Plausible: Open source and privacy-first web analytics plugin for WordPress

Plausible Analytics is an open source web analytics plugin for WordPress that is a simple to use, lightweight (< 1 KB) and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative.

Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin

  1. How is Plausible Analytics different from Google Analytics?
  2. What are the other features of Plausible Analytics for WordPress?
  3. How to get started with Plausible Analytics
  4. How to install Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin
  5. How to track external link clicks
  6. How to track 404 error pages
  7. Serve the script as a first-party connection from your domain name
  8. How to exclude admins from being tracked
  9. Contribute to the development of our WordPress plugin

How is Plausible Analytics different from Google Analytics?

Plausible Analytics is built to be a more modern alternative to Google Analytics and other traditional analytics solutions. Here’s what makes us different:

  • Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, doesn’t use cookies and doesn’t track any personal data. You don’t need to bother your visitors with GDPR consent banners. Read more on what makes Plausible a privacy-first web analytics

  • Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is built for speed and performance. Our script is under 1 KB in size, which is 45 times more lightweight than the Google Analytics script. Plausible will not slow down your site

  • Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is simple to use and get valuable insights from. All the key metrics are displayed on one page, including top content, top referral sources, external link clicks and goal conversions

  • Plausible like WordPress but unlike Google Analytics is fully open source software. You can review our code and contribute to the development. You can even self-host Plausible on your server and manage your infrastructure

  • Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is not a free as in beer product. We don’t sell your site data and we don’t use it for any other purpose. We choose the subscription business model rather than surveillance capitalism

  • There’s a 30 day free trial with no credit card required. If you find Plausible useful, you can subscribe. The plans start at $6/month or $4/month when billed annually and are based on the number of page views your sites have

What are the other features of Plausible Analytics for WordPress?

  • Our WordPress plugin excludes your visits to your website from being counted in your analytics by default
  • We make it easy to track 404 error pages that people visit so you can fix them and redirect them to more appropriate pages
  • We make it easy to track clicks on external links so you can see which of your affiliate links are more popular than others
  • We make it easy for you to serve our script as a first-party connection from a subdomain such as stats.yoursite.com or plausible.yoursite.com. This makes your stats more accurate as it avoids the adblockers

How to get started with Plausible Analytics

To use Plausible Analytics, you need to register an account. To explore the product, we offer you a free 30-day trial. There are no restrictions on your usage during the free trial and no credit card is required to sign up.

Click here to register. It is a simple process and we only ask for your name and email address.

Register your Plausible account

After you verify your email address, you need to enter the domain name of the website you want to track.

Please, remove https and www from the URL, just keep the hostname (yourdomain.com). For example, if your site is https://www.yourdomain.com then the part to enter in the “Domain” field is yourdomain.com.

If you would like to track a subdomain such as blog.yourdomain.com then please include the subdomain. Plausible Analytics essentially sees different subdomains as different sites.

For example, if your subdomain is https://blog.yourdomain.com then the part to enter in the “Domain” field is blog.yourdomain.com.

Enter the domain name of the website you want to track

That’s it! You have now registered for an account and you have added your website. Now you need to go to your WordPress dashboard and activate the Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin.

How to install Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin

Here’s how you can install the Plausible Analytics plugin on your WordPress site:

  • Go into the “Plugins” section in the left-hand side navigation within your WordPress dashboard
  • Click on “Add New”
  • In the search box in the top right, type “Plausible Analytics” and press enter

Search and install the "Plausible Analytics" WordPress plugin

Activate our WordPress plugin

  • “Plausible Analytics” entry will now show up in the “Settings” section in the left-hand side navigation of your WordPress dashboard. Click on it to explore the various options available
  • Select the options that you want and click on the “Save Changes” button
  • If you have a cache plugin activated, do purge the cache just in case

Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin settings

That’s it! You are now counting your site stats with a privacy-first web analytics tool. You can now go to our website and access your Plausible Analytics account to view the dashboard.

There are some optional Plausible features that we recommend you enable too. Here’s a look at those.

Outbound links play a significant role on the open web, but how do you track clicks on outbound links using your WordPress analytics? Plausible Analytics plugin can help you automate external link click tracking on your WordPress site.

