Plausible is a simple, privacy-friendly analysis tool. It helps you to analyze the number of unique visitors, the page views, the bounce rate and the duration of the visit.
If you have a website, you would likely understand these terms. As a website owner, you can tell if your website is getting more visitors over time, where the traffic is coming from, and if you have some understanding of these things, you can work on improving your website for more visits.
When it comes to website analytics, the only service that rules this domain is Google Analytics, the free Google tool. Just like Google is the de facto search engine, Google Analytics is the de facto analytics tool. However, you don’t have to specifically live with it if you can’t trust Big Tech with your and your website visitors’ data.
Plausible gives you the freedom of Google Analytics and I will discuss this open source project in this article.
Please note that some of the technical terms in this article may be unfamiliar to you if you have never managed a website or done analysis.
Plausible for data protection-friendly website analyzes
The script used by Plausible for the analysis is extremely light with a size of less than 1 KB.
The focus is on maintaining privacy so that you get valuable and actionable statistics without compromising the privacy of your visitors. Plausible is one of the few analytics tools that does not require a cookie banner or GDPR consent as it is already GDPR compliant in terms of data protection. That’s super cool.
In terms of features, it doesn’t have the same granularity and detail as Google Analytics. Plausible relies on simplicity. It shows a graphical representation of your traffic stats for the past 30 days. You can also switch to real-time view.
You can also see where your traffic is coming from and which pages on your website are getting the most visits. The sources can also display UTM campaigns.
You also have the option to enable GeoIP to get insights into the geographic location of your website visitors. You can also check how many visitors are using desktop or mobile devices to visit your website. There is also an option for the operating system. As you can see, in the Linux manual, 48% of the visitors are pulled from Windows devices. Quite strange, isn’t it?
It is clear that the data provided is nowhere near what Google Analytics can do, but that is by design. Plausible intends to provide you with a simple matrix.
Using Plausible: Go for paid managed hosting or host it yourself on your server
There are two ways you can use Plausible. Sign up for official managed hosting. You have to pay for the service and this ultimately helps in the plausible project development. They have a 30-day trial period and they don’t even require payment information on your part.
Pricing starts at $ 6 per month for 10,000 monthly page views. The prices increase with the number of page views. You can calculate the prices on the Plausible website.
You can try it out for 30 days and see if you want to pay plausible developers for the service and own your data.
If you think the prices are not affordable, you can take advantage of the fact that Plausible is open source and provide it yourself. If you’re interested, check out our in-depth guide on how to self-host a plausible instance with Docker.
At It’s FOSS, we host Plausible ourselves. Three of our websites have been added to our Plausible instance.
Plausible dashboard for It’s FOSS websites
If you want to maintain the website of an open source project and use Plausible, you can contact us via our High on Cloud project. With High on Cloud, we support small businesses in hosting and using open source software on their servers.
If you’re not particularly obsessed with data and just want a quick look at your website’s performance, Plausible is a great choice. I like it because it’s light and privacy compliant. That’s the main reason I use it in the Linux Handbook, our ethical web portal for teaching Linux server-related things.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with Plausible and recommend it to other website owners.
Do you also run or manage a website? Which tool do you use for the analysis or do you not care at all?