If you have recently taken a look at your Matomo dashboard, then taken a look at your Cloudflare dashboard you may have noticed a difference in numbers. There are a number of reasons why there is a difference between those two dashboards.
Firstly, Cloudflare counts everyone and everything that comes onto your site. This includes bots, threats, search engine crawlers, referrer spam, or really anything else that visits your website. Matomo only counts those who it considers actual website visitors.
Secondly, check to see if your tracking code is setup properly. If you have Matomo setup but haven’t setup the tracking properly then there will be a difference in the number. Check out the official Matomo site for a guide on how to properly setup a tracking code.
Thirdly, if a majority of your website visitors have third-party browser plugins that might not properly count the visitor. Cloudflare will track them because the website victor needs to go through Cloudflare to access your website, but the website visitor doesn’t need to go through Matomo to access your site. There are various browser plugins that block any sort of analytics, most people enable this because they want more privacy (which may not always be the case).
Forth, Matomo respects DoNotTrack unlike Cloudflare. Meaning that if a website visitor has DoNotTrack enabled then Cloudflare will still track them, but Matomo will not as Matomo by default doesn’t track those who have DoNotTrack enabled. You can turn this off (by changing the setting to false) in your Matomo tracking code if you wish to track everyone (no matter their DoNotTrack preference).
These are just some reasons why your Matomo dashboard numbers may not look exactly like Cloudflare’s numbers, and include someways to get the numbers to more closely match. It will never be 100%, but this will get you a more accurate numbers.
I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.