Matomo Vistor Tracking

November 20, 2018

After reading Kev Quirk’s series De-Googleing My Life, specifically the posting about Analytics, I decided to investigate Matomo.

For the past 13 years I’ve been using Mint to track visitors and activity on my website. Mint is no longer under development and support has been suspended as well. Fortunately it still works perfectly for my purposes. But the demo for Matomo looked nice and since it was free I decided to give is a try.

Installation was very straightforward and adding in the JavaScript tracking code to my site was simple. After waiting impatiently for some traffic, I was able to start comparing Matomo to Mint. I like that Mint always shows you the total unique visits and page views for all time. Matomo can show you those figures, but you have to change the date range filter to get there. Matomo does have an up-to-date geo-location database, and a real-time map feature, which is nicely geeky.

After running Matomo for a couple of weeks I’ve added codes to my various subdomains and another top-level domain. Adding in new sites to track is very quick and easy. Type in a human friendly name for the site, add its URL and then paste the generated JavaScript code in the <head></head block on the site. Mint had, when it was still for sale, a $30 ($29?) fee per top-level domain. This wasn’t a huge problem for my tiny little corner of the Internet, but it is nice to be able to add multiple sites to one tracking tool.

I’m not going to abandon Mint - at least not while it is still working. It’s tracked the 1,012,936 visitors I’ve had since December 2005 beautifully. I hope to still be using when I reach 2,000,000 visitors. Having Matomo in addition to Mint gives me a second way to slice and dice visitor data. One that is completely under my control.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.