Plausible: Self-Hosted Google Analytics alternative
Plausible Analytics is a 100% open source web analytics tool. Our mission is to reduce corporate surveillance by making a useful and privacy-friendly website analytics tool that doesn’t come from the adtech world.
The site owner gets some actionable data to help them learn and improve, while the visitor keeps having a nice and enjoyable experience. Cookies are not used and no personal data is collected. There’s no cross-site or cross-device tracking either.
The easiest way to get started with Plausible is with our official managed service in the cloud but if you’re happy to manage your own infrastructure, you can also self-host Plausible on your server.
Our managed hosting can save a substantial amount of developer time and resources. For most sites this ends up being the best value option and the revenue goes to funding the maintenance and further development of Plausible. So you’ll be supporting open source software and getting a great service!
What’s the difference between Plausible Cloud and self-hosting?
Here are the differences between Plausible Analytics managed hosting in the cloud and the self-hosting:
|Hosting||Easy and convenient. It takes 2 minutes to start counting your stats with a worldwide CDN, high availability, backups, security and maintenance all done for you by us. We manage everything so you don’t have to worry about anything and can focus on your stats.||You do it all yourself. You need to get a server and you need to manage your infrastructure. You are responsible for installation, maintenance, upgrades, server capacity, uptime, backup, security, stability, consistency, loading time and so on.|
|Storage||All visitor data is exclusively processed on EU-owned cloud infrastructure. We keep your site data on a secure, encrypted and green energy powered server in Germany. This ensures that your site data is protected by the strict European Union data privacy laws and ensures compliance with GDPR. Your website data never leaves the EU.||You have full control and can host your instance on any server in any country that you wish. Host it on a server in your basement or host it with any cloud provider wherever you want, even those that are not GDPR compliant.|
|Releases||Continuously developed and improved with new features and updates multiple times per week.||It’s a long term release published approximately twice per year so latest features won’t be immediately available.|
|Raw data||You see all your site stats and metrics on our modern-looking, simple to use and fast loading dashboard. You can only see the stats aggregated in the dashboard. You can download the stats using the CSV export, stats API or tools such as the Data Studio Connector.||Do you want access to the raw data? Self-hosting gives you that option. You can take the data directly from the ClickHouse database.|
|Premium Support||Real support delivered by real human beings who build and maintain Plausible.||Premium support is not included. Self-hosting is community supported only.|
|Costs||There’s a cost associated with providing an analytics service so we charge a subscription fee. We choose the subscription business model rather than the business model of surveillance capitalism. Your money funds further development of Plausible.||You need to pay for your server, CDN, backups and whatever other cost there is associated with running the infrastructure. You never have to pay any fees to us. Your money goes to 3rd party companies with no connection to us.|
How can you be sustainable if you’re giving your software for free?
Funding is a big topic in the world of open source software. Many open source projects are terribly under-resourced and under-funded. Some people even have to sacrifice their financial security to work on their passion.
We believe that no financial sacrifice should be required to work on open source. Making open source sustainable is something we’re passionate about. To build competitive privacy-first and open-source alternatives to popular proprietary tools, we need more people to be able to commit to open source full time.
We released our code on GitHub and made it easy to self-host on principle, not because it’s good business. While Plausible Analytics can be self-hosted for free, we also sell a hosted, plug and play solution as a SaaS. This is our only source of funding. We’re growing a sustainable open source project funded solely by the fees that our subscribers pay us.
Our business model has nothing to do with collecting and analyzing huge amounts of personal information from your visitors and using these behavioral insights to sell advertisements. We don’t make money by selling or sharing your data, or abusing your visitor’s privacy.
We are not interested in raising funds or taking investment either. Plausible is completely independent and bootstrapped. Revenue from paid subscriptions is used to pay our rent, further develop Plausible and allow us to commit to open source full time.
If you choose to self-host Plausible you can become a sponsor which is an alternative way to give back to the community and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project. Thank you to all of our GitHub sponsors. We appreciate your support.
For more views on the topic of open source funding, see how to pay your rent with your open source project.
Transparency as a key value of privacy focused software
One aspect that makes Plausible Analytics different from many of the other web analytics providers such as Google Analytics is the fact that Plausible is a fully open source web analytics software.
We are not a black box. There’s nothing proprietary or closed source about Plausible Analytics. Everything is in the open. Our source code is available and accessible on GitHub.
Anyone can view, review and inspect the code we’re running to understand how it works and to verify whether our actions match with our words. This gives you and everyone else full transparency on how we handle website traffic data.
This is essential in the market of privacy focused analytics. Corporations and proprietary software cannot always be trusted when personal data is in question. This is one of the main reasons why you should stop using Google Analytics on your site.
The only way to prove your trust is to allow the public and the experts to look into your code and verify that you practice what you preach. It is this transparency and openness that means that open source products can be more trustworthy than proprietary products.
Many open source projects offer a do-it-yourself, self-hosted deployment. Some people prefer that approach and want to host, run and maintain the software themselves on their own server. And this is what you can do with Plausible Analytics too. Anyone can download our software, install it and run it on their own server. Open source enables this.
What license is Plausible released under?
Plausible is open-source under the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3 (AGPLv3) or any later version. You can find it here.
How do I self-host Plausible Analytics?
This is the free as in beer and free as in speech version of Plausible Analytics. Here’s how you can install Plausible Analytics Self-Hosted on your own server.