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Getting started


The easiest way to get started with Plausible is with our official managed service in the Cloud. It takes 2 minutes to start counting your stats with a worldwide CDN, high availability, backups, security and maintenance all done for you by us. Our managed hosting can save a substantial amount of developer time and resources. For most sites this ends up being the best value option and the revenue goes to funding the maintenance and further development of Plausible. So you’ll be supporting open source software and getting a great service! The section below is for self-hosting our analytics on your server and managing your infrastructure.

Plausible Analytics is designed to be self-hosted through Docker. You don't have to be a Docker expert to launch your own instance of Plausible Analytics. You should have a basic understanding of the command-line and networking to successfully set up your own instance of Plausible Analytics.

NB: If you hit a snag with the setup, you can reach out to us on the forum. If you think something could be better explained in the docs, please open a PR on GitHub so the next person has a nicer experience. Happy hosting!

Version management

Plausible follows semantic versioning: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH

You can find available Plausible versions on DockerHub. The default latest tag refers to the latest stable release tag. You can also pin your version:

  • plausible/analytics:v2 pins the major version to 2 but allows minor and patch version upgrades
  • plausible/analytics:v2.0 pins the minor version to 2.0 but allows only patch upgrades

None of the functionality is backported to older versions. If you wish to get the latest bug fixes and security updates you need to upgrade to a newer version.

New versions are published on the releases page and their changes are documented in our Changelog. Please note that database schema changes require running migrations when you're upgrading. However, we consider the schema as an internal API and therefore schema changes aren't considered a breaking change.


The only thing you need to install Plausible Analytics is a server with Docker installed. The server must have a CPU with x86_64 architecture and support for SSE 4.2 instructions. We recommend using a minimum of 4GB of RAM but the requirements will depend on your site traffic.

We've tested this on Digital Ocean (affiliate link) but any hosting provider works. If your server doesn't come with Docker pre-installed, you can follow their docs to install it.

To make your Plausible instance accessible on a (sub)domain, you also need to be able to edit your DNS. Plausible isn't currently designed for subfolder installations.

Up and running

1. Clone the hosting repo

To get started quickly, download the plausible/hosting repo as a starting point. It has everything you need to boot up your own Plausible server.

$ git clone
$ cd hosting

Alternatively, you can download and extract the repo as a tarball

$ curl -L | tar -xz
$ cd hosting-master

In the downloaded directory you'll find two important files:

  • docker-compose.yml - installs and orchestrates networking between your Plausible server, Postgres database, Clickhouse database (for stats), and an SMTP server. It comes with sensible defaults that are ready to go, although you're free to tweak the settings if you wish.
  • plausible-conf.env - configures the Plausible server itself. Full configuration options are documented here.

2. Add required configuration

The configuration file, plausible-conf.env, has placeholders for the required parameters. To set the parameters you'll first need a random 64-character secret key which will be used to secure the app. Here's a simple way to generate one:

$ openssl rand -base64 64 | tr -d '\n' ; echo

Now edit plausible-conf.env and set SECRET_KEY_BASE to your secret key.

Next, enter the BASE_URL for your app. It should be the base url where this instance is accessible, including the scheme (eg. http:// or https://), the domain name, and optionally a port. If no port is specified the default 8000 will be used. Plausible isn't currently designed for subfolder installations, so please don't add a path component to the base URL.

3. Start the server

Once you've entered your secret key base and base URL, you're ready to start up the server:

$ docker-compose up -d

When you run this command for the first time, it does the following:

  • Creates a Postgres database for user data.
  • Creates a Clickhouse database for stats.
  • Runs migrations on both databases to prepare the schema.
  • Starts the server on port 8000.

You can now navigate to http://{hostname}:8000 and see the registration screen for the admin user.

4. (Optional) Email verification

If you've enabled email verification with ENABLE_EMAIL_VERIFICATION=true, you'd be prompted to enter a verification code which has been sent to your email. Please configure your server for SMTP to receive this email. Here are Plausible's SMTP configuration options.

