Every blogger or website owner should check their stats regularly to measure the progress (or lack thereof) of their site – things like:
- revenue from ads and affiliates
The key, as with so many other things in life, is not to overdo it. Every minute you spend checking your stats is a minute you could have spent crafting that latest post or networking with other sites via commenting, social bookmarking, or whatever other means you choose to build your traffic.
I know I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to this, which is why I was thrilled the other day to come across a plugin that automates the process for you and brings your stats right into the WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Reports plugin
WordPress Reports currently integrates with FeedBurner and Google Analytics, two of the most commonly used packages for tracking web stats, although the author says he may consider adding support for others in the future. Note that you configure each service independently in the plugin, so can choose to use only one if you wish. It’s probably obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: you need to sign up to each service that you want to use. Here’s a screenshot of the kind of reports the plugin produces (and no, those aren’t my stats ):
Unfortunately there is no option to change the 7-day range of the reports, but I guess if you want to do more in-depth analysis you can login to Analytics or FeedBurner directly. It does however have options for the kind of reports you’d like displayed from Analytics. You can choose any or all of:
- Daily Visits
- Daily Pageviews
- Average pageviews per visit
- Inbound sources
- Rising sources
- Outbound links
- Popular content
- Rising content
- Falling content
- Entry pages
- New and returning visitors
Each of these will produce its own graph, so it can be a little slow to load with them all enabled.
With FeedBurner, you have the option of displaying more than one feed if you wish, so for example you could view subscriptions to your comments next to your main content subscriptions if you wish.
The plugin also has a couple of extra features which I’m not currently using – it can manage your Analytics tracking code for you so you don’t need to modify your template or use a different plugin, and also has a widget for displaying your most popular content.
One of the things I love about WordPress is the availability of loads of really great plugins which extend the core functionality in all kinds of directions. Dale over at A Few Good Pens has recently published a list of some excellent ones, one or two of which I’d never come across.
The worst bit about having all these plugins is having to choose which ones to use; if you use too many it can have a negative impact on your page-load times. And I’ve also heard of cases where different ones interfere with each other, although thankfully I’ve never had that happen to me so far.