Tracking your Blog Visitors
1. Third Party Tracking:
Tracking tools range from free to professional, simple to flexible tracking. Google Analytics has been there for years, and is still preferred by many. Though Analytics has few complications, it is still preferred for its ease of use, flexibility and professionalism.
1.1 Google Analytics
To start analyzing with Google Analytics, you’ll first have to create an Analytics account (you can simple login with your Google account, if you have one). If you already have an Analytics account, you’ll have to create a site profile then. You’ll be asked for a profile name, URL and few other requirements. You’ll then be presented with the tracking code.
Now, if you are familiar with HTML, you can simply add the code to footer.php of your template. If not, you have ‘Google Analytics for WordPress’, a plugin by Joost de Valk. Download the plugin, upload it to your host and activate. Once done, select Google Analytics from Settings and key-in the UA code for the corresponding site. This screenshot should help you. You can enable advanced settings if you are ready to tweak it more.
As said earlier, StatCounter has the simplest interface, yet allowing you to deeply analyze a visitor. To get started, you should create an account on StatCounter. Click ‘Add New Project’ and fill in your blog’s details. You’ll then be taken to a page to configure and install the code. Select your preference and proceed to the code installation page. Select your platform as WordPress.org (You pay for the hosting). On the next page, you’ll get your tracking code along with a link to download the official plugin. Download the plugin, upload it to your host and activate. Go back to the code installation page and copy/paste the required values – Project ID, Partition ID and Security string. Enable StatCounter logging from the plugin and you are done. :)
Visit your project page to track your visitors.
2. WordPress Plugins for Tracking:
If you are reading this, you probably are finding third-party tools harder to be embedded (or you are curious to know). Alright, few plugins out there help tracking your blog’s visitors, giving you a similar third-party tool’s interface.
Wassup, to me, is the best ever tracking plugin. Wassup lists your visitors’ time of visit, their IP address, Hostname, Browser, Operating System, Screen resolution, User Agent, Search string and referrer. The plugin can also spy (not literally) your visitors showing your visitors in real-time.
Download the plugin and activate! That’s it. You don’t have to configure anything, Wassup will start tracking your blog visitors. Select ‘Wassup’ from the left pane.
2.2 WordPress.com Stats
WordPress.com Stats can be considered if you still need another tracking tool. Though WordPress.com Stats isn’t as flexible as the other tools, it can still show you the top post, search strings, referrers and outbound clicks.
To get started with WordPress.com Stats, download the plugin and activate it. You’ll then have to key in your WordPress.com API key (the one that you used for Akismet). Once done, give WordPress.com Stats some time to get used to your environment. ;) Once it starts collecting, you can find it at Dashboard >> Site Stats.
Related: Track your RSS Readers
There are still many tracking tools out there and I could have missed them. Let me know through the comments if you find a tool that could overdo the ones above.
Im using Analytics, Sitemeter and Wassup, each one of them helpful in their own ways.
Nice set of tools :)
I’m using StatPress Reloaded WP Plugin. Quite interesting because I could also know what are the keywords that visitor use to come to my blog. like Awstat in the cPanel.
Thank you for your input. :)
I’ve been using Statcounter for years. I used Google Analytics once but it slowed down my site. I’m comfortable with Statcounter.
Had a similar experience, but with StatCounter. May be, it should have been rectified by now.
I like google analytics, never had issues with it and gives a great deal of information for making sense of those small tweaks we make to our blogs.
Hi Joseph. Google Analytics is number 1 for me, though it is not very accurate. So far I am only using it because I am afraid if my blog will load slower if I add another script from other stat-service providers.
True. Do try Wassup, it’s lightweight and blends into your blog taking no time, yet giving you perfect analytics.
Statcounter kicks ass.. much better than Google analytics but it has the 2.5 lakh limitation :( using it from around 2 years now.. :)
And yea, I recommend to use wassup only when you are on a good hosting server as it eats a lot of cpu memory of the server.. just thought to share my experience :)
Yep, Wassup is good as long as the site is new with less number of visits. An alternative could be used, or a switch to a better server could be done.
I use both wordpress.com stats and google analytics! And i like to make some additions… what about Woopra and clicky! they also give us real time stats! :D
Thanks for sharing. After Analystics statcounter is nice
Thanks for these tips. I have a question. If you add more than one stats counter, will it take longer for the page to open?
Ileane, yes, there’s a possibility of your site taking longer to load if many tracking scripts are employed. Google Analytics is far better in this case, that it hardly takes time to resolve and load the script.
I am using only Google Analytics and I don’t find any need to look for anything else, even though I have heard a lot of praise for other tracking codes too..
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Hi, I use google analystics for my blogger blog and love it. I just started a wordpress.Com blog and cant figure out how to put the code into this blog. Is it possible? I dont like the wordpress.com stats. It doesnt give me the info I want. Thank you.