Fathom Analytics vs Plausible (2023): Which is the Better Google Analytics Alternative?
Fathom Analytics and Plausible are both privacy-focused alternatives to traditional analytics tools, offering a range of features designed to help businesses understand their website traffic without compromising on user privacy.
But how do they stack up against each other? And how do you decide which is most suitable for your website?
In this article, we'll delve into a comprehensive comparison of their features, pricing, ease of use, and more, helping you to make an informed decision that best fits your needs.
What is Fathom Analytics?
Fathom Analytics is a privacy-centric web analytics tool that offers simple, useful statistics without tracking or storing personal data of your website visitors. Launched in 2018, Fathom has quickly become a popular choice among online businesses after the EU's new data protection laws.
Here are some of the features of Fathom Analytics:
- Privacy-focused: Fathom Analytics is fully compliant with GDPR, ePrivacy (PECR), COPPA, and CCPA, and does not use advertising cookies.
- Real-time analytics: Fathom provides real-time updates, allowing you to see how many people are on your site at any given moment and what they are doing.
- Simple and clean interface: The dashboard is easy to navigate, with a focus on presenting the most important data in an understandable way.
- Data retention: Fathom retains your data for an unlimited time, allowing you to analyze long-term trends and patterns.
- All sites view: You can see an overview of important website traffic metrics for up to 12 sites at a time.
What is Plausible?
Plausible is another privacy-focused analytics tool that has been making waves in the industry. Launched in 2019, Plausible has been designed with a focus on simplicity and privacy, offering website owners a GDPR-compliant alternative to Google Analytics.
Here are some of the key features that Plausible offers:
- Lightweight and fast: The Plausible script is lightweight (under 1 KB), which means it doesn't affect your website's load time.
- Real-time analytics: Plausible also offers real-time updates, so you can see what's happening on your site in the moment.
- Simple dashboard: Plausible's dashboard is clean and easy to understand, focusing on the essential metrics without overwhelming you with data.
- Email reports: You can get weekly or monthly email reports with your main metrics, which is a handy feature for keeping stakeholders informed.
Fathom Analytics vs Plausible: Head-to-Head Comparison
When choosing between Fathom Analytics and Plausible, it's important to understand how they stack up against each other in terms of key features, pricing, user interface, and customer support. Let's delve deeper into these aspects.
Real-Time Analytics Dashboard
Real-time analytics is a standard feature in both Fathom and Plausible. The difference lies in the presentation of real-time data, with each tool using a slightly different approach to visualizing website traffic.
Both alternatives offer clean and intuitive dashboards, allowing for both a high-level overview as well as the ability to drill down into specific such as UTM campaigns or individual page performance.
However, Fathom allows you to toggle multiple metrics concurrently, which is great for cross-comparison without needing to go back and forth.
Winner: Fathom. Although the UI is slightly messier, being able to see all the data in one view without toggling back and forth is of great convenience. Fathom also provides an uptime monitoring feature which isn't necessarily a deal-breaker but is more value for money.
Both Fathom and Plausible offer similar pricing packages based on monthly pageviews. All plans include coverage of up to 50 websites with an option for more, 100% data ownership, unlimited data retention, and custom events counted toward your total page views.
Most notably, Fathom does not offer a lower-tier package like Plausible, but its pricing is less expensive as your website traffic scales.
Winner: Fathom. Fathom's pricing model is much more sustainable especially when you scale to an enterprise level.
Open-source vs closed-source code
Fathom Analytics' code is closed-source whereas Plausible's is open-source. This means that anyone, even you, can contribute to the software, identify bugs, suggest improvements, and even add new features, leading to a more rapidly evolving product.
This transparent approach is a stark contrast to Fathom's which doesn't have a public roadmap, albeit they do have a monthly changelog that's updating at an admirable pace. That said, you can download Fathom's previous and open-source version for free, although they are no longer adding features to it.
Winner: Plausible. Plausible is backed by a large community of developers who are contributing to the open-source code, allowing new product features to roll out faster.
Impact on website performance
Winner: Plausible but the difference is negligible.
On the other hand, Fathom Analytics is a Canadian corporation that ensures privacy law compliance via EU isolation. That is, all your EU traffic is processed by their German provider (Hetzner), hence it is also protected by EU's privacy laws.
Winner: Plausible. While Fathom's (a Canadian company) data processing is protected by EU privacy laws, Plausible being located in Germany literally places it at a favorable location for sudden privacy law reformations in the future.
Both Fathom and Plausible offer email support along with comprehensive documentation pages. Plausible, however, is much more active on Github, reflecting its long-standing commitment to building its platform in public and open-source coding transparency.
Winner: Plausible. Plausible's more comprehensive Github repository and integration documentation page gives it an edge. But don't expect a dedicated account manager or 24/7 customer support from either!
Both Fathom and Plausible can be integrated with most popular content management systems (CMS), development frameworks, and e-commerce platforms. Both also offer detailed integration installation guides, but Plausible's documentation page covers a greater number of options for your convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section, we'll address some common questions that readers might have about Fathom Analytics and Plausible.
Are Fathom Analytics and Plausible GDPR compliant?
Can I use Fathom Analytics or Plausible with WordPress?
Yes, both Fathom Analytics and Plausible can be easily integrated with WordPress and other popular content management systems.
Fathom Analytics provides uptime monitoring and better value as your website traffic scales. Its dashboard UI is personally a tad too confusing, but the ability to view multiple metrics simultaneously is nice to have. However, Fathom does not have a lower-tier plan due to its emphasis on enterprise-level infrastructure.
On the other hand, Plausible Analytics is a fully EU-based, open-sourced, extremely lightweight alternative. Its open-source model backed by an enthusiastic developer community also makes it future-proof, with new product updates rolling out at breakneck speeds. However, Plausible is also about 15% more expensive, which can be a dealbreaker for those tracking large amounts of monthly pageviews.
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