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Google Analytics open source alternatives

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    Szymon Lewandowski

Google Analytics is a top tool for analyzing web traffic. However, there are open-source alternatives that offer similar functionality, are often free, and respect users’ privacy. The most popular ones are Matomo, Plausible, and PostHog.

In recent days, news has emerged about an Austrian court ruling regarding the legality of using Google Analytics. The Austrian data protection authority found that GA violates GDPR. The statement from Google did not help. More and more media predict a real flip, so it’s worth checking if we have any alternatives to this machine.

There are many projects available on the market that offer similar functionality. Of course, they cannot be directly compared to GA, which operates based on astronomical amounts of processed data based on user actions worldwide. Other solutions may be sufficient for smaller applications and websites. They also care about users’ privacy and are open source and often free for On-Premise options.


Matomo - open source alternative for Google Analytics

The authors call Matomo a leading alternative to Google Analytics, and its motto is “We are liberalizing web analytics.” 15.8k stars on GitHub, over 1.4 million supported pages, GPL license, transparent documentation, and quite substantial capabilities - it looks great. The whole thing is based on PHP and MySQL and, like GA, injecting JS code into the page is enough to start tracking. We can also easily import data from GA into Matomo.

We can host everything on our server or use the cloud package offered. The price of the cloud depends on the size of monthly traffic. Matomo in the cloud version also offers its support. There is a trial version for those interested.


Plausible - open source alternative for Google Analytics

Plausible is a slightly lighter and more transparent proposal. The project has been created since 2019 in Elixir and has already gathered almost 10k stars on GitHub. As the authors explain, “web analytics from simple, cool and useful practice has turned into a machine collecting data for the glory of capitalism.” A bit of a revolutionary approach but entirely understandable.

Plausible focuses on lightness (45x smaller script than in GA), privacy (all data is collected entirely anonymously without cookies), and of course open-source-ness. It differs from Matomo primarily in simplicity and limiting functions to the necessary minimum.

There is also a paid cloud version available, which is quite affordable because at a level of 10 million pv per month we will get Plausible Cloud for $169. Of course, there is a trial version. The authors also boast that they host in the EU and that over 5000 users already use the paid version.


PostHog - open source alternative for Google Analytics

The last alternative in this comparison is PostHog. The project was written using TypeScript (React) and Python (Django), combined with PostgresSQL. According to the authors, current analytical solutions will not work in a world where privacy and withdrawal are increasingly important.

PostHog focuses on being more developer-friendly than other commercial solutions. You can also decide to host everything yourself, but you can also choose a cloud solution as usual.

Read also: What is hyper-personalization?