Otherwise, run this command to verify all users in the database:

$ docker-compose exec plausible_db psql -U postgres -d plausible_db -c "UPDATE users SET email_verified = true;"

Something not working? Please reach out on our forum for troubleshooting.

The Plausible server itself does not perform SSL termination. It only runs on unencrypted HTTP. If you want to run on HTTPS you also need to set up a reverse proxy in front of the server. We have instructions and examples of how to do that below.

Updating Plausible

Plausible is updated regularly, but it's up to you to apply these updates on your server. You may refer to the discussions on the releases page for specific instructions. The typical steps for handling minor version updates are as follows:

$ docker-compose down --remove-orphans
$ docker-compose pull plausible
$ docker-compose up -d

The self-hosted version is somewhat of a LTS, only getting the changes after they have been battle tested on the hosted version. If you want features as soon as they are available, consider becoming a hosted customer.

Optional extras

At this stage, you should have a basic installation of Plausible going. With some extra configuration, you can add functionality to your instance:

1. MaxMind geolocation database

Plausible uses the country database created by dbip for enriching analytics data with visitor countries. The database is shipped with Plausible and country data collection happens automatically.

Optionally, you can use MaxMind services. Their end-user license does not make it very easy to just package the database along with an open-source product.

This is why, to use MaxMind, you need to create an account here. Once you have your account details, you can add MAXMIND_LICENSE_KEY and MAXMIND_EDITION environmental valiables as described in IP Geolocation configuration options, and the databases would be automatically downloaded and kept up to date.

2. Reverse proxy

By default, Plausible runs on unencrypted HTTP on port 8000. We recommend running it on HTTPS behind a reverse proxy of some sort.


After setting up a reverse proxy be sure to change this line - 8000:8000 to - in docker-compose.yml file and restart the container for it to apply changes. This prevents Plausible from being accessed remotely using HTTP on port 8000 which is a security concern.

You may or may not already be running a reverse proxy on your host, let's look at both options:

No existing reverse proxy

If your DNS is managed by a service that offers a proxy option with automatic SSL management, feel free to use that. We've successfully used Cloudflare as a reverse proxy in front of Plausible Self Hosted, and it works well.

Alternatively, you can run your own Caddy server as a reverse proxy. This way your SSL certificate will be stored on the host machine and managed by Let's Encrypt. The Caddy server will expose port 443, terminate SSL traffic and proxy the requests to your Plausible server. Full instructions.

Existing reverse proxy

If you're already running a reverse proxy, the most important things to note are:

  1. Configure the virtual host to match the BASE_URL in your plausible configuration.
  2. Proxy the traffic to or {ip-address}:8000 if running on a remote machine.
  3. Ensure the X-Forwarded-For is set correctly.

The most important thing to note with an existing reverse proxy is that the X-Forwarded-For header is set correctly. If the remote client IP isn't forwarded to the Plausible server, it can't detect visitor countries and unique user tracking will be inaccurate.

In our hosting repo, you'll find useful example configurations in case you're already running Nginx, Apache, or Traefik 2.

3. External Databases

There are some caveats to consider when running your own databases:


The user needs the role superuser for setting up certain modules on the database If the database already exists prior to running docker-compose up, please remove && / db createdb in the command of the plausible service section inside docker-compose.yml. However, this will also prevent the Clickhouse database from being created, see below.


If you receive an error upon startup that for some reason the database does not exist, you can create it 'manually' through this docker run: make sure that --link, --net, --host, and the name of the db receive the right parameter values according to the running setup

docker compose exec plausible_events_db clickhouse-client --host plausible_events_db --query "CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS plausible_events_db"

Our only source of funding is our premium, managed service for running Plausible in the cloud. If you're looking for an alternative way to support the project, we've put together some sponsorship packages. Maintaining open source software is a thankless, time-consuming job. We released our code on GitHub and made it easy to self-host on principle, not because it's good business. If you're self-hosting Plausible, sponsoring us is a great way to give back to the community and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project. Thank you for supporting independent creators of Free Open Source Software!