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Piwik as a Google Analytics alternative

Why Piwik PRO is a great GA4 alternative for WordPress users


As Google Analytics 4 (GA4) presents challenges with its new data model and reporting limitations, many WordPress users have explored alternatives. One such alternative we think is well worth a look is Piwik PRO.

This platform mirrors Universal Analytics’ familiar feel while enhancing user control over data and fully adhering to privacy regulations like GDPR.

Piwik PRO offers accurate, unsampled data insights, making it a superior choice for those who prioritize detailed analytics and full data control.

Meet Piwik PRO, a GA4 alternative you should know

Piwik PRO stands out as a powerful alternative to Google Analytics 4, particularly for those who value privacy and data control. Unlike GA4, which has faced criticism for its handling of user data and privacy settings, Piwik PRO ensures that users retain full ownership and control of their data.

Piwik PRO lets you maintain control of your analytics data.

This is a real advantage for businesses and institutions that must comply with stringent global privacy laws like the GDPR. It could be a deciding factor for some when weighing their options.

How Piwik Pro handles data privacy

Piwik PRO’s approach to data privacy is comprehensive. It provides the tools necessary to manage consent and customize data collection while complying with legal requirements and personal preferences.

Piwik PRO analytics features are scalable and compliant.
Piwik PRO analytics features are scalable and compliant.

This level of control is particularly important in regions with strict privacy laws, as it helps you to avoid the penalties associated with non-compliance

Piwik Pro’s commitment to privacy extends to offering EU-based data hosting on its enterprise-level analytics plans, which further supports compliance by ensuring data is stored within a legal framework that respects user privacy.

Easy WordPress integration

For WordPress users, Piwik PRO offers an easy-to-integrate solution that respects user privacy without compromising on the depth and accuracy of analytics.

This makes Piwik PRO not just an alternative to GA4 but a potentially more compliant and user-friendly option for those looking to enhance their web analytics capabilities while maintaining full data control.

Piwik PRO pricing and plans

Piwik PRO pricing plans.
Piwik PRO pricing plans.

Piwik PRO offers two primary pricing plans aimed at different levels of usage and feature needs. For most, this analytics option will be free:

Core plan: This is a free plan that includes up to 500,000 actions per month, 14-month data retention, and three modules: Analytics, Tag Manager, and Consent Manager. It’s hosted on safe EU cloud servers and is ideal for small—to medium-sized businesses looking for a privacy-compliant analytics solution without any cost.
Enterprise plan: This plan starts at $11,855 per year and is obviously targeted at larger organizations that require extensive data handling. It includes up to 4 billion actions per month, a choice between cloud or private cloud hosting, and additional features such as a Customer Data Platform, extended data retention, and dedicated support.

If your needs exceed the included amount in the Core plan, you can purchase additional actions. These start at $78 per month for an additional 100,000 actions. This allows businesses to scale their usage as needed without switching plans immediately.

Setting up Piwik PRO on WordPress

Setting up Piwik PRO on your WordPress site is straightforward. You install the Piwik PRO plugin, configure the basic settings, and insert the tracking code.

Create a Piwik PRO account

To begin, you’ll need to sign up for an account on the Piwik PRO website first, including picking your preferred plan.

Once you do this, you’ll need to add your website to your account. To do this, go to Menu > Administration and select Sites & apps.

From there, you’ll need to click Add a site or app, then input your site’s name and URL, as pictured in the Piwik Pro Getting Started guide:

Add your site to your Piwik PRO account. 
Add your site to your Piwik PRO account.

You can also set the timezone and currency used on your site.

Install the Piwik PRO plugin

To begin, go to your WordPress dashboard, then go to Plugins > Add New Plugin. Search for “Piwik PRO.”

Install the Piwik PRO plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
Install the Piwik PRO plugin from your WordPress dashboard.

Once you find the plugin, click Install Now and then Activate to enable it on your WordPress site

Configuration

After activation, go to Settings > Piwik PRO in your WordPress dashboard.

Input the container address for your Piwik PRO account.
Input the container address for your Piwik PRO account.

Here, you’ll need to enter the container address, which is your Piwik PRO account address with containers. This address will differ based on whether you’re using a standard or custom domain and whether your account is hosted on-premises or in a private cloud.

Add your Site ID next.
Add your Site ID next.

Next, you’ll need to enter your Site ID. This information can be found in your Piwik PRO dashboard. This ID is what actually links your WordPress site to the correct Piwik PRO container.

You have the option to adjust other settings here as well, including:

Basic container (async)
Additional container (sync)
Data layer
Enable WooCommerce tracking

Be sure to click Save Changes when you’re done here.

Once these steps are completed, data from your website will start appearing in the Piwik PRO reports typically within an hour.

If you use a different type of website platform other than WordPress, you may need to install the tracking code manually. Piwik PRO provides full installation instructions for this manual process you can follow in this case.

Using Piwik PRO features

This analytics platform includes many tools. But we’ll focus on a few of the most important now to get up and running.

Setting goals

Setting and tracking specific goals in Piwik PRO, such as registrations or purchases, is simple, and doing so can help you to measure business objectives more effectively. A few examples Piwik PRO offers include:

A product purchase
Signing up for a newsletter
Downloading a digital file
Playing a video

To do this, you’ll need to create a goal. This is accessible through the Piwik PRO website within your account. Go to Menu > Analytics > Goals in Piwik PRO. Then click on Add a goal.

Here, you can give your goal a name and select the event type that triggers the goal, as seen in the Piwik PRO Help Center:

Add a goal in Piwik PRO. 
Add a goal in Piwik PRO.

Common event types include visiting a specific URL, sending a custom event, or actions like file downloads and form submissions.

