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Plausible VS Google Analytics VS Independent Analytics

Can’t decide on an analytics platform?

It’s not as easy as picking between a couple of apples at the supermarket; these are complicated products!

In this comparison of Plausible VS Google Analytics, we break down the biggest differences so you can decide if it’s time to try something new or to stick with the tried and true solution made by Google.

We’ll also introduce you to Independent Analytics, our analytics plugin made exclusively for WordPress websites.

Without further ado, here’s the full comparison.

Plausible VS Google Analytics

There hasn’t been much choice over the past decade when it comes to web analytics, but that’s recently changed.

There are now lots of Google Analytics alternatives, and Plausible has emerged as a leading solution.

This transition away from GA was initially spurred by GDPR concerns and has only been hastened by Google’s sunsetting of Universal Analytics in favor of Google Analytics 4, which most people find challenging to use.

But with all the Google Analytics alternatives popping up, is Plausible the one you should switch to?

Why use Plausible?

Plausible website

Plausible offers a simple and straightforward solution to the problems introduced by Google; open-source analytics that don’t use cookies.

Here’s why it matters.

Doesn’t violate GDPR

Google Analytics has always used cookies for tracking, which allows it to do things like count the number of unique visitors and distinguish between new and returning visitors.

However, the use of cookies has come under fire by the EU in their GDPR laws. Furthermore, GA saves IP addresses, which are considered personal data by the GDPR. And perhaps most problematic is the fact that Google uses your analytics data in other internal projects and doesn’t disclose how this data is used.

These privacy issues have led numerous EU countries to make GA outright illegal, forcing companies to switch to an alternative.

Plausible graph

On the other hand, Plausible doesn’t use cookies, save any personally identifiable information, and keeps your data saved only in EU servers. This allows it to comply with the GDPR.

More accurate tracking

Your site needs to show a cookie banner to EU visitors, asking them for consent before using any cookies. Studies have found that the vast majority of users decline, and when this happens, analytics platforms like GA don’t track them at all. This means the majority of your visitors could bypass your analytics entirely.

With a cookie-less analytics tool, all of these visits get recorded because there’s no need to require consent first.

Faster

One more reason why Plausible could be a better choice is that it loads faster than Google Analytics. It only loads a single external Javascript, which is much smaller than the large tracking script required by Google Analytics. Not to mention, GA often requires two or three external scripts if you want to include things like outbound click tracking or eCommerce analytics.

These are some pretty convincing features, but there are reasons why you still might prefer Google Analytics.

Why you shouldn’t use Plausible

While Plausible is a great solution, it does have some drawbacks that can’t be ignored.

It isn’t free

Unlike Google Analytics, Plausible isn’t free. Pricing starts at $9/month for up to 10k monthly pageviews on up to 50 sites and scales from there as your pageviews increase.

Plausible pricing

Limited features

The fact that Plausible is so simple can be seen as an advantage, but there is a lot of analysis you can do with GA that simply isn’t possible with Plausible.

For instance, there’s no outbound click tracking, video analytics, or segmentation. The features it does have, like event tracking and filtering, are very basic and not nearly as robust as in GA.

Requires technical knowledge

Adding the tracking script is fairly easy. You just need to copy and paste it into the footer of your site.

However, you won’t be able to track any events without the help of a developer. Tracking events requires adding Javascript snippets to your site, which isn’t something you can easily include in a “Thank You” page using WordPress. You may need to hire a developer who can create a custom shortcode or block for you.

Now that you’ve seen the pros and cons of Plausible let us introduce you to one more alternative to Google Analytics.

Plausible VS Independent Analytics

Independent Analytics is a plugin we’ve developed to make analytics as simple and intuitive as possible for WordPress users.

Independent Analytics plugin page

We think it’s the ultimate analytics solution for WordPress sites, and here’s why.

Analytics in your dashboard

Instead of logging into a separate app to see your analytics, you can find them right inside the WP admin.

Independent Analytics dashboard in WordPress admin

This makes your analytics readily accessible for you and your team members. The user permissions are customizable, so you can easily give access to Editors and Authors registered on your site.

There’s also a dashboard widget so you can get a quick look at your stats when you login.

Analytics dashboard widget

Even better privacy

Like Plausible, Independent Analytics doesn’t use cookies at all. This means it captures more data than Google Analytics, giving you a clearer picture of your real metrics.

And since Independent Analytics runs entirely on your site, there is never any communication with an external server. The data is created and saved entirely on your server for maximum privacy and simplicity.

Even faster

Another benefit of IA running on your site is that it doesn’t make any external file requests. In fact, it doesn’t load any files at all!

There is a 2kb tracking script inlined with the HTML that makes a single asynchronous REST-API request to your own site. This is as performant and fast as an analytics solution can get.

Even easier to setup

You don’t have to mess around with any tracking codes or Javascript to track visitors with Independent Analytics. All you have to do is install it through the Plugins menu, and it automatically adds the tracking script to the footer of your site.

Codeless integrations

Since Independent Analytics runs inside WordPress, it has access to data about your posts and pages. This allows it to do cool things, like show your page titles in the dashboard instead of the URLs.

WordPress integration

It can also show you info like the post category, author, and publication date. These properties are available in the filtering system, allowing you to create interesting reports, like the performance of posts from a specific author published last month.

And it works much better for membership sites because you can track views from logged-in Subscribers while ignoring activity from Admins and Editors.

When it comes to eCommerce tracking, that’s completely automated, too, thanks to the WooCommerce integration that occurs entirely through WordPress hooks rather than client-side Javascript.

It’s free

Lastly, Independent Analytics is completely free to use on as many sites as you want for as long as you want.

If you want to support our work and add more powerful features to your site, there is a Pro version that adds campaign tracking, real-time analytics, WooCommerce integration, and more.

Upgrading is entirely optional, and we never put pushy notices or lame upsell tactics in the WP dashboard.

Which Google Analytics alternative is best for you?

If you’re not sure which tool to choose yet, here are some closing thoughts.

If you need segmentation, video analytics, and the massive array of dimensions and metrics offered by Google Analytics, there isn’t any viable alternative. It still stands head and shoulders above alternatives in terms of sheer functionality.

If you’re more concerned with GDPR compliance, site performance, and ease of use, then you’ll want to try one of the other two alternatives listed here.

The way to choose is quite simple: if you don’t use WordPress, go with Plausible. If you do use WordPress, try our plugin, Independent Analytics.

Get started with Independent Analytics

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We’re still early in our journey and developing new features every day, but we’re proud of what we’ve built so far. If you have any feedback for us or questions about this post, you can leave a comment below or reach out to us via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

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