PostHog vs Amplitude

  • Andy Vandervell
  • Joe Martin

PostHog and Amplitude are both product analytics tools. That means they tell you where users are coming from and how they interact with your product, so that you can find ways to make it better.

But we think PostHog is a more powerful tool for building better products. Not only does PostHog offer more features and tools for engineers to understand their users, it's an open-source analytics platform you can self-host and customize to your needs.

Contents:

How is PostHog different from Amplitude?

Let's start with the core differences. Over 9,000 companies already use PostHog, and many have switched from Amplitude. Here are a few reasons why.

1. You control your data

You can self-host PostHog and keep total control of your data. That means no third-party cookies, no data sharing, and straightforward GDPR and HIPAA compliance. We also offer PostHog Cloud for those who prefer a fully-managed SaaS experience, while partners like Altinity can manage a self-hosted instance on your behalf.

2. It's built for engineers

Unlike Amplitude, PostHog is built for software developers. PostHog autocaptures data, so you don't have to spend time instrumenting events every time you update your app or website – we also offer robust tools for capturing custom events and actions when you need to. Our pricing is transparent, and we're entirely self-serve. You can setup PostHog and start paying us without ever speaking to a sales rep, but we have an awesome customer success team if you have questions.

3. It's open source

Our MIT License isn’t just for show. You can access our source code, raise your own issues and PRs, and use it to build your own apps or even add extra functionality. You also benefit from the work of other teams who build their own apps. And we're not just an open-source tool; we're an open-source company. Our company handbook is open to everyone, as is how we pay people.


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Feature comparison

This table compares the Amplitude Analytics 'Growth' plan to PostHog Cloud, our fully-managed SaaS offering, and PostHog Scale – the paid tier of our self-hosted platform.

We also offer PostHog Enterprise, which includes everything from Scale but adds enhanced training and support, SLA with downtime developer pairing, SSO, SAML, instance monitoring, and more.

Amplitude AnalyticsPostHog CloudPostHog Scale
Platform
Host yourself
Transparent pricing
100% self-serve
1st-party cookies
Custom plugins
Multi-site
Unlimited users
Event autocapture
GDPR compliance
HIPAA compliance
Features
Funnel analysis
Cohort analysis
Conversion tracking
Retention tracking
Revenue tracking
UTM tracking
Event tracking
Feature Flags*
Heatmaps
Session Recording
Experimentation*
Predictive analytics
Hedgehogs
Learn moreLearn more

*Feature Flags and Experimentation are part of a separate Amplitude product that's an additional cost on top of its core analytics suite.

Integrations and data sources

Both Amplitude and PostHog integrate with a large number of data sources. The table below is a snapshot of what each platform offers – check out the PostHog App Store for a full list of what's available.

Amplitude AnalyticsPostHog
Export
Redshift
Google Cloud Storage
Snowflake
Amazon S3
Google BigQuery
Google Pub/Sub
RudderStack
Hubspot
Salesforce
Sentry
API
Import
Redshift
Google Cloud Storage
Snowflake
Amazon S3
Segment
Sentry
Zendesk
API

Strengths of PostHog

Posthog screenshot

Hosting flexibility and privacy

PostHog offers the option to either self-host your analytics or use a managed cloud service, whereas Amplitude is strictly a cloud-only platform. While self-hosting isn't for everyone, it's often the best solution for a number of use cases.

Cloud platforms are incompatible with any business who values user privacy – many PostHog users use us because they handle sensitive client data – or those who need to comply with privacy legislation, such as HIPAA in the US.

HIPAA requires that any third-party handling personal health information enter into a legal agreement, but Amplitude doesn't offer this option. Self-hosting PostHog doesn't require any additional legal agreements as data never leaves your infrastructure. Read our HIPAA guidance for more information.

Integrated session recording

While Amplitude and PostHog share many features, PostHog has Session Recording built in as standard.

Session recording is an incredibly powerful tool for understanding what people are actually doing in your product. The tight integration within PostHog means you can go from viewing a funnel insight to watching real users interact with the funnel, making it easy to diagnose problems and find solutions.

Amplitude doesn't have session recording, so you have to run a third-party tool like Hotjar or FullStory as well – an added expense that lacks the tight integration afforded by a built-in app.

Experimentation and Feature Flags

Feature Flags and Experimentation (A/B testing and multivariate tests) are core PostHog features, available for free for anyone generating fewer than 1 million events per month. Feature Flags are also free as part of PostHog Open Source

Amplitude Analytics doesn't include feature flags or experimentation by default, instead bundling them as part of a separate product, Amplitude Experiment, an additional cost on top of its core analytics product.

Transparent pricing

All versions of PostHog are transparently priced – even the Enterprise version, which adds single sign-on (SAML), team training, instance monitoring, and more. Paid tiers (excluding Enterprise) are free up to 1 million events per month, and pricing calculators show exactly how much you'll pay when you go over 1 million. The more you use, the cheaper it gets per event.

Amplitude doesn't share its pricing publibly, so you have to speak to their sales team to get up and running, and negotiate a price based on your usage. It's a bit like a really expensive restaurant. It looks fancy and expensive from the outside, but you only find out just how expensive it is when you're already sat at your table.

Strengths of Amplitude

Amplitude

Personalization engine and machine learning

In addition to its analytics product, Amplitude offers Amplitude Recommend, a personalization engine powered by machine learning. It allows teams to create custom experiences, such as product recommendations or priority ordering, based on machine learning predictions. This is a potentially powerful tool for large e-commerce businesses who are looking to create an Amazon-style shopping experience.

Amplitude also uses machine learning to power what it calls predictive analytics, which estimates future outcomes (e.g. future conversion rate) based on current and historical data. This could be useful for performance forecasting, especially for marketing teams.

Free up to 10 million events per month

Amplitude's entry-level tier is free to use up to 10 million events per month, which compares very favorably to rivals like Mixpanel (up to 100k monthly users), Pendo (up to 1,000 monthly users) and Heap (up to 10,000 sessions per month). Once you exceed 10 million events, you'll need to speak to Amplitude's sales team to proceed further.

PostHog Cloud and PostHog Scale are free up to 1 million events per month, but unlike Amplitude you get premium features like Experimentation, Correlation Analysis, Group Analytics and user permissions for free when you're under this limit.

PostHog Open Source is free for life, but is limited to one project. It includes all the core analytics features, such as Funnels, Trends, Cohorts, Paths, Feature Flags, and Session Recording, but doesn't have Experimentation or Correlation Analysis.

Coming soon to PostHog

We ship weirdly fast. Here's a quick snapshot of what we're working on right now:

  • Console log tracking in recordings
  • Insight experience overhaul
  • Export and share visualizations as image file
  • Automated insight recommendations
  • Session analysis 2.0
  • Lightning fast querying at billion event and person scale
  • Enhanced plugin development experience
  • Rapid ingestion pipeline

You can also take a look at recent issues and pull requests on the PostHog repo to see what we're working on.

At PostHog, nearly everything we do is done in the open. You can chat with our engineers directly in the community Slack, or ask them questions on any of our docs pages.

You can read all about how we work in our company handbook.


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