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.
It does come with a monthly fee, but I was able to replace Google Analytics on all of my sites for £9/month - which I was more than happy to pay. A nice additional perk is it gave my blog a higher PageSpeed score as Plausible's analytics script is much lighter than Google Analytics'.
Since the inception of my blog in 2022, this is what I stuck to and despite all my praise for Plausible. The increase in traffic across all my projects meant I had to look at upgrading.
As some of my higher-traffic websites make little-to-no revenue, combined with Plausible being pricier than similar competitors. In the end, I was paying more for analytics than I was bringing in from say, ad revenue on a site getting 15k~ views a month.
Don't get me wrong, Plausible has done me no wrong. I love Plausible and still do. I still much prefer their interface over any other - unfortunately, If it wasn't eating into all revenue I made 💸, I would have happily stuck with it.
Why Fathom Analytics?
Jack shares a lot of his experiences developing and maintaining Fathom on a technical level with complete transparency. And so has gained a large level of respect from the community. This is how I first ended up hearing about Fathom Analytics and gaining interest in the product.
A new kid on the block that is gaining traction is Beam. I gave it a quick try-out and despite being cheaper than Fathom. The interface felt a little clunky for me and had quite a few things missing that I was after. But do check it out as it has a really generous free tier. (100k pageviews/month for free!)
It was important that a Plausible replacement was NOT going to sell user data to another party. Or obtain more data than what is necessary for me.
After getting my other sites over, adjusting to their dashboard, and finding my way around. I started to like it more and more.
Having a central dashboard that summarises all data across all sites was a big win for me. I never even realised I wanted this before!
Fathom vs. Plausible
Next, let's put Fathom Analytics up against Plausible in the ring.
The elephant in the room (for me) is the price.
10k pageviews with Plausible cost me £9/month. That worked out cheaper than Fathom's due to Plausible having the lower entry-level plan. For the most part that was within my needs, until I was hovering above 10k and Plausible put me on an "enterprise" plan for 20k pageviews at £12/month.
Six months later, now approaching 20k pageviews. The next tier-up was drawing closer. For 100k pageviews that was going to cost £19/month. The equivalent tier with Fathom Analytics costs $14/month, which is about £11.24 at today's exchange rate. Switching would not only save me a few pence but also give me a higher pageview allocation!
Both of these services offer to import your previous analytics data if you're switching from Google Analytics as your previous provider. They, however, do not offer to import data from any other provider.
For me, this meant starting afresh with my analytics as I could not export Plausible into Fathom Analytics. Unfortunately, there's probably not much appetite for these two to eat into one another's user base. To put it selfishly, It would have been nice for me, but probably not profitable for either party to build and support such a tool.
Can't fault either one here.
A summary of features shared between each, and then separated into their own individual lists. Stopped short of writing this as pros and cons, so see it more as a list of pros.
- Both offer privacy-focused analytics
- Can share dashboards publically, allowing your visitors to see what is being captured.
- Committed to retaining data for life. This might alarm some, but no data can be used to identify an individual. Unless of course, England has a population of 1. But otherwise, good luck fingerprinting a user out of 67 million.
- Can integrate with Google Search Console, allowing you to cross-reference your Google Search data.
- Source code is available on GitHub, and can be used to self-host your own Plausible analytics. At the time of writing you can't import/export data between cloud and self-hosted.
- Has a cheaper entry-level tier for those who want to commit.
Fathom Analytics Features
- A top-level dashboard that aggregates metrics from all your sites in real time.
- The source code is closed-source. However, you can get Fathom Lite which is a previous open-source version written in Golang.
- Doesn't have a cheaper tier like Plausible, but pricing has far more value as you scale.
The tl;dr of all this would be, I personally switched because the pricing of Plausible did not scale for my needs.
After exploring Fathom Analytics, I ended up growing to like it more than I expected.