Matomo vs Google Analytics vs Piwik Pro – Best Google Analytics Alternative

Last Updated: May 26, 2022

Why you should use at least one Google Analytics alternative?

In addition to using Google Analytics, you should also use at least one good alternative to GA.

By doing that, your probability of correctly interpreting the analytics data increases several-fold.

Your probability of making the right business decisions increases several-fold.

Consider the following scenarios:


Let us suppose, Google Analytics, reports to you that your sales have increased by 20% in the last month.

Let us also suppose, Matomo reports to you that your sales have increased by 25% in the last month.

Now one thing is certain and that is your website sales have actually increased in the last month.

If you choose to use only one analytics tool then you may never be 100% sure about your increase in sales.


Let us suppose, Google Analytics, reports to you that your sales have increased by 10% in the last month.

Let us also suppose, Matomo reports to you that your sales have decreased by 5% in the last month.

Now one thing is certain and that is one of the tools is collecting and reporting inaccurate data.

If you choose to use only one analytics tool then you may never be able to find out about such data collection issues.

NOTE: No two analytics tools report the same website usage data for one website. For example, the number of visits/page views may not match, sales data may not match etc. This is quite common and normal.

So focus on data trends instead of comparing the raw numbers.

What are the best Google Analytics Alternatives?

I have used many analytics tools over the years from Statcounter, Clicky, Kissmetrics, and Mixpanel to expensive solutions like Coremetrics and Adobe Analytics (formerly called SiteCatalyst).

Most of these tools don’t hold a candle to Google Analytics in terms of features and usability and the one which does, are just too difficult to use.

To understand and appreciate, how easy it is to use Google Analytics, I would suggest taking what I call the Adobe Analytics challenge.

Use Adobe Analytics for a week or two and try to perform all of the tasks, you usually carry out in GA.

Let me know if you don’t find yourself calling their customer support every day or two just to perform seemingly simple tasks like applying an advanced segment to a report.

There is no doubt, Adobe Analytics is very robust, in fact, it is way too robust for a mortal man.

You don’t need to run a supercomputer to apply an advanced segment to a report. If you cannot use the tool easily then what is the point?

One tool that stands out from the Google Analytics alternatives crowd is ‘Matomo‘ (formerly called ‘Piwik’). 

This tool, without a doubt, is a serious contender of Google Analytics and a serious threat to Google Analytics premium (analytics 360).

I use this tool in addition to Google Analytics.

Matomo Analytics

My primary reason to use Matomo is to get the unsampled data, though it provides many other benefits over GA like full ownership of the analytics data.

If you have read the article Understanding Data Sampling in Google Analytics, you already know how damaging data sampling can be for your analysis.

If your website gets a lot of traffic (millions of pageviews a month) and you can’t afford an enterprise-level tool like GA premium (analytics 360) then Matomo is your best choice.

I would even go ahead and say, why spend $150k a year (even if you can afford to) on GA premium if there are better cheaper alternatives available?

Surprisingly, many GA premium customers I have talked to, have not heard of Matomo and when they do, they are shocked to know that it has no data sampling limit, no limit on data storage and collection and above all, they can actually own their analytics data and all that for free or minimal cost.

To an average Joe (like your client) the difference between what he is getting from GA premium and what he can get from Matomo is really the annual cost of $150,000. 

Yes. That’s the annual cost of using the GA premium. Your client (aka a business) sees the cost more than anything else.

No matter how big your client is, the $150,000 per year cost of an analytics solution is not something that can be conveniently ignored.

You can hire two web analysts full-time for this cost which would help you much more in improving your business bottom-line than paying for a tool that nobody really knows how to use to its full potential.

Remember, any analytics tool/solution (no matter how robust) cannot provide any useful actionable insight on its own. You need people, really smart people, for data interpretation.

So, when it comes to investing between a tool and an analyst, invest first in an analyst.

Matomo is the tool that let you invest more in people even at the enterprise level.

What is Matomo Analytics (formerly Piwik Analytics)?

Matomo is a free and open-source analytics platform that is used by over a million websites in over 190 countries:

matomo dashboard

Following is the screenshot of the Matomo dashboard:


Matomo key benefits over Google Analytics

#1 Matomo has no data storage and collection limit if you are hosting Matomo instances on your own web server or hard disk.

#2 There is no limit on the number of goals, transactions and pageviews you can track.

