Replacing Google Analytics by Matomo

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We have recently replaced Google Analytics by Matomo and we couldn’t be more satisfied.

Although we get some navigation data, we don’t analyze it in depth, but you know, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. So we added the Universal Analytics Google script tag when we get started with


A few years ago, we began to see how overnight websites started displaying messages about the use of cookies (quite annoying, by the way). It seemed like ‘everyone’ had left notifying users about tracking and data collection of their behavior on the site until the last moment, and it had to be done by law.

At some point during those frantic months, we learned that Google might be in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for various reasons, such as:

  1. User consent: The GDPR stipulates that the collection of personal data requires informed consent from the user. Google Analytics collects information like IP addresses, unique identifiers, and browsing data, which are considered personal data. If a website uses Google Analytics without obtaining explicit consent from the user, it could be in violation of this regulation.
  2. Data anonymization: The GDPR promotes the use of anonymized or pseudonymized data to protect individuals’ privacy. Google Analytics stores and processes user data for extended periods, which could increase the risk of indirect identification of individuals. If the data is not properly anonymized, there might be a GDPR violation.
  3. Data transfer outside the European Union: Google Analytics may involve the transfer of personal data to servers located outside the European Union. For this to be legal, it is necessary to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place, such as Data Transfer Agreements or the use of Standard Contractual Clauses. If these measures are not adequately implemented, there could be a breach of data protection law.
  4. User rights: The GDPR grants users certain rights, such as the right to access, rectify, erase, and port their personal data. If a website does not facilitate these rights concerning data collected through Google Analytics, it could be non-compliant with the regulations.

GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

Google continued to advance with its analytics plans and launched GA4, a suite that greatly improved upon UA and also complied with GDPR. Although I can’t prove it, I have no doubt that the GDPR compliance was added due to the pressure from Europe.

This suite stood out for various reasons, including:

  1. Technological Evolution: Universal Analytics was released in 2012 and has been in use for several years. Over time, technology and the need for data tracking and analysis have evolved. GA4 was designed to address these new needs and leverage the latest technologies, such as event-based tracking and artificial intelligence.
  2. User-Centric Approach: GA4 places greater emphasis on tracking users rather than individual sessions. This means it can offer a more comprehensive view of user behavior across multiple devices and sessions, resulting in a deeper understanding of customers and their interactions with the website or application.
  3. Increased Privacy and Regulatory Compliance: While not exclusive to GA4, Google has made changes to enhance privacy and regulatory compliance in its products, including Google Analytics. GA4 provides tools and features that align better with data protection regulations, such as the ability to control data sent to Google and the option to use anonymous identifiers for data collection.
  4. Data Consolidation: GA4 offers a more comprehensive and integrated view of data, allowing the combination of data from different sources, such as mobile apps and websites, into a single view. This helps marketers and analysts obtain a more accurate and unified picture of user performance and interactions across multiple platforms.

With GA4 on the market, Google encouraged UA users to upgrade to avoid losing collected metrics and statistics.


We decided not to continue with Google and switch to Matomo primarily due to suspicions that Google might still be in violation of the GDPR. Additionally, we were attracted to Matomo being Open-Source and felt the need to stand in resistance against the dominance of big empires, right? Moreover, since analytics had little weight for us, it wasn’t a critical decision, and if we made any mistakes during the transition, we probably wouldn’t notice much or at all.

We began with the 21-day trial of their Cloud plan but later switched to on-demand, which is free and better suited to our needs. Despite its more complex installation process, it is well-documented and easy to set up.

And what do we measure?

The basics. We track the traffic source to understand in which language the content we publish can be more useful, and we also monitor the pages visited to get an idea of what type of content is more interesting to those who come here.

We don’t place much importance on impressions or the number of visitors, whether they are recurring or not. At the moment, these figures don’t tell us much.

We used to look at devices, browsers, operating systems, and screen resolutions. However, that information stopped being crucial long ago because the web offers the same content and (almost) the same experience regardless of these factors.


We will have them in 6 or 12 months, but for now, we can certainly say that we are happy with the change, aligning our way of thinking with our way of acting.

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