MATOMO MATOMO MATOMO!
Try saying that 10 times fast!
You can! :D

Matomo On-Premise!

Matomo On-Premise is the self-hosted, free and open source version of Matomo. It’s what I am using now on my blog here! And I love it!

Take back control with Matomo Analytics โ€“ a powerful web analytics platform that gives you and your business 100% data ownership and user privacy protection.

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Privacy Friendly

What totally stands out about Matomo, is that it is privacy friendly! And I’m not just talking about the fact that it is self-hosted. I am talking about the fact that it complies with the GDPR and you can fine-tune the privacy settings.

With Matomo On-Premise you can for example, anonymize the raw data before it is even stored. This is done by for example masking the IP by removing the last or even last two or three bytes, depending on your settings.

This means that for example, instead of storing the 192.168.1.1 it would just store 192.168.x.x which makes it non-identifiable but still enough information to roughly see where your visitor is coming from.

In addition, you can tell it to automatically delete old raw data. Which I, of course make use of.

Cookies

What’s amazing is that Matomo has a setting that allows you to track visits without a cookie! I enabled that setting to be more privacy friendly.

Do-Not-Track Header

And here’s what’s gonna blow your mind! Remember that old Do-Not-Track Header which no one really used or respected and some browsers are abandoning? Well it’s still a thing in Firefox and Matomo respects it!

This means that as long as you have the Do-Not-Track setting enabled in your browser, Matomo won’t track you!

JavaScript Fallback

Matomo has an option to fall back to a “tracking pixel” if your visitor does not have JavaScript enabled, using the <noscript> tag with the embedded image.

JavaScript Optional

With Matomo, you can kiss JavaScript good bye!
You have the option to not use any scripts at all, and just embed a tracking pixel instead!

Conclusion

I would say Matomo On-Premise is the way to go, especially for small and medium-sized sites. Google Analytics is only useful if you have a big site with a ton of visits, as it’s meant to be used with “big data” more than with little data. ;)

But it’s also in my opinion better if you care for privacy. But of course, using Matomo On-Premise means you need to have the knowledge, time, resources and skill to host, maintain and protect it. You really don’t want your Matomo install to be breached and have data leaked. So keep that in mind. And always use the automatic data-destruction feature to purge old data.

As a rule of thumb, don’t host multiple applications on a production server. Make sure to use a dedicated server for your application, and another for Matomo. Always make use of full-disk encryption, firewalls and follow the best-practice and hardening guides for all the software you use. Use strong, random passwords but disable password authentication where possible and use RSA keys or hardware tokens instead. Try to close off as much as you can to the outside world. Only open things you must. Keep your OS and software up to date. Ideally you just want port 443/TCP open to the outside world.

That being said, go try out Matomo On-Premise!

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