#3 No limit on the number of websites you can track.

#4 No limit on the number of user accounts, scheduled reports and the amount of data you can export.

#5 Because Matomo has got plugin architecture and an open marketplace, it provides endless customization of its platform.

#6 Matomo has got no data sampling issues. You get 100% unsampled data. This is what I like the most.

#7 You have complete ownership and control over your analytics data. Nobody other than you can access your data not even anonymously. This is not the case with Google Analytics. Moreover, if you violate Google TOS, Google can terminate your GA account and you can lose all of your data overnight.

#8 In Matomo you can configure privacy settings according to your company’s privacy policy and your country’s data protection laws. What that means, you are not bound by Matomo’s own policy and TOS on privacy and data protection. You can choose to track personally identifiable information (PII) like visitors’ names, email addresses, IP addresses, etc in your Matomo reports. Google doesn’t allow tracking PII.

#9 Matomo provides the option to white-label its platform through the ‘white label plugin’. Through this plugin, you can re-brand Matomo for personal/commercial use. For example, you can use your own colour and font scheme, add your business logo, etc.

#10 You can use Matomo enterprise services (training, consultation, custom development, etc) for very low cost (comparatively). Google provides these services only to GA premium customers for which you would have to pay $150,000 per year. So for the majority of users who use GA, professional services and dedicated support are simply out of reach.

#11 Matomo allows you to track more than 50 custom dimensions in the visit scope and more than 50 dimensions in the action scope. The length of a custom dimension value can be up to 255 characters long. Whereas in Google Analytics you can use a maximum of 20 custom dimensions and 20 custom metrics. If you want to use more than 20 then you need to switch to GA premium.

Matomo Service plans

Matomo comes in four flavours:

  1. Matomo On-Premise (free to use)
  2. Essential (paid)
  3. Business (paid)
  4. Enterprise (paid)

Introduction to Matomo On-Premise

motomo on premises

The ‘Matomo On-Premise’ is the free version of Matomo.

However, there is a hidden cost associated with using this free version.

You would be required to set up, configure and maintain Matomo on your own and on your own web server.

So, you would need development resources.

Just download the ‘Self-hosted Matomo‘ installation file from here and then follow the installation instructions mentioned later in this article.

The self-hosted Matomo is also a light version of Matomo with many features and functionalities not available by default. 

You can, however, enhance the functionality of your ‘ self-hosted Matomo’ by purchasing the annual subscription of one or more of their following premium plugins:

premium features

Following is the list of the premium features for the self-hosted Matomo (aka ‘Matomo On-Premise’)

  1. A/B Testing
  2. Activity Log
  3. Advertising Conversion Export
  4. Cohorts
  5. Custom Reports
  6. Form Analytics
  7. Funnels
  8. Heatmap & Session Recording
  9. Login SAML
  10. Media Analytics
  11. Multi-Channel Conversion Attribution
  12. Roll-Up Reporting
  13. Search Engine Keywords Performance
  14. Users Flow
  15. WooCommerce Analytics
  16. White Label
  17. Premium Bundle

In addition to these features, Matomo is available in 50+ languages, support 100+ currencies, support all time zones and can also be accessed via Android and IOS apps:

android and ios apps

If you are hosting Matomo on your own web server(s) then there is no data storage limit. You can store as much data as your infrastructure can support.

If you are using Matomo servers to host your Matomo instance (cloud hosting) then the upward data limit is 500 million actions per month (‘actions’ are like ‘hits’ in Google Analytics).

Through Matomo you can track almost anything you can track through Google Analytics.

The one area where Matomo is still far behind compared to GA, is attribution modelling. 

Matomo does provide a few attribution modelling capabilities (like Multi-Channel Conversion Attribution) but they are not as good as the one provided by GA:

matomo attribution 1

In fact, no analytics tool can compete with GA on attribution modelling at present.

You can integrate Matomo with almost all popular shopping carts (Shopify, Magento, Opencart, Prestashop, Zen Cart, Oscommerce, Woo Commerce, etc) and set up e-commerce tracking.

You can integrate Matomo with all popular CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and SharePoint:

content management system

Matomo can work on a variety of platforms from PHP, Android, IOS, C#, Ruby, Node.js to Microsoft Silverlight. Check out the integration module for more details.

For custom integration, you would need to use ‘Matomo Analytics for Enterprise’.

