Google Analytics vs Piwik

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Google Analytics vs Piwik: What are the differences?


In this comparison, we will analyze the key differences between Google Analytics and Piwik, two popular web analytics tools.

  1. Hosting and Data Ownership: Google Analytics is a cloud-based service, where data is processed and stored on Google's servers. In contrast, Piwik allows users to self-host the software on their own servers, giving them full control over their data and ensuring data privacy.

  2. Cost Structure: Google Analytics is free for most users but offers a premium, paid version for enterprise users with advanced features. Piwik, on the other hand, is an open-source tool with no licensing fees, providing all features for free to all users.

  3. Customization and Flexibility: Google Analytics offers a wide range of standard reports and metrics but has limitations when it comes to customizing reports and data visualization. Piwik, being open-source, allows for extensive customization of reports, dashboards, and tracking capabilities.

  4. Data Sampling: Google Analytics uses data sampling for larger datasets, which can affect the accuracy of reports, especially for high-traffic websites. Piwik, being self-hosted, does not use data sampling, providing more accurate and detailed insights into website performance.

  5. User Interface and Ease of Use: Google Analytics has a user-friendly interface and is known for its simplicity in setting up and tracking website performance. Piwik, while offering extensive customization options, may require more technical knowledge to set up and configure according to specific requirements.


In summary, Google Analytics is a cloud-based service with limited customization but is user-friendly, while Piwik is self-hosted, open-source, highly customizable, and provides detailed insights without data sampling.

Advice on Google Analytics and Piwik

I'm looking to switch from Google Analytics to other more privacy compliant analytics tools. My ideal tool would have the basics (visits, pageviews, duration, rebound rate, source/medium) and more: breakdown by page, conversion goals, campaigns set-up... But I'm a bit confused by the different choices, and I would greatly appreciate any feedback ;)

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Replies (2)

This is probably one of the easiest tools to customize to your needs. It's open source so you can host your own instance of it making it very affordable and it has plenty of privacy tools including honoring do not track requests on a server side basis so no additional coding necessary and you can easily tell it to anonymity guest ip addresses so there would be no way of a breach compromising the integrity of your privacy goals

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I am playing right now with Plaisible. I have install it in a docker container with an nginx reverse proxy and is fast. It has all the basic features and you can add even gols. It is lightwaith but is not having the Google Analytics features or Matomo. You ca try it and see if it jas what you need, till now I am happy.

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Decisions about Google Analytics and Piwik

Caring about privacy I've chosen to go with self-hosted Ackee analytics for incoming traffic analytics and ahoy ruby gem to build inside-app analytics. Still getting Caring about privacy I've chosen to go with self-hosted Ackee analytics for incoming traffic analytics and ahoy ruby gem to build inside-app analytics. Still getting a plenty of data without sending visitors' information to Google

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Dennis Paulus
Founder, Software Engineer & Product Manager at BlazingMedia · | 7 upvotes · 18.8K views

We have integrated Panelbear on our Website, rather than Google Analytics, because it is way more respecting of the User's Privacy. Whilst Google Analytics gives us in-depth information on virtually everything, we don't even need that much. Panelbear keeps it simple and in addition to that, displays the data well structured in a simple and intuitive dashboard

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