Plausible Analytics is an open source web analytics plugin for WordPress that is a simple to use, lightweight (< 1 KB) and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative.
- How is Plausible Analytics different from Google Analytics?
- What are the other features of Plausible Analytics for WordPress?
- How to get started with Plausible Analytics
- How to install Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin
- How to view your stats directly in your WordPress dashboard
- How to track external link clicks
- How to track 404 error pages
- Serve the script as a first-party connection from your domain name
- How to exclude admins from being tracked
- I’ve installed Plausible but stats don’t track
- Contribute to the development of our WordPress plugin
How is Plausible Analytics different from Google Analytics?
Plausible Analytics is built to be a more modern alternative to Google Analytics and other traditional analytics solutions. Here’s what makes us different:
Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is built for speed and performance. Our script is under 1 KB in size, which is 45 times more lightweight than the Google Analytics script. Plausible will not slow down your site
Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is simple to use and get valuable insights from. All the key metrics are displayed on one page, including top content, top referral sources, external link clicks and goal conversions
Plausible like WordPress but unlike Google Analytics is fully open source software. You can review our code and contribute to the development. You can even self-host Plausible on your server and manage your infrastructure
Plausible, unlike Google Analytics, is not a free as in beer product. We don’t sell your site data and we don’t use it for any other purpose. We choose the subscription business model rather than surveillance capitalism
There’s a 30 day free trial with no credit card required. If you find Plausible useful, you can subscribe. The plans start at $6/month or $4/month when billed annually and are based on the number of page views your sites have
What are the other features of Plausible Analytics for WordPress?
- Our WordPress plugin excludes your visits to your website from being counted in your analytics by default
- We make it easy to track 404 error pages that people visit so you can fix them and redirect them to more appropriate pages
- We make it easy to track clicks on external links so you can see which of your affiliate links are more popular than others
- We make it easy for you to serve our script as a first-party connection from a subdomain such as stats.yoursite.com or plausible.yoursite.com. This makes your stats more accurate as it avoids the adblockers
- You can check your stats directly in your WordPress dashboard
How to get started with Plausible Analytics
To use Plausible Analytics, you need to register an account. To explore the product, we offer you a free 30-day trial. There are no restrictions on your usage during the free trial and no credit card is required to sign up.
Click here to register. It is a simple process and we only ask for your name and email address.
After you verify your email address, you need to enter the domain name of the website you want to track.
Please, remove https and www from the URL, just keep the hostname (yourdomain.com). For example, if your site is https://www.yourdomain.com then the part to enter in the “Domain” field is yourdomain.com.
If you would like to track a subdomain such as blog.yourdomain.com then please include the subdomain. Plausible Analytics essentially sees different subdomains as different sites.
For example, if your subdomain is https://blog.yourdomain.com then the part to enter in the “Domain” field is blog.yourdomain.com.
That’s it! You have now registered for an account and you have added your website. Now you need to go to your WordPress dashboard and activate the Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin.
How to install Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin
Here’s how you can install the Plausible Analytics plugin on your WordPress site:
- Go into the “Plugins” section in the left-hand side navigation within your WordPress dashboard
- Click on “Add New”
- In the search box in the top right, type “Plausible Analytics” and press enter
- Click on the “Install Now” button on the listing of our official “Plausible Analytics” plugin
- After the installation is finished, click on the “Activate” button
- “Plausible Analytics” entry will now show up in the “Settings” section in the left-hand side navigation of your WordPress dashboard. Click on it to explore the various options available
- Select the options that you want and click on the “Save Changes” button
- If you have a cache plugin activated, do purge the cache just in case
That’s it! You are now counting your site stats with a privacy-first web analytics tool. You can now go to our website and access your Plausible Analytics account to view the dashboard.
There are some optional Plausible features that we recommend you enable too. Here’s a look at those.
How to view your stats directly in your WordPress dashboard
You can view your Plausible stats directly in your WordPress dashboard without needing to visit our own website. Here’s how to enable that:
- You need to create a secure and private shared link in your Plausible account first. The shared link is secure and impossible to guess
In the “Visibility” area of your website settings in your Plausible account there’s a “Shared links” section where you can create your shared link. Click on the “+ new link” button to do so
Keep the password field blank as it’s not possible to view password-protected shared links within your WordPress dashboard
Click the “Create shared link” button and your new shared link will be displayed
Enable the “View your stats in your WordPress dashboard” setting in our WordPress plugin and paste your shared link
Click on the “Save Changes” button to save it and to enable you to view your stats in your WordPress dashboard
You can now go to the “Dashboard” section in the left hand side of your WordPress admin navigation menu. Then click on “Analytics” to view your site statistics within your WordPress dashboard
How to track external link clicks
Outbound links play a significant role on the open web, but how do you track clicks on outbound links using your WordPress analytics? Plausible Analytics plugin can help you automate external link click tracking on your WordPress site.
