Plausible: Open source Google Analytics alternative

Plausible Analytics is an open source, simple, lightweight and privacy-friendly website analytics tool. One aspect that makes Plausible different from many of the other web analytics tools such as Google Analytics is the fact that Plausible is fully open-source software. Let’s take a look at what that means exactly.

Plausible: Open source Google Analytics alternative

  1. What is web analytics?
  2. What is open source web analytics?
  3. What license is Plausible released under?
  4. Can Plausible Analytics be self-hosted?
  5. Plausible is open in other ways too
    1. Open to community feedback with a public roadmap
    2. You can open your website analytics and make the stats publicly-viewable too
  6. Is Google Analytics open source too?
  7. What are the other ways that Plausible is different from Google Analytics?
  8. Google Analytics is free so why is Plausible Analytics Cloud not free?
  9. How to switch from Google Analytics to an open source analytics alternative

What is web analytics?

Web analytics is the process of measuring and analyzing the usage of a website. With Plausible activated on your website, you get access to a simple open source analytics dashboard.

This simple dashboard includes website metrics such as the number of unique visitors to your site, the number of page views on your individual pages and the referral sources which have sent traffic to your site.

All this data you can use to assess the performance of your site and to figure out what you can do to improve your future efforts.

What is open source web analytics?

Being open source means that our source code is available and accessible on GitHub so anyone can check it out. You can read it, inspect it and review it to understand how it works and to ensure it keeps the data private and secure.

This gives you and everyone else full transparency on how we handle the website traffic data. It is this transparency and openness that means that open source products can be more trustworthy than proprietary and closed source products.

You can even download Plausible Analytics, install and run it on your own server.

What license is Plausible released under?

Plausible is open-source under the most permissive Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) license. This means that there are no restrictions on redistributing, modifying or using Plausible software for any reason. You can take it and use it any way that you wish. The MIT license states:

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


Can Plausible Analytics be self-hosted?

Yes, you can self-host Plausible Analytics. Plausible Analytics Self-Hosted is our free as in beer and free as in speech version. It’s exactly the same product as our Plausible Analytics Cloud solution, only the self-hosted version you have to install, host and manage yourself.

We’re fully open source and all our code is available on GitHub. Take a look at the full details of our self-hosted web analytics solution.

Plausible is open in other ways too

Open to community feedback with a public roadmap

We welcome feedback from our community. We have a public roadmap driven by the features suggested by the community members and we are available to you via email or GitHub if you have any questions or need any help.

You can open your website analytics and make the stats publicly-viewable too

Plausible gives you the option to be transparent and open your web analytics to everyone. Your website stats are private by default but you can choose to make them public so anyone with your custom link can view them. You can view stats for Plausible website itself here.

Is Google Analytics open source too?

No, Google Analytics is not open source. Google Analytics is a closed source, proprietary product. There’s simply no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes when you’re using the Google Analytics script on your website. You have to put your trust in Google.

What are the other ways that Plausible is different from Google Analytics?

Other than Plausible being open source while Google Analytics being closed source, there are many other ways that these two site analytics products differ:

  1. Plausible is more simple to use as it tracks a smaller number of metrics and presents them on an easier to understand dashboard. Rather than tracking every metric imaginable, many of them that you will never find a use for, Plausible Analytics focuses on the most essential stats only.
  2. Plausible Analytics is lightweight. Our script is a small script that is lighter and faster to load so you will reduce the page weight of your site compared to when using Google Analytics. Our script is 17 times smaller than the Google Analytics script and 45 times smaller than the recommended Google Analytics integration using the Google Tag Manager.
  3. Plausible doesn’t use cookies and doesn’t track nor collect any personal data. This means that we are compliant with the cookie law and other privacy regulations out of the box. There is no need for you to include GDPR, CCPA and other consent prompts nor to have a privacy policy because of the Plausible analytics.

For further details on the differences between the two, take a look at our Plausible vs Google Analytics comparison.

Google Analytics is free so why is Plausible Analytics Cloud not free?

Plausible Analytics is an independently owned and actively developed project. To keep the project development going, to stay in business, to continue putting effort into building a better product and to cover our costs, we need to charge a fee.

Google Analytics is free because Google has built their company and their wealth by collecting and analyzing huge amounts of personal information from web users and using these personal and behavioral insights to sell advertisements.

Plausible Analytics has no part in that business model. No personal data is being collected and analyzed either. With Plausible Analytics, you 100% own and control all of your website data. This data is not being shared with or sold to any third-parties.

We choose the subscription business model rather than the business model of surveillance capitalism. If you want our free as in beer solution, you can self-host Plausible Analytics on your own server.

How to switch from Google Analytics to an open source analytics alternative

Do you have a website or a blog? Give Plausible a chance.

Sign up for a 30-day unlimited-use free trial with no obligations and explore our open source site analytics dashboard. You don’t even need to remove your current analytics provider until you’ve tested Plausible and figured out if you like our product.

Plausible is simple to set up and integrate into your website no matter which CMS you use or how you’ve built your site. You simply insert our one-line JavaScript snippet into the <head> section of the pages you’d like to keep an eye on and the numbers will start rolling in.

Ready to dive in?
Start your free trial today.

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