Depending on the selected event type, set conditions like:

URL contains X
URL is exactly X, or
URL matches the expression X

Setting these conditions lets you fine-tune goal parameters.

You can also assign a monetary value to each goal conversion. This can help you understand the value of each conversion, including product purchases and form submissions.

Analyze goal performance

After setting up goals, Piwik PRO will track these conversions. You can view detailed reports under Menu > Analytics > Goals to analyze the performance and impact of your goals. There are several sections here worth noting.

Overview gives you a top-down look at your goals and their progress:

Access reports for your analytics goals. 
Access reports for your analytics goals.

The other tabs accessible to you here include Session log, which shows you each time a visitor has interacted with your website or app in relation to the goal you’ve set, and User flow, which tracks the path users take from their first interaction with your site to conversion.

Tracking marketing campaigns

Piwik PRO allows for effective campaign tracking by using UTM parameters in your URLs. This reveals which campaigns drive traffic, conversions, or any other desired action.

To make use of this, you can add UTM parameters to URLs to specify details like campaign source, medium, and name.

For example, you might use

?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=spring_sale to identify traffic coming from a specific email campaign promoting a spring sale.

From here, you can use the Tag Manager and set up triggers to occur when specific conditions are met—those defined by your tagged URLs. This helps automate tracking user interactions related to the campaign.

Advanced configurations in Piwik PRO

Piwik PRO offers many advanced configuration options that go beyond what you might find in GA4. A few such options are outlined as follows:

Geolocation settings

This tool lets you set precise geolocation tracking. The system supports multiple methods of geolocation, including the use of external databases like GeoIP2, which can be integrated to enhance the accuracy of location data.

You might use this to more accurately segment visitor data by geographic region. This can help you develop targeted marketing plans later on.

Customizing data layers

The data layer in Piwik PRO acts as a flexible container that can hold a wide range of data about user interactions. This includes everything from page views and clicks to more complex actions like product IDs, prices, or cart values.

You can customize the data layer so the collected data meets specific analytics needs. With it, you can track custom events and actions across your sites and apps. You’re also allowed to rename data layers to avoid conflicts with other tools or scripts that might be running on the same page.

Managing data privacy and security with Consent Manager

Another feature built into Piwik PRO is the Consent Manager. This tool makes it much easier to comply with global privacy laws like GDPR. It ensures all data is collected legally and ethically.

Here’s a quick look at how you can configure and manage consent settings:

Access the Consent Manager

Go to your Piwik PRO dashboard, then go to Menu > Consent Manager. Here, you can manage all aspects of user consent.

Customizing consent forms

You can customize the consent forms to match your branding and legal requirements in your area. This includes editing the text, adding multiple languages, and linking to your privacy policy.

Managing consent preferences

The Consent Manager allows you to handle different types of consent, like analytics or marketing cookies. You can set up the platform to trigger tags based on these consent types. This means certain scripts will only run if the user has agreed to them.

This integration with the Tag Manager ensures that all tags respect the visitor’s privacy choices.

Ensuring compliance

This tool automatically displays a consent form to new visitors as well, explaining what data is collected and why. It also provides options for visitors to accept or reject specific types of data collection.

Consent forms keep your site compliant.
Consent forms keep your site compliant.

Region-specific display settings

You can configure the Consent Manager to display consent forms based on the visitor’s region, allowing for tailored compliance strategies that meet specific regional legal requirements.

How to transfer from Google Analytics to Piwik PRO

Migrating from Google Analytics to Piwik PRO is a pretty straightforward execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth transition:

Before starting the migration, ensure you have admin access to both your GA and Piwik PRO accounts. It’s important to review the data and tracking codes you currently use in GA to determine what needs to be replicated or reconfigured in Piwik PRO.

Piwik PRO offers a migration tool designed to help transfer analytics from Google Analytics and tags from Google Tag Manager (GTM) automatically. This tool can import tags, triggers, and variables from GTM, significantly simplifying the transition process.

Access this tool by logging into your Piwik PRO account and then going to Menu > Administration.

Select the Account tab, then click Migration tool on the left-hand side of the screen.

From there, click Sign in with Google and select the appropriate Google account to connect. Select Allow on the next screen.

Back on the Migration tool page, click Migrate under Google Analytics. Select your account and click Next. 

migrate google

Select all the settings from your GA account you’d like to transfer over then click Finish when you’re done.

You can repeat this process to transfer info from Google Tag Manager as well.

Will Piwik Pro be a winner for your WordPress site?

Switching from GA4 to Piwik PRO on a WordPress site is a smart choice in 2024. And if you prioritize control, privacy, and customization, it’s a solid option to pursue.

Piwik PRO stands out for its true focus on privacy, which is consistent with global compliance standards. The comprehensive analytics features on offer allow for greater customization and a more granular look at performance across websites and apps. Unlike GA4, Piwik PRO allows for detailed customization of data layers and tag management.

For WordPress hosting that complements these advanced analytics capabilities with high performance, consider Kinsta’s WordPress hosting solutions. Kinsta provides a managed WordPress hosting environment that is optimized for speed and security. Your site will run smoothly while you gather and analyze your data with Piwik PRO. It’s a win-win.

Save time and costs, plus maximize site performance, with $300+ worth of enterprise-level integrations included in every Managed WordPress plan. This includes a high-performance CDN, DDoS protection, malware and hack mitigation, edge caching, and Google’s fastest CPU machines. Get started with no long-term contracts, assisted migrations, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our plans or talk to sales to find the plan that’s right for you.

Jeremy Holcombe
Kinsta

Content & Marketing Editor at Kinsta, WordPress Web Developer, and Content Writer. Outside of all things WordPress, I enjoy the beach, golf, and movies. I also have tall people problems ;).



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