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best wordpress stats pluginsWith any web project, stats are essential; a blog is no different. You need accurate figures on traffic growth, and you need to know which articles are popular and why. Even the earliest web pages had hit counters.

Oddly, WordPress doesn’t come with built-in stats, but there are certainly a few plugins you can use to add this. Today I’d like to compare 4 of the best WordPress plugins for this, and see if we can come to a conclusion.

Wassup Realtime Stats

Wassup is a quite unique in the sense that it spies on users in real time, taking your stats to a very granular level. The main dashboard is a fascinating display that auto-refreshes every few minutes with some really detailed information on each individual visitor, including:

  • How they reached the page, which keywords and which results page they clicked through from if it was a search engine.
  • Their path through the site as they view different pages.
  • Their resolution, and browser details.
  • Physical location using geo IP locators.
  • Type of visitor – it might be a Googlebot, or an RSS reader for instance.

The main graph is a basic visits vs pageviews for a pre-determined time periods, which I personally prefer to having to select specific dates.

best wordpress stats plugins

A quick Top Stats overlay also gives you useful info at a glance.

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There’s a separate screen where you can spy in real time on visitor activity, and though I don’t find this entirely useful, it is nonetheless quite fascinating.

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WordPress.com JetPack Site Stats

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We’ve written a little about the JetPack plugin Wordpress: 3 More Hidden Gems In The Jetpack Plugin Suite, & The Wordpress App Is Updated! Wordpress: 3 More Hidden Gems In The Jetpack Plugin Suite, & The Wordpress App Is Updated! Read More before How To Set Up Jetpack To Supercharge Your Self Hosted Wordpress Blog How To Set Up Jetpack To Supercharge Your Self Hosted Wordpress Blog Nobody would argue that WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging platforms today. But surprisingly, not many people aware that there are actually two kinds of WordPresses out there: the dot-com and the... Read More but not specifically the stats plugin compared. JetPack Stats requires a WordPress.com account. Here what you get:

  • Graphing of pageviews by day, month and week.
  • Referrers and search engine terms
  • Top posts and pages
  • Outbound click tracking
  • Subscriber stats for the email subscription widget included in the JetPack plugin

Functionality is basic, and the main dashboard widgets only focus on today or yesterday, which is a little frustrating. If you want to find out the top posts of all time for instance, you need to click through to another summary page.

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On the plus side, the simplistic graph on the dashboard does have one unique feature, in that hovering over a particular day will inform you of any posts published that day. It makes identifying particular surges in traffic very easy. Otherwise, I’m a little underwhelmed by the functionality provided, as well as the interface and UI in general.

stats plugins wordpress

You should also bear in mind that the JetPack plugin is more than just stats, so you could take that either negatively because you’re getting more bloat; or positively in that you’re actually getting a lot of functionality for just one single plugin.

 

Analyticator

If you’d rather use Google Analytics, Analyticator is by far the easiest way to get your site hooked up and connected. All you need to do is authorize using your Google login (securely), then choose your site profile. Google Analytics is a topic far too in-depth to be getting into here, but the obvious advantage to sending your stats via Google is that it’ll take the load off local database as well as be securely backed up.

Analyticator also gives you a basic widget on the WordPress dashboard – admittedly nothing compared to the other plugins here, but perhaps all you would want at-a-glance.

stats plugins wordpress

WP-Stats Dashboard

If you think the standard JetPack stats reporting leaves a little to be desired, you might want to look at this WordPress stats enhancement plugin. It requires JetPack to also be installed and a WordPress.com account linked, but it provides a more in-depth look and additional functionality.

best wordpress stats plugins

You get an incredible number of social engagement metrics and basic SEO stats, and these can be individually enabled or disabled on the settings page; some can be graphed over time, like your Alexa rank.

The plugin links with your social networks to give you engagement stats from there, but though Twitter worked fine I couldn’t get our Facebook fan page linked correctly.

