notices whenever you visit a website.

There are now a number of analytics providers that claim to provide the ability to monitor your website's performance, whilst respecting the privacy of users & therefore avoiding the need to disrupt new visitors with an annoying cookie notice. We tested 3 of the big names, and here's our findings...


Our Verdict: A good range of metrics, but the code isn't the fastest & the interface could be improved

Matomo is perhaps the most well known cookieless analytics tool, and for good reason. Of the 3 tools we tested, it provided the widest range of data points and visualisations. You can track visitors on your site in real time, and UTM support makes it simple to measure the performance of visitors from your advertising campaigns. You can even download conversion data to import into your Google Ads account and attribute conversions to specific adverts.

However, all of this functionality comes with one main downside. We used the javascript tag implementation to test all 3 tools, and Matomo definitely had the most impact on page speed. This impact wasn't huge - a visitor is very unlikely to even notice it, however our Performance score in PageSpeed Insights definitely took a hit.

Without Matomo running, our Performance score was 100. With Matomo this dropped to 97, with Google flagging the Matomo script's unused javascript as an area for improvement. Why does this matter? Look at our article on Google PageSpeed Scores for more information. It would be great if Matomo provided the option to remove unneeded metrics from tracking, which in return could reduce the size of the javascript tag.

For the vast majority of websites, the impact on PageSpeed scores is barely an issue. However, as we pride ourselves on building websites that maximise performance, our 100 score wasn't something we were willing to sacrifice. For most websites, who don't need that 100 PageSpeed performance, we'd recommend Matomo as a great option.

In terms of cost, Matomo is £17 per month + VAT for up to 50,000 monthly hits, which should be more than enough for small business websites. Paying for the yearly option will get you 2 months for free. This also covers additional features, such as AB testing, which we haven't reviewed as we're focusing purely on the analytics capabilities.


- Best range of metrics

- Great flexibility with customisable dashboards


- Slowest javascript tag of the options we tested

- Interface could be more user friendly. Even the date range selector is unnecessarily complicated

- Expensive in comparison to other tools


Our Verdict: Basic metrics, reasonable loadspeed, simple to setup and use

Fathom is a much more simplified analytics tool compared with Matomo. There's very little customisation and the metrics you can track are pretty standard. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. A lot of the metrics that are missing in comparison to Matomo would be considered nice-to-haves, and their omission results in a faster loading tag, and a far simpler user interface.

When setting Matomo up, there were a few complications. We experienced none of that with Fathom, and once it's set up you're presented with a clean & clear dashboard that's simple to navigate.

Fathom presents the key information about your site, such as live visitors, most viewed pages, popular referrers and campaigns, visitor data (device, browser, location), and custom events. Most importantly, it lets you filter on these metrics, so you can simply view how many visitors came from specific advertising campaigns and the number of succesful goals they resulted in.

As mentioned before, Fathom loads reasonably fast. We saw the occasional dip to 99 performance scores with Fathom activated, but PageSpeed scores fluctuate frequently and we never saw a consistent drop.

Pricing for Fathom is slightly cheaper than Matomo, coming in at $14 (around £11) a month for up to 100,000 monthly page views, and similarly you get 2 months free if you pay for a full year.


- Simple dashboard

- Only minor impact on page load speeds


- Little customisation to the reports

- Currently no integration with Google Search Console to import keyword data


Our Verdict: Basic metrics, great loadspeed, simple to setup and use

At first, Plausible seemed too basic to be of much use. However, after comparing it against other tools we realised it provides all the functionality we actually need, it just presents the metrics in a really simple way.

In terms of metrics available, and how they are presented, there is virtually no difference between Plausible and Fathom. They both seem to cover all of the same metrics, and both present them in a easy to navigate dashboard. The only real difference we could find in the functionality of the two products is that Plausible has an integration with Google Search Console, allowing you to see keywords on the dashboard.

Like Fathom, Plausible is incredibly simple to implement and use. There's no learning process required, as the interface is clean & clutter free. You also have the same ability to filter on any metric, allowing you to dive deeper into specific campaigns or referrers.

A huge benefit of Plausible is the impact on page load speeds. The javascript tag is the lightest of the 3 options, meaning we saw no negative impact on our performance scores.

In terms of pricing, Plausible is again pretty much on par with Fathom. The cheapest plan is £9 a month + VAT. However, this only gets you 10,000 page views per month, compared with 100,000 with Fathom. Those with higher traffic websites may see themselves paying £19 + VAT per month for 100,000 page views.


- Simple dashboard

- Great page load speeds


- Little customisation to the reports

- Most expensive option if you're getting over 10,000 page views a month

So....Which one do we recommend?

Honestly, all 3 tools were extremely impressive. Yes, they don't offer the full functionality of Google or Adobe's analytics tools, but all three provide enough data to meet the needs of a small business website. Which one is best depends on your business...

Matomo is the best option if your biggest concern is having the most amount of data possible. There are also a lot of additional features, such as AB testing and user heatmapping, which could prove useful. Your page load speeds would take a slight hit, although it's still a lot faster to load than Google Analytics.

Fathom and Plausible are better options if you're new to analytics, as both are far more user friendly than Matomo. Similarly, both are good options if you're more concerned about page load speeds than having every possible metric. When it comes to choosing between the two, Plausible would be best if you're looking for the absolute fastest page load times, and the Google Search Console integration helps to push Plausible further ahead. However, if your website has more than 10,000 page views per month, Fathom may be the more cost effective choice.

Article by Kieran C, 10th May 2023

Recent posts

Let's Chat

There's a world of conflicting information when it comes to getting a website built. Simply enter your details below and we'll set up a free, no obligation call to answer any questions you have.

Get the perfect website
with us today

Super quick turnaround times. No hidden fees. And due to our subscription model, regular maintenance and premium quality - your website will ALWAYS be future proof.

Contact Us Now