As a web hosting and development company, ensuring our clients’ websites follow data privacy regulations is really important to us.

With growing concerns around Google Analytics 4’s GDPR compliance, especially for EU visitors, we’ve decided to transition all our hosted websites to Fathom Analytics as the default analytics platform.

What is Fathom Analytics?

Fathom is a simple, lightweight, and privacy-focused web analytics solution. Unlike Google Analytics which relies on invasive user tracking, Fathom collects only anonymous, aggregated data about website traffic and visitor behaviour. It does not use cookies or store any personal identifying information.

Why switch to Fathom?

There are several key benefits that make Fathom an ideal analytics choice for GDPR compliance:

  1. Data Processing Within the EU.
    Fathom processes and stores all analytics data on servers located within the EU. This avoids the cross-border data transfer issues that have led to GA4 being banned in some European countries.
  2. Consent and Data Minimisation.
    By not tracking individuals, Fathom adheres to GDPR principles like data minimisation and removes the need for cookie consent banners.
  3. Clean, Privacy-Minded Interface.
    Fathom’s reporting interface focuses on essential metrics like pageviews, top pages, referrers etc. without the bloat of excessive user-level tracking.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use Fathom if I run Google Ads campaigns?

Yes, using Fathom will not prevent you from advertising with Google Ads. You can still use UTM campaign tracking parameters in your Ads URLs, which Fathom can then detect and attribute traffic sources accurately.

What if I need advanced functionality?

While Fathom lacks some of GA4’s more advanced features, it covers the core analytics needs for most websites. Unless you’re a large organisation with dedicated sales and marketing teams, we believe the privacy benefits outweigh any limitations for typical use cases.

What happens to my historical Google Analytics data?

Where we have access to your existing Google Analytics account, we will utilize Fathom’s built-in importer tool to bring over your historical analytics data from Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 into your new Fathom account.

This way, you don’t lose access to your website’s past traffic trends and metrics after transitioning to Fathom Analytics. Your historical data will be seamlessly migrated over.

Can I export or backup my Fathom analytics data?

Your pre-existing Google Analytics data will remain accessible for a period of time. However, we recommend exporting any important historical reports before transitioning, as that data will eventually be lost.

Will switching impact my website’s performance?

No, Fathom’s lightweight script has a negligible performance impact compared to GA4’s larger footprint. Most visitors won’t notice a difference.

I have custom tracking needs, can those be replicated in Fathom?

While Fathom doesn’t support all the customisation options of GA4, we can work with you to map common tracking needs to Fathom’s capabilities where possible.

What about using Google Search Console?

The switch to Fathom Analytics should not directly impact your ability to use Google Search Console for monitoring and maintaining your website’s search presence.

Google Search Console operates independently from Google Analytics and does not rely on the same type of user tracking mechanisms. Its data collection is primarily around website crawling, indexing, and search performance metrics.

As stated in this guide from ActiveMind Legal: “The collected data comes exclusively from the Google search engine. Consequently, Google Search Console only lists the results of the Google search.” (

As such, using Search Console does not present the same privacy and data protection concerns that have been raised against Google Analytics 4 with respect to GDPR compliance for EU user data.

If you have questions about this analytics change, migrating hosting to our platform, or any other questions, feel free to get in touch. We’re committed to offering simple, compliant web analytics while respecting user privacy.

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