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Scale8 Tag Manager, a great Matomo alternative

Since the ruling by many EU Data Protection Authorities that Google Analytics wasn’t GDPR compliant, many analytics tools have been claiming that they’re the best alternative to Google Analytics for those who want to stay on the right side of data protection laws.

Matomo is one provider of these analytics tools. However, they may be more similar than most to Google Analytics, giving them a reasonable claim to the “best alternative”.

Despite this, Scale8 believes that this may not necessarily be a good thing, as we don’t see Google Analytics’ failure to comply with GDPR as its only issue. That’s why we believe that Scale8 is in fact the best alternative to both Google Analytics and Matomo.

To show you why we believe this, let’s compare the similarities and differences between Scale8 and Matomo.

Similarities

Open-Source

Both Scale8 and Matomo are open-source. Scale8 views open-source software as vital. It benefits both the software engineers and the wider community when their code can be independently checked by the public. Benefits include business transparency, quality controlled code, and the ability for people to customise the code for their own purposes.

Data Ownership

This is one of the key differences that separate Scale8 and Matomo from Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, the website owner doesn’t retain data ownership, and is one of the reasons why EU DPAs ruled that it wasn’t GDPR compliant.

With Google Analytics, data from your website is used and sold for marketing purposes, which is why their analytics tool is free. Possibly even worse than this, Google can’t guarantee that the data they collect on you isn’t subsequently collected by the US secret services, thanks to the Cloud Act.

On the other hand, both Scale8 and Matomo guarantee that we never take ownership of your data. We help store it if required, but we can never gain access to, make use of, or sell your data.

Differences

Despite these similarities, there are still some important differences between Scale8 and Matomo. We believe it’s in these differences that we see where Scale8 has the edge over Matomo.

Matomo isn’t immediately GDPR compliant

Despite not retaining any of your data, Matomo still isn’t immediately GDPR compliant since it uses cookies to collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Instead, you’ll have to make some changes to how you use Matomo to make sure you’re using it in a GDPR friendly manner. You can either use a CMP to get user consent to cookies, or you can make the following changes:

  • Disable Cookie creation
  • Anonymise visitors IP addresses
  • Anonymise location data
  • Anonymise URLS which include personal identifiers
  • Anonymise tracking data which includes User and Order ID
  • Anonymise all keystrokes that are entered when a user fills in a form on your site.

Scale8 definitely has the beating of Matomo here, as our Tag Manager doesn’t use cookies and so is GDPR compliant out of the box, meaning that you don’t have to worry about making any changes to the product.

Simple vs complex analytics

This is one of the ways in which Matomo is more like Google Analytics than other analytics tools are.

Where many providers have decided that a more simple analytics tool can offer the user a better experience, Matomo has followed Google’s lead in creating a product that offers as many features as possible.

While some website users may like having all of these features, Scale8 and many others have come to the conclusion that most website users won’t use or need the majority of the features being offered by Google Analytics.

With this in mind, Scale8 has created its product to be easy to use while still offering all of the features that website owners are likely to need. While it may come down to the website owner to decide if they want to put up with a much more cluttered tool to gain access to those extra features, we think that most website owners would prefer a much cleaner product that offers everything they need.

Error Tracking

One feature that Scale8 does offer that isn’t offered by Matomo is Javascript Error Tracking.

Used to track any potential errors so they can be fixed before they cause any problems for the website, Error Tracking is a handy tool for any website owner.

Scale8 offers Error Tracking as part of their Tag Manager, providing website owners with a dashboard dedicated to making sure that you’re aware of all Javascript errors and can act on them quickly.

Free Trial

Scale8 and Matomo both offer potential clients a free trial with no need for credit card information, meaning that the trial can be cancelled with no financial obligations forcing you to remain.

However, Scale8 beats Matomo on this one purely by the length of the trial offered. While Matomo offers a very generous 21 days to test out their product and see if it’s the right one for you, Scale8 offers a 30 day free trial, giving you a full month to see for yourself if our products are as easy to use and effective as we believe.

Pricing

Scale8 and Matomo both offer various monthly plans, with each one based on how many monthly views your website attracts. (Note: Prices below are for plans where Matomo is hosted on their servers).

Below are a few of the monthly plans and their prices:

Monthly requests100K1 Million10 Million
Matomo Price*†$35.50$170$1,577.5
Scale8 Price*$22$90$250

* Correct at time of writing
† Converted from GBP

Matomo starts their monthly plans at 50,000 page views, and goes right up to 100 million page views. Matomo also offers a free version when hosted on your own servers, but this requires you to opt in and pay for many features separately.

When hosting on Matomo’s servers, you get all the features included in the paid plans. More information on these plans can be found here.

Scale8’s monthly plans start at just 5,000 pageviews, creating a much more accessible analytics tool for website owners who currently have a lower number of visitors. Scale8’s plans go up to 10 million monthly views, after which point you’ll need a custom plan.

In every sense, Scale8 has the beating of Matomo when it comes to prices too. All of Scale8’s plans are cheaper than Matomo’s, plus Scale8 offers smaller plans, meaning it’s a much more affordable option for small website owners who don’t receive as much as 50,000 monthly views.

Scale8, a great alternative

After comparing the similarities and differences between Scale8 and Matomo, we feel that we’re justified in saying that Scale8 is a great and more affordable alternative to Matomo, especially for website owners looking to move away from tools that are similar to Google Analytics.

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Why is Scale8 a good Google Analytics alternative

Scale8 is an open-source, privacy-friendly solution that is also simple, lightweight and easy to use. We will never sell or share your data with third parties, advertising companies or otherwise. Scale8 vs Google Analytics: What are the core differences between the two services? Scale8's analytics product aims to reduce the tracking of website visitors. We do not use cookies and we do not store any personally identifiable information (PII) by default.

Our code is open-source and we are completely transparent about how we build our analytics products. Google Analytics does not provide any form of Tag Management. Scale8 allows you to run your website on its own with no extra account requirements or associated costs. It's also possible to track errors using other tools such as Sentry or Airbrake.

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COMPARISONS
vs Google Analyticsvs Matomovs Cloudflarevs Fathomvs Plausiblevs Simple Analytics
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