Outbound link clicks won’t show up automatically in your Plausible dashboard. You’ll have to configure the goal for them to show up. Here’s how:

  • To configure a goal, go to your website’s settings in your Plausible Analytics account and visit the “Goals” section
  • You should see a prompt to add a goal. Click on the “+ Add goal” button to go to the goal creation form

Visit the "Goals" section in your Plausible account

  • Select Custom event as the goal trigger and enter this exact name: Outbound Link: Click

Select Custom event and create a goal

  • Next, click on the “Add goal” button and you’ll be taken back to the Goals page

After you’ve completed this process, all the external link clicks will start being tracked and will be displayed in the “Goal Conversions” report of your Plausible Analytics dashboard.

You’ll see “Outbound Link: Click” goal as soon as the first external link click has been tracked.

Learn more in “How to track outbound link clicks using your website analytics

How to track 404 error pages

Having 404 error pages on your WordPress site can lead to a bad user experience, a negative first impression, and even damage your search engine rankings and traffic you get from Google.

Plausible Analytics plugin can help you identify those broken links and 404 page not found errors.

404 error pages won’t show up automatically in your Plausible dashboard. You’ll have to configure the goal for them to show up. Here’s how:

  • To configure a goal, go to your website’s settings in your Plausible Analytics account and visit the “Goals” section. You should see a prompt to add a goal
  • Click on the “+ Add goal” button to go to the goal creation form
  • Select Custom event as the goal trigger and enter this exact name: 404

Select Custom event and create a 404 goal

  • Next, click on the “Add goal” button and you’ll be taken back to the Goals page

After you’ve completed this process, all the 404 error pages will start being tracked and will be displayed in the “Goal Conversions” report of your Plausible Analytics dashboard.

You’ll see “404” goal as soon as the first visit on an error page has been tracked. Click on “404” to see the full list of all visits on all error pages and have your dashboard filtered by error pages only.

Click on a particular error page URL to filter the dashboard by those clicks only and get the full overview of that specific URL. Then you can figure out how your visitors discover the broken links and fix them.

Learn more in: “How to track, identify and fix 404 error pages on your website

Serve the script as a first-party connection from your domain name

Plausible Analytics gives you a quick and easy way to serve our script as a first party connection from your subdomain.

What’s the benefit of doing this? Your site looks like it has no third-party connections. You also get more accurate stats as by running Plausible as a first-party you avoid most of the adblockers.

We recommend using a subdomain of the website you’re running Plausible Analytics on. If your site is on yourdomain.com you can use plausible.yourdomain.com or stats.yourdomain.com. The name of the subdomain can be anything that you want.

To get started with the custom domain, you need to enable this feature in your Plausible Analytics account. Here’s how:

  • Click on the “Add custom domain” button in the “Custom domain” section of your website settings to get started

Add custom domain

  • Type in your subdomain in the “Domain” field and click on the “DNS setup” button

Add custom domain

  • Next, you need to go to your DNS provider’s website and create a new CNAME record for your chosen subdomain. Please check with your DNS provider’s documentation on how you can create a new CNAME record
  • Point the CNAME record to custom.plausible.io. (including the last dot) and then click on the “Done” button on the Plausible Analytics website

In most cases, this process takes a few minutes but it may take up to 4 hours for the DNS changes to propagate and for us to obtain an SSL certificate for your subdomain.

The setup is complete and ready to use when your subdomain loads our JavaScript file (yoursubdomain.yourdomain.com/js/index.js).

  • When your subdomain loads our script, go into your Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin settings
  • Enable the “Custom Domain” section and type in your chosen subdomain
  • Click on the “Save Changes” button
  • If you have a cache plugin activated, do purge the cache just in case

That’s it! You are now counting your visitors using the Plausible Analytics script which is loading as a first-party connection from your domain name.

See more on how to “Serve the script from your domain as a first-party connection

How to exclude admins from being tracked

By default, our WordPress plugin excludes your own visits from being counted in the stats.

However, if you’d like to count your visits, you can enable this. Switch on the “Track analytics for administrator” feature.

Contribute to the development of our WordPress plugin

Thanks to Mehul Gohil for building the Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin and for keeping it up to date.

You can contribute to our WordPress plugin too. Add your feature requests, upvote existing request or even contribute with your code. Here’s our main GitHub repo and our WordPress plugin repo.

Enjoying Plausible Analytics and our WordPress plugin? Please consider leaving a comment in the official WordPress plugin directory.

Ready to dive in?
Start your free trial today.

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