For white labelling, you can use the ‘Matomo White Label’ plugin:

white label

Unlike Google Analytics, Matomo also provides ‘Server Log analytics’ and ‘Intranet Analytics’.

Through log analytics, you can report on server errors and reprocess historical data.

Intranet (unlike the internet) is a local/internal network generally used by large organizations in the government, education, and financial sectors.

Through Matomo you can measure how intranet traffic is using your website(s).

This is particularly useful for colleges and universities where students regularly use the intranet to consume content and interact with faculty and other students.

Unlike GA, Matomo provides a lot of customization of its analytics platform through its own plugins. and through its ‘Enterprise’ plan.

You can try the demo version of Matomo analytics from here:

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook

Get my best selling books on Attribution Modelling

  • Learn to implement attribution modelling in your organisation
  • Understand the customer purchase journey across devices
  • Determine the most effective marketing channels for investment

 Click book covers to find out more

Introduction to Cloud-hosted Matomo (aka Matomo Cloud)

If you do not want to set up, configure and maintain your infrastructure for Matomo then you should consider using the ‘Cloud-hosted Matomo’ which is a paid service.

The ‘Cloud-hosted Matomo’ service is available under three different price plans: ‘Essential’, ‘Business’ and ‘Enterprise’:

cloud prising


You will be charged based on the total number of pageviews tracked across your websites and mobile apps, and the number of other features provided under different price plans.

All of these pricing plans include:

For a detailed side-by-side comparison between the on-premises and cloud versions, check out this page:

side by side comparison

Matomo provides free 30 days trial (no credit card required) for both of its ‘Essential’ and ‘Business’ plans.

Once you sign up for the Matomo Cloud service, you can access your analytics account via the following similar URL:

The key difference between ‘Matomo On-Premise’ and ‘Matomo Cloud’

Following are the key difference between ‘Matomo On-Premise’ and ‘Matomo Cloud’ services:

#1 ‘Matomo On-Premise’ is free to use service. Whereas ‘Matomo Cloud’ is a paid service.

#2 ‘Matomo On-Premise’ is a self-hosted analytics solution so you would need to host Matomo on your own web server. Whereas ‘Matomo Cloud’ is a cloud-hosted analytics solution, which is installed on Matomo’s web server (and not yours).

#3 Matomo’s web server is based in France and follows EU laws for the Cloud service. If you used the ‘Matomo Cloud’ service then you cannot choose the country where your data is stored. If you want to store data in your chosen country then use the ‘Matomo On-Premise’ service.

#4 If you use the ‘Matomo On-Premise’ service, you can download your data for free. Whereas if you use ‘Matomo Cloud’ service then you would need to pay certain fees per month.

#5 ‘Matomo On-Premise’ analytics solution is fully customizable. Whereas ‘Matomo Cloud’ analytics solution is fully customizable only when you use their ‘enterprise’ plan.

#6 ‘Matomo On-Premise’ analytics solution comes with no data retention limit. You can store as much data as your infrastructure can support. ‘Matomo Cloud’ comes with a data retention limit unless you use their ‘Enterprise’ plan.

#7 Setting up and maintaining the ‘Matomo On-Premise’ analytics solution is not easy and requires good technical knowledge or access to developers.  Whereas setting up the ‘Matomo Cloud’ analytics solution is relatively easy.

Introduction to Matomo Enterprise

Use this service, if you want to store all of the analytics data on your web server but you need deployment, customization and maintenance support from Matomo on an ongoing basis.

Matomo for enterprise service is ideal for government, financial and educational institutions where data privacy and ownership are of great concern.

This service includes:

  • on-premises setup and configuration.
  • training (user training, technical training, custom training, and onsite training)
  • custom development
  • support (email, phone, dedicated account manager)

The pricing depends upon your requirements and infrastructure. There is no fixed price and you would need to request a quote.

Introduction to Matomo Tag Manager

matomo tag manager

Matomo also provides a tag management solution called ‘Matomo Tag Manager’:

It is just like ‘Google Tag Manager‘ and uses the concept of tags, triggers, and variables.

Matomo Tag Manager is available both for ‘Matomo On-Premise’ and ‘Matomo Cloud’. However, it is not as good as GTM in terms of features and functionality.

How to install ‘Matomo On-Premise’ on your website server?

