(aka the data-grabbing machine)
Google Analytics is one of the most (in)famous web analytics tools. It provides statistics for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing needs.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is web analytics?
The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of web data.
Why is it important?
To measure web traffic, business and market research, and to assess and improve website effectiveness.
A Brief History of Google Analytics
The story goes back to 1995 and a company named Web Depot — a web consulting and hosting business in San Diego.
Paul Muret and Scott Crosby were developing the first version of Urchin — an analytics software.
They eventually found out that Urchin was able to process 1 day’s worth of website tracking results in 15 minutes — versus 24 hours. (yes, it took that long once upon a time)
It quickly became the standard analytic software for thousands of websites!
In 2004, Google representatives approached the Urchin team with an offer at a trade show. By 2005, Google acquired the software Urchin on Demand.
TL;DR — Google Analytics was born out of an acquisition.
All that’s wrong with Google Analytics
(In other words, if you’re a GA user, why should you switch?)
⏱️ Heavy (increases load time)
🤕 Complex (overwhelming amount of data)
📊 Uses Sample Data
🚫 Blocked by many plugins and browsers
Note: Use of ad blockers also compromises on its results’ accuracy.
Fact: 46.2% of users worldwide admit to using ad blockers.
The news you need to know
On 1st July 2023, it will be the end of the road for Universal Analytics.
In April this year, Google announced it will retire the current version of Analytics.
Enough of the tea :)
Now… Finally. The reason you clicked this blog’s title.
An alternative to Google Analytics that’s about to surpass your expectations! 🎉
Plausible is an alternative to Google Analytics that’s ↓
🍪 No cookies
💙 Open source
A powerful alternative that doesn’t come from the adtech world.
Starting from an ethical point of view, it’s built for privacy-conscious site owners.
You can self-host the tool on your server, or get a hosted, plug-and-play SaaS solution. Get valuable and actionable stats while your visitors keep having an enjoyable experience.
In September this year, they crossed $100k MRR (monthly recurring revenue) ✨
How is Plausible Analytics better than Google Analytics?
Web analytics went from a simple, fun and useful practice for site owners to a data-grabbing machine for surveillance capitalism.
Plausible Analytics is 👇🏻
Easy to understand and cuts through the noise.
A minimal dashboard shows you all the most insightful website statistics on a single page — in a minute.
❌ No layers of menus
❌ No unnecessary data
❌ No need to build custom reports/ dashboards
“We’ve been trying to make something that’s really simple — the UI, the way you set it up, use it. Also the code, the architecture and infrastructure.”
— Uku Täht, at the Elixir Podcast
Their script weighs 0.7 KB–that’s 45 times smaller than the Google Analytics Global Site Tag.
✂️ It cuts down your page weight
⏱️ Your site loads faster
👣 You reduce your carbon footprint
🌳 An analytics tool that’s making the web greener and sustainable?
Take our money!
Fun Fact: With Plausible, a site with 10,000 monthly visitors can save 4.5 kg of CO2 emissions per year!
All the site measurements are absolutely anonymous and all data is in aggregate.
❌ No cookies used
❌ No personal data collected
❌ No cross-site or cross-device tracking
Note: All visitor data is exclusively processed with servers owned and operated by European companies and it never leaves the EU.
The best part? No GDPR consent is required.
📌 GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation, a set of EU rules on
data protection and privacy.
“We’ve specifically designed Plausible to be something that keeps websites fast, lightweight and doesn’t come with any legal requirements to use it.”
— Uku Täht
It doesn’t end here.
You can also import your Google Analytics stats! ⚡
Learn more here.
🎬 Lights, Camera, Action!
Here’s the script for the next The Social Network, starring Uku Täht and Marko Saric.
(Nope, this was just a better way to introduce the origin story of this brilliant company) 😉
Jokes aside. Here’s…
The founding story of Plausible Analytics
Uku is from Tartu, Estonia. He credits his peers, mentors, apprenticeship and work experience at the 8th Light for his skillset.
He lived in London for a while and used to work in a well-funded company with a great salary.
Despite all these things, he couldn’t stop thinking about wanting to do something on his own.
Once, at Gigride, his marketing head asked Uku to integrate Google Analytics for their landing page. His first thought was:
“Ugh. Can we just use something other than Google Analytics?”
Along with everything else we just talked about — Google Analytics was not very transparent, complicated, and known to sell analytics data to advertisers.
He also wrote a blog titled ‘The Analytics tool that I Want’ based on what he was looking for, and didn’t find. After looking at some subpar alternatives, in November 2018, Uku started building Plausible as a side project to fill that gap.
(He was trying to involve a co-founder from Day 1 but couldn’t manage to get anyone onboard.)
In January 2019, Plausible had its public beta launch. He started paid subscriptions, saw a huge traffic spike, and decided to go fully open source.
In February 2020, Uku read a blog ‘How to de-google a website’ written by Marko Saric, and reached out to him through a cold-email.
Marko was born in a country that no longer exists, and then moved to Denmark in his teens.
He completed his BA degree in Marketing Management at Staffordshire University, UK.
Fun Fact: Marko created his first site as a teenager — about his favorite band, Metallica.
He had about 10 years of experience in content marketing, social media, and heading growth — working at a large, publicly traded gaming company, and a venture-funded, B2B social media analytics SaaS startup.
The best of both worlds, isn’t it?
Uku then focused on the design and development of the product, while Marko looked after marketing, community management and customer support.
The INSANE Growth phase 🚀
In April 2020, Plausible’s 1st blog post titled ‘Why you should stop using Google Analytics on your website’ went viral! (25k website visits in 1 day) 🤯
📈 Their traction kept growing from April to July (top mention on HackerNews.)
In August 2022, it was time for the Product Hunt launch! 🚀
From September to December ’20, they paid out the first salaries and changed their open source license from MIT to AGPL.
In 2021, Plausible Analytics was finally sustainable with their MRR growing from $64 in May 2019 to $11k in Jan 2021!
In the next months, the team started scaling support, giving back 5% of gross revenue, and posted a whole lot of content.
They hired the 3rd team member and reached $500k ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) by October 2021.
In 2022, the team has scaled to 8 members, hit over $83k MRR in June, and now $100k MRR and over $1M ARR! 🔥
Your next steps
3 steps to prepare for the future:
1) Integrate Plausible into your site
2) Import your historical GA stats
3) Ditch Google Analytics
There’s nothing proprietary or closed source about Plausible.
Everything is in the open. 💙
The tool has over 7800 subscribers and 12k Github stars! ⭐
The incredible team has been sharing its journey and milestones through their super well-written blogs here!
That’s Plausible — The best lightweight, non-intrusive, open source alternative to Google Analytics! ❤️
Find Plausible Analytics 👇🏻
Fab Fact: Plausible Analytics is the official web analytics tool for the Steve Jobs Archives website! ✨
That’s it for today. Stay tuned for more! 💙
Like every other early-stage startup, we love feedback! Share yours in the comments section below.
Psst… Twitter is our favourite :)