Plausible vs Google Analytics: Why Plausible is a great alternative

Many site owners have the habit of installing the Google Analytics tracking script on their sites as one of the first actions they take after the launch.

Here’s why you should break the habit of using Google Analytics and consider Plausible as a simple, lightweight, ethical, open-source and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative.

  1. Plausible vs Google Analytics comparison: What are the differences?
    1. 1. Simple vs complex web analytics
    2. 2. Data ownership of your web analytics
    3. 3. Open source vs closed source web analytics
    4. 4. Privacy of your website visitors
    5. 5. Compliance with privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA and PECR
    6. 6. Compromising the user experience of your website visitors
    7. 7. Increasing the page weight and the loading time
    8. 8. David vs Goliath
    9. 9. Avoiding the adblockers
    10. 10. A public roadmap driven by the community
  2. Why isn’t Plausible free while Google Analytics is free?
  3. Why is Plausible a great Google Analytics alternative?

Plausible vs Google Analytics comparison: What are the differences?

1. Simple vs complex web analytics

Google Analytics is overkill for most website owners. It’s a powerful but complex tool that takes time to understand and requires training. Google Analytics collects way too many data points and most people find real and regular use for only a fraction of the data it measures.

Plausible is easy to use and understand with no training or prior experience necessary. Plausible cuts through the noise by presenting all the important website traffic insights and metrics on one single page.

There are no layers of navigational menus, there is no need to create custom reports. You get all the important web analytics at a glance so you can focus on creating a better site.

2. Data ownership of your web analytics

By using Plausible, you keep 100% ownership of your website data and you protect the privacy of your visitors at the same time. Although when using our hosted service, your website analytics are stored on our server in the cloud, you remain completely in control of your site data and you fully own all of your data too.

  1. Your website data is not shared with advertising companies or any other companies in general.
  2. Your website data is not sent to any third-parties at all.
  3. Your website data is not mined and harvested for personal and behavioral trends.
  4. Your website data is not monetized.

That is not necessarily the case with Google Analytics, a tool that is created, hosted and run by the largest adtech company in the world. A company that loves to devour all the personal data available to it.

3. Open source vs closed source web analytics

Plausible is a fully open-source web analytics tool. Our source code is available and accessible on Github so anyone can read it and review it to ensure it keeps the data private and secure.

This is not the case with Google Analytics which is a closed source product. There’s simply no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes when using the Google Analytics script. You have to put your trust in Google.

4. Privacy of your website visitors

Privacy of web users is under threat but there’s a growing privacy shift going on around the web. Plausible is a part of that shift.

Even though the purpose of Plausible is to track usage of a website, this can still be done without collecting any personal data or personally identifiable information (PII), without using cookies and while respecting the privacy of people.

By using Google Analytics, you’re sacrificing the privacy of your site visitors. With Plausible you still get all the important insights to help you understand the performance of your site and to see how you can improve your site, but this doesn’t come at a cost of the privacy of your visitors.

5. Compliance with privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA and PECR

If you are tracking and collecting personal website usage data, you need to ask for and get explicit consent from the visitor according to the recent regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

Lawmakers around the world have realized the severity of the situation and several different personal data and privacy regulations have been introduced such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) in the United Kingdom.

Google Analytics collects a lot of personal data and it is a potential liability for your site. Many website owners fail to do this, but you should and must disclose to your visitors your use of Google Analytics to track them.

6. Compromising the user experience of your website visitors

When you’re using Google Analytics, you’re making the user experience on your site more inconvenient. To abide by the privacy regulations, you need to compromise the visitor experience by displaying annoying cookie banners and GDPR or CCPA consent notices. You also need to present comprehensive privacy policy in regard to analytics tracking.

By using Plausible, you don’t need to have any GDPR, CCPA, PECR or cookie prompts anymore and you don’t need a complex privacy policy about analytics either. By using Plausible, you are not using cookies and you are not tracking any personal data after all. Your visitors can enjoy your site without any annoyances and distractions.

Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers. The information in this post is here to help give you an introduction to the different privacy regulations and how Plausible is built to help you comply with them. We encourage you to discuss specific issues with your lawyer if you have any concerns.

7. Increasing the page weight and the loading time

Analytics scripts have a performance impact on the page weight and the loading time speed of a website. Plausible Analytics aims to provide you with all the essential website traffic insights without a negative impact on the web speed.

Plausible Analytics script is more than 17 times smaller than the Google Analytics script and more than 45 times smaller than the recommended Google Analytics integration using the Google Tag Manager. By using Plausible Analytics, you will reduce your page weight and your site will load faster too.

8. David vs Goliath

Google Analytics is installed on and is tracking website traffic on 85% of all websites. A majority of web traffic is tracked by a single company. And that one company is also the largest advertising company in the world. What could possibly go wrong?

Plausible, on the other hand, is not created by one of the largest companies in the world and is not run by a huge team. By using Plausible, you will support indie-developers, indie-businesses and the independent web.

9. Avoiding the adblockers

Many people have got enough of banner advertising, retargeting and remarketing messages and behavioral profiling so they choose to block some of these distractions.

Google Analytics script is blocked by many people who use adblockers such as the uBlock Origin and from users of some mainstream browsers such as Firefox.

Plausible is not a part of the adtech industry. It doesn’t track any personal data whatsoever and doesn’t play any part in the profiling of personal behaviors around the web so we’re not usually covered by these blockers either.

10. A public roadmap driven by the community

With Plausible you can be a part of the development. Take a look at our public roadmap which itself is defined by our community. You can leave your feedback and have your say on metrics and features we should be adding next to the product.

Google, on the other hand, is notorious for not listening to their users, not providing any way to reach the customer support to get help and even by shutting down products that millions of people love.

Why isn’t Plausible free while Google Analytics is free?

All this sounds great but Google Analytics is free to use. Why isn’t Plausible free too?

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 has no part in that business model. No personal data is being collected and analyzed either. With Plausible, you fully own and control all of the data and it is not being shared with or sold to any third-parties.

Plausible is independently owned and developed. To keep the project going and to stay in business we need to charge a fee.

Why is Plausible a great Google Analytics alternative?

Plausible is a simple and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics. It is an independent, open-source and transparent analytics tool.

Plausible is here to provide you all the valuable website traffic insights at a glance while respecting the privacy of your visitors, being compliant with GDPR, CCPA and other privacy regulations, and without compromising the user experience.

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 simple and privacy-friendly website analytics dashboard.

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