I have helped over 40 organizations with Matomo since 2018 and one of the things that customers struggle with is the lack of competence from hosting organisations when it comes to support organisations into actually using Matomo to its full potential. I have seen so many failures and I have helped so many of these clients with just getting the basic functionality up and running.

I have seen are some good examples of on-premse installations too, but they are very vary rare to be honest. I have felt that I need to write this post for a very long time and today I finally got it out.

When your IT department, hosting vendor or web agency proposes in-house / self-hosting of Matomo, your initial response may be positive. After all, having direct control, using existing hardware and resources and the ability to customize your web analytics platform is a compelling and cheap proposition.

However, there are several critical factors to consider before going ahead with self-hosting, particularly regarding the real costs and the skills required to manage Matomo effectively.

Challenges with Self-Hosting

The task of self-hosting Matomo isn't just about the initial setup; it involves managing multiple layers of IT infrastructure, including the operating system, web server, database management system, and the Matomo application itself. Each of these layers requires constant updating, patching, and tuning to ensure optimal performance and security.

Beyond the technical layers, there are other crucial aspects like monitoring and incident management, implementing security measures, maintaining compliance with privacy regulations, and ensuring the scalability of your setup as your web traffic grows.

Skills and Knowledge: Do You Have What it Takes?

Running Matomo successfully isn't just about technical know-how; it requires a deep understanding of the platform's functionalities to be able to make the right decitions. Does your IT team have the expertise to leverage Matomo's features fully? Do they have the experience to troubleshoot issues efficiently or optimize the platform's performance? And last but not least are they even interested in investing the time it takes to learn Matomo?

Keep in mind that using Matomo to its full potential requires more than just basic analytics knowledge. It's about making sense of data, knowing which metrics to track, understanding visitor behavior, and turning insights into actionable strategies.

The Real Costs of Self-Hosting

The idea of self-hosting may seem cost-effective initially, but it's vital to understand the true costs associated with it. The direct costs of maintaining the infrastructure are just the beginning. You'll also need to consider:

  1. Cost of Downtime: Even minor outages can lead to significant revenue loss, and that's not counting the potential damage to your brand's reputation.
  2. Security Costs: Ensuring the same level of security as a specialized SaaS provider can be expensive. It involves implementing security measures, regular security audits, and staying abreast of the latest threats.
  3. Compliance Costs: Maintaining compliance with regulations such as GDPR or HIPAA involves ongoing effort and can result in hefty penalties if not managed correctly.
  4. Training Costs: Your team will need continual training to stay updated with Matomo's latest features and best practices.
  5. Support costs If your organization needs help with Matomo, who do they turn to? Answering questions about what a metric means or it the data collection really works; Managing data after PII incidents etc.

Leveraging Expertise with a Matomo SaaS Solution

In contrast, a Matomo SaaS provider like Digitalist brings specialized skills to the table, removing the burden from your IT department. We are experts not just in managing the technical aspects of the platform, but also in understanding and applying web analytics effectively.

We have the resources and dedication to continuously stay updated on the latest security measures, ensuring your data is always protected.

Choosing our SaaS solution will result in lower total cost of ownership when you consider all the factors. Plus, it allows your team to focus on your core business while leveraging the expertise of dedicated Matomo professionals.

Remember, every decision related to your IT infrastructure should align with your business goals. By thoroughly understanding what self-hosting Matomo entails, you can make an informed decision that best serves your organization's needs.

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