Setting up Form Analytics

In this guide you will learn how to get Form Analytics to automatically track your website's online forms.

Embedding the Form Analytics JavaScript Tracker

If you have already embedded the Matomo (formerly Piwik) JavaScript Tracking Code into your website, the Form Analytics will automatically start tracking the usage of your web forms.

The tracker code for forms is automatically added into your Matomo JavaScript tracker file /piwik.js as long as the file piwik.js in your Matomo directory is writable by the webserver/PHP.

To check whether this works by default for you, login into Matomo as a Super User, go to Administration, and open the "System Check" report. If the System Check displays a warning for "Writable Matomo.js" then learn below how to solve this.

Tracking Forms

Matomo detects and starts the tracking of your forms automatically if they have set a form name or a form id attribute like this:

<form name="cloud_login">...</form>
<form id="cloud_login">...</form>

If your form does not have any of these attributes, we recommend setting such an attribute. If you can neither set a form name nor a form id, you will still be able to track the form if there is only one form on your page. To track such a form go to "Administration => Forms" and create a new form. There you can define one or multiple pages that you want to track into this newly created form.

Custom form and field names

If your form or field names change randomly, can also define a form name by using the data-matomo-name (recommended) or the data-piwik-name attribute like this:

<form data-matomo-name="cloud_login">...</form>

Similarly you can define a readable name for your fields like this:

<input data-matomo-name="username" type="text">

Note that in Matomo Form Analytics itself you can give a readable name to any form or any field. If your form has for example a field named "input_4", you can map this field name to a human readable name like "Username" directly in the Matomo user interface. You don't need to set a data-matomo-name or a data-piwik-name in this case.

Custom form elements

If you do not use a <form> element to mark your forms, you can specify a data-matomo-form (recommended) or a data-piwik-form attribute on any element to let Matomo know that this element contains a form. Matomo will then discover this form and all fields automatically.

<div data-matomo-form data-matomo-name="cloud_login">
    <input name="username" type="text">

Alternatively, you can add a form manually using the JavaScript tracker code _paq.push(['FormAnalytics::trackForm', formNode]);

Read more about this in the Form Analytics API Reference.

Ignoring forms

If you do not want a form to be tracked, you can specify a data-matomo-ignore or a data-piwik-ignore attribute on your form like this:

<form name="cloud_signup" data-matomo-ignore></form>

If set, it will not even send any tracking requests for this form to your Matomo. This is useful if you want to exclude for example forms that are shown on each page like a search or a newsletter sign up form.

When the piwik.js in your Matomo directory file is not writable

When your Settings > System Check reports that "The Matomo JavaScript tracker file piwik.js is not writable which means other plugins cannot extend the JavaScript tracker." then you have two options to solve this issue:

  1. Make the piwik.js file writable, for example by executing chmod a+w piwik.js or chown $phpuser piwik.js (replace $phpuser with actual username) in your Matomo directory. We recommend running the Matomo console command ./console custom-piwik-js:update after you have made the file writable.
  2. or Load the FormAnalytics tracker file manually in your website by adding in all your pages ideally in the <head>: <script src="https://your-piwik-domain/plugins/FormAnalytics/tracker.min.js">

Are there any disadvantages of including the file manually?

Yes, there are:

  • An additional HTTP request is needed to load your website which increases your page load time
  • If your piwik.js ever becomes writable, the FormAnalytics tracker would be loaded twice (in such a case the tracker notices it was already initialized and won't track everything twice)

If possible, we recommend making the piwik.js file writable.

Now that you've setup Form Analytics, you may want to have a look at the Form Analytics FAQ or the Form Analytics API reference.