Best practice one vs multiple tracking codes

I’m looking for a comparison regarding the tracking of multiple sites (www + a few subdomains) with a single tracking code vs using multiple tracking codes with meta sites.
Is such a comparison available somewhere? Or does anybody has tips for me?

Just from the top of my head. I might have missed something.

One code:

  • accurate no. of unique visitors
  • the need to use segments to get data for specific subdomain. Also additional setup needed with custom dimensions to be able to segment the data. Not all types of events have event_url set.
  • tricky setup when it comes to integrations with gads and search console, since one property can be currently integrated with one account
  • full customer journey reporting. Especially nice if you have a marketing website and some post login area. Being able to merge that data into one makes it possible to generate valuable insights. E.g. the ability to see what marketing channels brought users that converted later on within the product.
  • sharing one consent popup between subdomains

Meta sites:

  • no visitors deduplication
  • data is clean - one property per subdomain
  • straightforward integration with gads and search console
  • customer journey aggregated per property
  • new consent popup per subdomain

I usually set up both at the same time, but it makes the setup a bit more complex, since custom codes are needed to have 2 analytics trackers on one website.

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Kuba described it really well, on top of that few small additions from my side.

One code:

  • Tracker debugger flooded with traffic from many websites. Can be mitigated with filtering by Page URL (segments don’t work with tracker debugger)
  • Custom dimensions limit - it’s 200 per scope but in case of a need of setting up a lot of them per domain, the limit has to be taken into account

Meta sites:

  • Creating funnel, user flow, attribution reports is not possible. If you’re interested in tracking customer journey across many domains then one tracking code is the choice.
  • More granular permission management (to each site separately)
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