Unfortunately installing ‘Matomo On-Premise’ is not as easy as installing Google Analytics.

You need to do a lot more than just add a piece of JavaScript code to your website.

If you are using WordPress, you can follow the steps below to install ‘Matomo On-Premise’:

Step-1: Check whether your web host meets the minimum requirements to run Matomo.

Step-2: Setup a new MYSQL database for installing Matomo. You can also install Matomo in the existing database but that could really slow down your website.

If you are hosting your website on a private cloud then launch a new server just for installing Matomo. That is because collecting statistics is very resource-demanding, and it will end up slowing down your main server’s database. You need to isolate the statistics script, from your live sites… maybe start with a small machine and see how it goes.

Many web hosts provide the functionality to create a new MySQL database just by clicking few buttons in the control panel:

add a new database

Contact your web host for more details regarding setting up a new database.

Step-3: Note down the following database information while creating the new MYSQL database:

  1. Database Server (host) IP address (like
  2. Database Name (like abc_piwik)
  3. Database Username
  4. Database Password

If your web host has set up the new database for you then get the database information from them. You would need this information later while installing Matomo on your website.

Step-4: Download the latest version of Matomo from and then unzip the file on your hard disk.

Step-5: Open your FTP client and set the transfer type to binary. If you use FileZilla, you can set the transfer type to binary by going to Transfer menu > Transfer Type > Binary:


You must use ‘binary’ mode to upload Matomo files. Otherwise, you will get an error during installation.

Step-6: Upload the Matomo files (in binary mode) to your desired location on your web server.

Step-7: Once the upload is complete, navigate to the Matomo folder on your server in your browser window. For example, if you uploaded Matomo files at: then enter this URL in the browser window.

Step-8: As soon as you enter the URL, you will see the Matomo installation welcome screen:

matomo welcome screen

If there is some problem with the Piwik files upload then you will see the error message.

If there is no problem with the upload then Matomo will do the ‘system check’ to make sure that your web server meets the Matomo minimum installation requirements.

system check

If everything is ok then you will proceed to set up a database otherwise Matomo will identify the issue and tell you how to fix it.

Step-9: Click on the ‘next’ button to set up the MYSQL database for Matomo. Enter the database information (host, name, username, and password) you noted down while setting up the new database:

database setup

Leave the value of the ‘table prefix’ field and ‘adapter’ field intact.

Step-10: After filling this form, click on the ‘next button. Matomo will now add the necessary tables to your database.

table created

Step-11: Once the tables are set up, click on ‘next’ again in order to set up the ‘superuser‘ account. A superuser has the highest permission and can perform administrative tasks like adding new users, assigning permissions to users, adding new websites to track, adding plugins, etc.

Note: There can be only one superuser per Matomo instance.

Enter the login information to set up the ‘superuser’ account:


Note down this login information, as you will need it later when the first time you log in to Matomo.

Step-12: After setting up the ‘superuser’ account, click on the ‘next’ button and then enter your website (the one which you want to track) name, URL and time zone:

set up website

Step-13: Click on the Next button and then copy-paste the JavaScript code provided by Matomo on every web page of your website, just before the closing head tag (</head>):

tracking code 1

If you don’t want to insert this Matomo tag manually, you can use the WordPress plugin WP-Matomo (WP-Piwik)

Step-14: Once you have added the Matomo tracking code to your website, click on the ‘next’ button to verify your installation.

If everything is ok, you will see the ‘congratulations’ screen. Click on the ‘continue to Matomo’ link:

set up completed

Step-15: Log into Matomo. Use the login information you used while setting up ‘superuser’ account and then configure your Matomo settings.


What is Piwik Pro and how it is different from Matomo?

Piwik is a company that was founded in 2007 in New Zealand. They started as a free open-source alternative to Google Analytics.

Then Piwik’s core team joined up with a team in Poland around 2012 (now operating under the business name ‘Piwik Pro’), to provide paid analytics solutions to businesses.

This paid service was branded as ‘Piwik Pro’.

Later on due to differences in opinion of where the brand ‘Piwik Pro’ should go, the Piwik core team left ‘Piwik Pro’ to set up again in New Zealand and re-branded themselves as ‘Matomo’.

So now Matomo and ‘Piwik Pro’ are completely different companies with their own teams and different websites.