Summary

Of these all I’ve outlined, not a single plugin stands out as being the ultimate stats plugin per se, though Wassup does seem to be the most attractive and comprehensive in terms of visitor details. WP-Stats Dashboard gives a nice range of other non-traffic related stats if you’re looking for a bit of SEO in there; and that requires JetPack anyway. That said, I would suggest you setup Analyticator immediately, as you may find yourself outgrowing local stats once your site gains traction, and it would be a shame to not have all that historical data there already.

How do you track stats on your blog? Do you have a favorite stats plugin you think we should have mentioned?

  1. Jonna
    August 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The 2 statistics websites that I use are; Analytics stats counter statistics and google analytics counter tracker.
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/stats-counter/

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/analytics-counter/
    They are great and easy to use.

  2. Norm Hamilton
    March 29, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    You might want to check out SlimStat. I've found it to be one that allows me to track my visitors use my site, entry/exit pages, countries, OS, and all kinds of things.

  3. Ashish Ajani
    March 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

    The list is little bit older but still very useful, thank you for sharing.

    I would like to suggest another free wordpress plugin “WP Show Stats” https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-show-stats/. It is not related to visitors or traffic analysis but having rich features of how the WordPress elements used and how your content organized. It provides various statics about usage of blog posts, categories, tags, users, comments, custom post types, etc..

  4. Mike Tindell
    October 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    James I currently have been using wp stats on my personal blog and I have been using statcounter on my client sites. Today I logged into my personal blog and tried to view my stats and it failed. So I went looking for a replacement and found your site. Glad to see an honest review on exactly what I needed. I am moving my stats to wassup today!. Thanks

  5. munawar
    October 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    no comments prior exp

  6. Christopher Webb-Orenstein
    September 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    You guys forgot about clicky!

    • James Bruce
      September 17, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Doesn't appear to be free...

  7. Steve
    September 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Curious about this statement from the WordPress site:

    Can I use Google Analytics?
    No, Google Analytics cannot be used on WordPress.com blogs at this time.

    • muotechguy
      September 3, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Sorry Steve, these all relate to the self hosted version of WordPress, not the free blog from WordPress.com - you are severely limited there and cannot install your own plugins, at all, nor edit template files.

  8. Snuggy
    August 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Seriously, I'd love a more specific explanation about which one is for whom or maybe even a test for a certain type of user so that you can, in the end, actually prefer one of them... Now it is a bit like I downloaded 4 plugins by random and I can't even decide which one is better.

    So redo it and it will be wonderful !

  9. Jammie King Morey
    July 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I am going to check out WP-Stats Dashboard I have only tried the Google one.

  10. make money without investment
    July 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

    i am gonna use one these plugins and see which one that suits better...thanks bro..

  11. Camu
    June 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Hi there, I'd like to suggest a new tournament which includes my plugin, WP SlimStat, which had been recently updated to version 2.8.2. Would that be possible? ;) I would love to see how it scores when compared to those four giants.

    • muotechguy
      June 26, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Interesting; I'll give it a go and consider it for the best of wordpress plugins page, but I'm afraid there won't be another round up article for a while yet.

      • camu
        June 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

        Thank you. And please, if you have any feedback or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me or to post to the support forum. I'll be more than happy to help!

  12. PressTrends
    June 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Jetpack Site Stats is good, a little better than Google Analytics as it offers more blog specific metrics from the start. One thing we noticed is it didn't offer comparative metrics, so it's still hard to peg where you stand within each metric. Another great plugin for blog centric stats is PressTrends, found at http://www.presstrends.io/plugin/, which offers some of those comparative metrics and benchmarks.

    • James Bruce
      June 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

      I'm not sure what makes your plugin compelling enough to pay for though.

  13. Joel Lee
    June 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I'm a blogaholic with too many blogs that I never should've set up in the first place. However, I've used a number of stats-tracking tools over the years (including Wassup and Google Analytics) and I must say that I love Google Analytics the best. A shocker, eh?

    I think the security of all the data--because it's backed up on Google's servers forever and ever--is what draws me most. Knowing that it'll always be there even if my server dies... that's just great.

    Plus, it's Google. They'll always be developing Analytics because it's so widely used. Knowing Google's engineers, it can only get better from here, I think.

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