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Why choose Fathom Analytics

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We can all agree that the internet is great for so many reasons and it has completely transformed many aspects of our lives and also revolutionised many industries. On the whole it has been a net positive for humanity. However, it also has some disadvantages too, primarily due to some companies and organisations taking advantages of it to completely invade your individual privacy. Entire industries have sprung up to collect as much data as possible relating to browsers of websites, this ultimately involves tracking everything about you and using that data to treat you as the ultimate product.

Unfortunately, all this data collection ultimately leads to a lot of malicious intent. Despite the fact that these companies may claim that they will never use the data for nefarious purposes, ultimately if you collect and store all this data the temptation to use this data for ill intent is to great, this ultimately is human nature.

It has become a balancing act to get the data you need but at the same time respecting the users of your site or service right to privacy.

When starting any new web based project one of the most important things to consider is user feedback and interaction metrics. The two primary reasons why you would want to collect website analytics is for:

  1. Accurate Website Metrics

Get accurate website metrics, such as pageviews, unique pageviews, and time spent on the site or application.

  1. Actionable Insights

Keep track of how your website is performing and identify areas of improvement.

Keeping tabs on your web analytics metrics will help to inform which articles and content are the most popular, which pages attract the most visitors to enter your site, what content they gravitate to, how long they stay on your site, and even what type of device they are using.

The most popular metrics that site owners are interested in include:

  • Pageviews: The number of pageviews by site visitors and which pages are viewed overall.
  • Time on site: The time spent on your website viewing your content.
  • Bounce rate: How many folks land on your site and leave without continuing on.
  • Sessions: Sessions by site visitor indicate the amount of time visitors stay on your site by visit.

Over the years the industries defacto choice for website analytics has been Google Analytics. However, there are growing concerns about data collection and privacy. Pervasive tracking and data collection, is both creepy and unnecessary. Even worse, it feels like most people are either unaware of what data is being collected or just assume it’s the only way to operate.

What is Fathom Analytics

Fathom Analytics is a privacy-focused web analytics platform aiming to provide website owners with essential insights into their traffic and user behavior without compromising user privacy.

Fathom Analytics’ core principles are simplicity, privacy, and GDPR compliance. The platform is designed to be easy to use and provides only essential metrics, making it a great choice for website owners who don’t want to be overwhelmed by data. They also take user privacy seriously, collecting only the data that’s necessary and anonymizing IP addresses by default. This means businesses using Fathom Analytics have complete control over what data they collect and how they use it.

Fathom Analytics operates a business model that centers on simply charging customers for software. This approach ensures that Fathom Analytics is not secretly profiting off user data and puts transparency and user privacy at the forefront of its service.

Why Privacy Matter In Analytics

Many people will ask why they should care about privacy when it comes to analytics data. In my opinion this is a very important question. The best way one can think about this in my opinion, is a quote I heard some years ago, and I wish I could remember who it was that said it.

When it comes to Google Analytics this statement is 100% correct and even more so, because when it comes to Google Analytics, you and your customers are the product, and all your data and your customers data is being hoovered up and used by Google to enrich itself.

Google tracks your customer not only on your site, but their entire journey across multiple sites. This enables Google to determine a rich set of demographic data about individuals browsing the internet and your site. It's when I read Minf*ck: Inside Cambridge Analytica's Plot to Break the World did I realise just how creepy and nefarious this type of activity can really be.

Mindf*ck

Inside Cambridge Analytica's Plot to Break the World

whistleblower Christopher Wylie, the definitive story of the Brexit coup, the making of Bannon's America, and an ongoing crime against democracy

Frequent readers of my blog will know, I am a Brave Browser user and still an avid fan and user of Duck Duck Go, despite some of the bad attention it received last year, which I posted about on , Censorships in freemarkets, my primary objective behind using Brave and Duck Duck Go, is that I personally am trying to limit the levels of tracking I am exposed to online. I also have my primary Desktop configured to browse making use of a VPN. My VPN of choice these days is Proton VPN which I use alongside with my Proton Mail

What are the best feature of Fathom Analytics

  • Designed with security in mind, and all of your data is encrypted and securely stored on Fathom servers.
  • easy to install. Add a single line of code to your website, and you’ll be ready to start collecting data.
  •  cost-effective. The pricing plans are affordable for any budget, and you get access to all the features you need to track website analytics.
  • Fathom is faster and better for your website's performance and SEO than Google Analytics

These are all great features, but for me the best feature by far, is that because Fathom Analytics does not use any cookies and does track any individual users, there is no need to have any of those Cookie Law popups on your website.

Why I chose Fathom Analytics for my projects

I predominantly choose Fathom Analytics for my side projects over Google Analytics for analytics because Google Analytics is hard to understand and learn. Google, as a company, has a bad track record with privacy. And Big Tech generally pretends their software is free, where in reality you and your data are the actual product.

Here are a few other reasons why I prefer fathom:

  • The embed code doesn’t invade the privacy of website visitors and it doesn't require cookies for tracking purposes.
  • The company behind Fathom Analytics is independently owned - They don’t have to answer to Venture Capitalists or fat-cat board directors—the only folks that matter are their customers.
  • Fathom’s dashboard is a single page of valuable data—no training, no certifications—just intuitive, easy-to-understand information.
  • I personally hate those annoying cookie banners, Fathom Analytics is focused on GDPR compliance and data anonymity. This means there is no need a cookie banner for analytics if you use Fathom.

Is Fathom Analytics right for you?

A question I'm often asked is whether Fathom Analytics is a great choice for all websites, and my answer is almost always very much the typical consultants answer , which is It depends.... because after all these things are almost always subjective.

There are a few things what the answer typically depends on and I'll try clarify as much as I can.

  • Does the privacy of your users matter to you - personally this means quite a bit to me. I hate browsing the web and being subjected to pointless Cookie notice popups and I always go to great lengths to minimise the encroachment on my privacy, by making use of Brave Browser and Duck Duck Go as much as possible. On my Brave Browser I have it set to maximum blocking anyway, I've discussed this previously How to Get back your online privacy
  • You don't mind paying for software - Fathom Analytics is paid for software. However, The pricing plans are affordable for any budget, and you get access to all the features you need to track website analytics.
  • You want simple analytics - Fathom Analytics does one thing and it does the one thing really well. It doesn't over stuff your analytics with million and 1 useless half baked features that you think you might need. It's focus is on providing simple and actionable website analytics with the privacy of your users included.
  • You want fast analytics - Fathom Analytics does not require you to include a heavy Javascript library on your website. It's fast simple and completely unobtrusive. Check out my guide on How to add Fathom Analytics to Nuxt 3

Conclusion

In my opinion Fathom Analytics is an excellent choice for website analytics and worth considering when you’re looking for a powerful, user-friendly analytics platform, and that is why it is my defacto choice for Web Analytics on all my web projects.

Gary Woodfine
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