Outbound link clicks won’t show up automatically in your Plausible dashboard. You’ll have to configure the goal for them to show up. Here’s how:
- To configure a goal, go to your website’s settings in your Plausible Analytics account and visit the “Goals” section
- You should see a prompt to add a goal. Click on the “+ Add goal” button to go to the goal creation form
- Select Custom event as the goal trigger and enter this exact name: Outbound Link: Click
- Next, click on the “Add goal” button and you’ll be taken back to the Goals page
After you’ve completed this process, all the external link clicks will start being tracked and will be displayed in the “Goal Conversions” report of your Plausible Analytics dashboard.
You’ll see “Outbound Link: Click” goal as soon as the first external link click has been tracked.
Learn more in “How to track outbound link clicks using your website analytics”
How to track 404 error pages
Having 404 error pages on your WordPress site can lead to a bad user experience, a negative first impression, and even damage your search engine rankings and traffic you get from Google.
Plausible Analytics plugin can help you identify those broken links and 404 page not found errors.
404 error pages won’t show up automatically in your Plausible dashboard. You’ll have to configure the goal for them to show up. Here’s how:
- To configure a goal, go to your website’s settings in your Plausible Analytics account and visit the “Goals” section. You should see a prompt to add a goal
- Click on the “+ Add goal” button to go to the goal creation form
- Select Custom event as the goal trigger and enter this exact name: 404
- Next, click on the “Add goal” button and you’ll be taken back to the Goals page
After you’ve completed this process, all the 404 error pages will start being tracked and will be displayed in the “Goal Conversions” report of your Plausible Analytics dashboard.
You’ll see “404” goal as soon as the first visit on an error page has been tracked. Click on “404” to see the full list of all visits on all error pages and have your dashboard filtered by error pages only.
Click on a particular error page URL to filter the dashboard by those clicks only and get the full overview of that specific URL. Then you can figure out how your visitors discover the broken links and fix them.
Learn more in: “How to track, identify and fix 404 error pages on your website”
Serve the script as a first-party connection from your domain name
Plausible Analytics gives you a quick and easy way to serve our script as a first party connection from your domain name be it from a subdomain, subfolder or from a random file.
What’s the benefit of doing this? Your site looks cleaner with no third-party connections. You also get more accurate stats because when running Plausible as a first-party connection adblockers do not block the script.
The custom domain setting you see in the current version of our plugin is no longer recommended as adblockers have started crawling the web looking for them.
We aim to release the proxy by default in the next version of our plugin. Stay tuned!
How to exclude admins from being tracked
By default, our WordPress plugin excludes your own visits from being counted in the stats.
However, if you’d like to count your visits, you can enable this. Switch on the “Track analytics for administrator” feature.
I’ve installed Plausible but stats don’t track
You may discover a conflict between the Plausible script and other plugins you are using on your site.
Plausible script is optimized for performance by default and there’s no reason to use any other tricks and techniques on it.
If you’ve inserted our script into your site but it’s still not tracking correctly, you may be experiencing a plugin conflict. You can try to view the source of your page to see how the Plausible snippet looks like. If the snippet looks different from the one you inserted onto your site, it is likely that a performance optimization plugin has impacted it.
Troubleshoot conflicts with WP Rocket
You can try to troubleshoot your installation by experimenting with these tips:
Use our official WordPress plugin to install Plausible on your site instead of manually adding our snippet into the header section of your site. We’ve made our plugin in a way so that it fixes most potential conflicts with WP Rocket and similar plugins
Deactivate WP Rocket or another performance optimization plugin that is causing the conflict. Clear the cache. Plausible should then work all fine
Whitelist our script in the WP Rocket settings. WP Rocket is aware that their performance optimization may negatively affect some scripts so they allow you to whitelist and exclude certain scripts from being optimized. You could try and whitelist our domain name (
plausible.io), the exact URLs of our scripts (
https://plausible.io/js/plausible.outbound-links.js) and also the new URLs that WP Rocket places our script on (
Use a slightly different Plausible snippet instead of the default one. This one should prevent any conflicts:
<script defer data-domain="yourdomain.com" data-api='https://plausible.io/api/event' src="https://plausible.io/js/script.js"></script>
- Make sure to clear the WordPress cache in order for the changes to take effect
Troubleshoot conflicts with SiteGround Optimizer
SiteGround Optimizer is another popular performance optimization plugin. If you have issues with your Plausible installation when using the SiteGround Optimizer, you can try one of the following steps:
Use our official WordPress plugin instead of manually installing our snippet into your site
You can install the Code Snippets Plugin. Then add the following code:
Contribute to the development of our WordPress plugin
Thanks to Mehul Gohil for building the Plausible Analytics WordPress plugin and for keeping it up to date.
Enjoying Plausible Analytics and our WordPress plugin? Please consider leaving a comment in the official WordPress plugin directory.