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.

And you can now self-host Plausible Analytics on your server too.

Plausible: Self-hosted Google Analytics alternative

There is only one version of Plausible Analytics. Both our Cloud and our Self-Hosted products are completely equal. There’s no premium and exclusive commercial version with a better or more complete feature set.

You get the same fast-loading dashboard, same actionable metrics and same commitment to respecting the privacy of your visitors with both.

We started developing Plausible in early 2019 and we launched our SaaS subscription business in May 2019. The project is very much alive, actively developed and fast growing. It is robust and battle-tested too.

Plausible Analytics is installed on more than 5,000 websites and we’ve counted 240 million page views until now, 180 million of those in the last three months alone.

Here are the differences between Plausible Cloud and Plausible Self-Hosted:

  Cloud Self-hosted
Hosting Easy and convenient. We manage everything for you so you don’t have to worry about anything. We take care of the installation, upgrades, server, security, maintenance, uptime, stability, consistency, loading time and so on. You do it all yourself. You need to get a server and you need to install, maintain and manage Plausible on that server. You are responsible for installation, maintenance, upgrades, server capacity, uptime, backup and so on.
Storage We keep your site data on a secure, encrypted and green energy powered server in Germany. A server that ensures that your site data is protected by the strict European Union data privacy laws. You have full control and can host your Plausible Analytics 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.
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. Are you an analyst and want access to the raw data? Hosting Plausible yourself gives you that option. Take the data directly from the ClickHouse database and import it to a data analysis tool of your choice.
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. You only need to pay for your server and whatever cost there is associated with running a server. You never have to pay any fees to us, only to your cloud provider.

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.

While Plausible Analytics is an open source software that you can self-host for free, we also sell a hosted, plug and play solution as a SaaS. 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.

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 most permissive Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) license. There are no restrictions on redistributing, modifying or using Plausible 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.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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.