The website address of Piwik Pro is:

The website address of Matomo is:

Piwik pro is not an open-source analytics platform and it does not contribute anything to the Matomo project.

However, both Piwik Pro and Matomo seem to be competing with each other, as their services and offering overlap.

Both offer cloud and on-premise analytics solutions and both cater to enterprises.

Piwik Pro is an analytics suite. It is a collection of the following paid tools:

piwik pro analytics suite

Piwik Pro can be self-hosted or cloud-hosted and is available in two different flavours:

  1. Piwik Pro Cloud
  2. Piwik Pro On-Premises

Introduction to Piwik Pro Cloud

Use this service if you don’t want to store and maintain Piwik on your infrastructure.

The advantage of using the Piwik Cloud service is that your Piwik instance will be hosted on Piwik servers + you will get access to technical support, premium plugins and other Piwik Pro services.

You can track as many websites as you like with your Piwik cloud instance.

If you think certain functionality is missing from your Piwik cloud instance, you can hire a Piwik Pro expert who can develop a custom plugin that extends the Piwik functionality in a way that meets your specific tracking/reporting requirements.

You can also ask Piwik experts to help you in:

  1. integrating Piwik with your CRM and ecommerce platform.
  2. analyzing your analytics data.
  3. creating new custom reports, dashboards and other data visualization solutions
  4. scaling Piwik for high traffic

Piwik Pro Cloud service is available under two different plans: Core Plan and Business Plan.

The core plan is free to use but the business plan starts with $419 per month.

The business plan comes with a free 30-day trial. You would need to request a free trial.

You can request a free trial for one of the tools or the entire suite.

Once you sign up for the Piwik Pro Cloud service, you can access your analytics account via the following similar URL:

Following is an example of the user interface:

piwik pro analytics 1
piwik pro analytics menu

Piwik Pro Cloud Pricing

Once your Piwik Cloud trial period is over, your monthly payment would be calculated based on the number of actions recorded for your website in the last month.

Actions in Piwik Pro are just like hits in Google Analytics. 

They are users’ interactions like pageviews, events, downloads etc.

Piwik Pro registers the number of actions recorded for your website each month.

Piwik Pro defines traffic as the total number of actions recorded for your website in a month.

Piwik Pro calculates your monthly payment for Piwik Cloud on the basis of your last month’s traffic.

The Piwik Pro business plan starts with 1 million-plus actions and will cost you $419 per month. This is your starting price for using the Piwik Pro business plan.

If you want to record more than 2 million actions per month then you need to get in touch with their sales team and then you can get a quote tailored to your needs.

Depending on the number of modules of Piwik PRO Analytics Suite that the client is buying the price is negotiable. They also give discounts to NGOs.

In order to record 10 million or more hits per month in GA, you would need to use Google Analytics 360 which would cost you around $12,500 per month. 

So I would say, using the Piwik Pro Enterprise solution is still a bargain in comparison to GA 360.

Introduction to Piwik Pro on-Premises

Use this service if you want to store all of the analytics data on your web server but you need deployment, customization and maintenance support from Piwik Pro on an ongoing basis.

Piwik Pro on-Premises is ideal for government, financial and educational institutions where data privacy and ownership are of great concern.

This service includes:

  • on-premises setup and configuration.
  • intranet analytics
  • training (user training, technical training, custom training, and onsite training)
  • custom development
  • support (email, phone, dedicated account manager)

This service comes with two plans: Piwik PRO Intranet Analytics and Piwik PRO Analytics Suite:


The pricing for Piwik Pro On-premises service depends upon your requirements and infrastructure. There is no fixed price and you would need to request a quote.

About Oribi Analytics – A new Google Analytics Alternative

Oribi Analytics 1

Oribi is relatively a new player in the Google Analytics alternatives.

It is a no-code analytics platform. What that means is that you don’t need to add tracking code or deploy tags in order to capture individual events.

Note: Oribi uses the same event-based measurement model as Google Analytics 4 (GA4) but without any headache of tagging the website or struggling to understand the various reports.

  1. Mixpanel vs. Google Analytics
  2. Google Analytics vs Adobe Analytics
  3. Oribi Analytics vs. Google Analytics: Which one is better?

Another article you will find useful: Why Adwords and Google Analytics data don’t match & how to fix it

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder,
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade

Learn and Master Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - 126 pages ebook

error: Alert: Content is protected !!