Web Analytics

Fathom Analytics vs Google Analytics

Harry 4 min read
Table of Contents

Google Analytics (GA) is a free way to track and report how users find and interact with your websites. At least, "free" in the sense that you are allowing Google to collect data on your visitors. If you're conscious about your users' data - then you should check out Fathom Analytics, a privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics.

Get a $10 credit for Fathom, a privacy-focused website analytics company
Someone has shared a link with you that gives you $10 credit upon sign-up.

Ever since I've been publishing websites, I have used Google Analytics. That is - until a year ago, just after I launched my blog. I decided to ditch the big G and try something different. Initially settling on Plausible, another privacy-focused alternative and then, later on, Fathom Analytics. You can read more about my switch below.

Why I Switched from Plausible to Fathom Analytics
Over the last year or so, I’ve been decoupling myself from Google and their services. One of the first jumps I made was abandoning Google Analytics and going for Plausible, a privacy-friendly alternative. Get a $10 credit for Fathom, a privacy-focused website analytics companySomeone has shared a l…

What is Fathom Analytics

Fathom, created by Jack Ellis and Paul Jarvis, markets itself as the "The Google Analytics alternative without compromise". Their whole ethos is selling software, and not data. This is why you might be surprised to learn that it requires a subscription in order to use their service.

Example of Fathom's dashboard

Why Fathom Analytics?

As Fathom anonymises all data collected, you do not need to show a cookie banner on your website. However, if you're using other tracking scripts like Google AdSense, then you're not exactly getting rid of your cookie banner just yet.

Lightweight Script

Because Fathom's script is a lot lighter and more efficient than GA's. Your website will score higher in SEO and PageSpeed scores.

Unlimited Data Retention

Fathom promises to never delete your data, whether it's from 30 years ago. You'll still be able to export and report on it. Compared to Google Analytics, which has since sunset Univeral Analytics and intends to delete historic data at some point.

Sharable Dashboards

Did you know you can share your Fathom dashboards with not only others, but with anybody who has your link (with an optional password)? In fact - I do the very thing with my blog, where you may view my blog's traffic at any time!

👀 Take a peek at Harrk.dev’s website analytics
You can view these stats publicly without learning anything about their visitors because they use Fathom Analytics.

To enable it, it's as simple as flipping a switch in your site's settings.

Enabling Fathom public dashboard

Migrate Your Data From Google Analytics

On migrating away from Universal Analytics to GA4, you may notice that your historical data has not followed. There is no way to import this data over either.

However, Fathom built a tool that lets you import your data from Universal Analytics and GA4 into their service. There is no additional cost for this regardless of the quantity of data to process. Fathom absorbs it all.


How Much Does Fathom Cost?

The entry-level plan will set you back $14/month (or $140/year). That will get you 100k page views and up to 50 websites. Refer to their pricing for more.

Who Uses Fathom?

Transistor.fm, Laravel, GitHub, and IBM to name a few.

Does Fathom Have a Free Plan?

Unfortunately, no. In order for Fathom to be sustainable whilst protecting your users' data, it has to charge for the service.

Can I Self-Host Fathom?

Kind of. The current version of Fathom is close-sourced. However Fathom Lite (the first version of Fathom Analytics) can be found on GitHub. It still receives bug fixes, too!


Ready to start putting your users' data first? Rank higher on PageSpeed scores with a faster loading website?

You can try Fathom Analytics out for free for 30 days. Furthermore, by using my affiliate link you can get $10 credit off your first payment!

Get a $10 credit for Fathom, a privacy-focused website analytics company
Someone has shared a link with you that gives you $10 credit upon sign-up for a 30-day free trial.
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