It’s intimidating to write a review and listing of WordPress Plugins to show your blog stats when the WordPress Plugin Database lists 81 WordPress Plugins under Statistics. Yikes! And that’s just to start!
As part of this month of WordPress Plugins, there is no way I can list all of them, and many of them are not updated to work with the latest version of WordPress. Many are specialized, doing only one or two things, while others cover anything that moves on your blog. I’ll do my best and point out some of the more popular and interesting WordPress Plugins that help you count and measure how your WordPress blog is doing.
In the early days of websites and blogs, the visitor counter was the most popular gadget you could add to your blog. Every time the number clicked over, it was just too exciting.
People would brag about their visitor counts, even though many knew that this was a statistic easily faked and not really an accurate report of their web traffic.
Blog traffic today is measured much differently. Page views aren’t enough. Hits on a site aren’t enough. Want to know where the highest level of traffic on most of my blogs comes from? Google and Inktomi’s web crawlers. Is that a good indicator of how many humans are reading my blog? No. But at least something looked at most of the pages on my blog. ;-)
We now have traffic that comes from feeds and other sources, which also changes how our audience numbers are counted. AJAX is totally changing the way we view our blog statistics since content can change and vary on a page without the page ever reloading. It’s time for a major rethink in how we measure our blog traffic and statistics.
In addition to WordPress blog statistics, statistical WordPress Plugins offer more than just traffic and page views. They can count the page views for an individual post or comment. They can count up how many comments a post receives and rate it accordingly. Plugins can count how many words are in a post, category, or your entire blog. There are scorecards for categories, Pages, posts, comments, clicks, and so many blog elements, it’s overwhelming.
So I’ll do my best to introduce you to some of the best statistical WordPress Plugins, and I expect you to help me share some of your favorites for tracking your own blog stats.
Major WordPress Blog Statistics
Major blog statistics come in two forms, one viewed only on the WordPress Administration Panels for the blog owners and contributor’s reference, and the other for public display.
Some of these WordPress Plugins will do one or the other, while others will do both. Some statistical Plugins require additional files or access to services on your host server, making installation a little more complicated than a drop-in Plugin. Many are also a bit taxing on the MySQL database, so if your site’s server is fairly lightweight and restricted, limit your usage and selection of these Plugins.
Read through the instructions carefully to determine if your site qualifies for their features and site requirements.
Stat Traq provides details of your statistics in graphic charts and lists. It monitors page hits, pageviews, browser details, session time, incoming and outgoing links, and more. It is one of the more complex and detailed site statistical Plugins, and it does take its toll on your database, so make sure your site can handle it.
Speedup WP-Stattraq is an add-on Plugin which speeds up Stattraq statistics page loading.
Another popular statistics WordPress Plugin is WP-SlimStat, which is a slimmed down version of the other larger blog stat Plugins like Stat Track. It puts a lighter load on the database and offers flexibility and interesting features such as tags for showing stats on your blog, localization, tracks searches, displays post titles for popularity statistics, optional email reports, IP to country, and shows visitors and unique IPs not just hits.
WP-SlimFunctions also adds a lot more features to SlimStat including most popular browsers and operating systems using the blog, popular search terms, referrers, and more.
WP-Stats WordPress Plugin is another popular blog statics offering, giving you a wide variety of stats to monitor.
FireStats reports on common traffic statistics including popular pages and referrers, and adds browser and operating system information, IP to country, excluding unwanted hits from displaying, an AJAX UI for fast refreshing without reloading, works cross-browsers, and internationalization and localization ready. Adds information to the WordPress Admin Panels but also allows adding statistics to the sidebar and footer.
Live WordPress Plugin lets you view your website activity and statistics in real time. You can watch visitors coming and going, leaving comments and grabbing feeds. If you are obsessive about your blog’s traffic levels and activities, this will satisfy your voyeuristic tendencies.
Other visitor and traffic related WordPress Plugins include:
- Another WordPress Tracker Plugin
- WordPress Plugin GeneralStats
- LightStats Graphic and Pie Chart Statistic Generator WordPress Plugin
- WordPress Page Read Counter shows online users reading which posts
- Referer WordPress Plugin displays referrer stats
- QuickStats WordPress Plugin adds RSS tracker for monitoring vistiors via feeds
- WordPress – StatCounter Plugin
- Cavemonkey50 WebSTAT Tracker
- VR-Visitas (plugin para WordPress) (English)
- Views Counter WordPress Plugin (post view counter)
- XReferrer WordPress Plugin
- wp-zwq-statistics-EN WordPress Plugin for online visitor statistics
- WP OnlineCounter
External Statistics Monitoring
While most blog statistics are measured on your site, there are other sites offering services which monitor your blog like Google PageRank, Alexa, Site Meter, Google Analytics, Feedburner, and more. These WordPress Plugins are designed to integrate and interact with these off-site services and bring them to your WordPress blog easier.
Google Analytics and Feedburner Reports plugin for WordPress adds Google Analytics and Feedburner reports to your WordPress Administration Panel including a quick 7 day overview of what’s going on with your blog statistics.
Google Alexa MultiRank Checker For WordPress creates Alexa and Google ranking information on your WordPress Administration Panels.
WP PageRank displays your Google PageRank in a button on your blog.
Semiologic’s Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress adds Google Analytics easily to your WordPress blog.
Want to show off your Alexa Ranking? Coolcode’s AlexaRank WordPress Plugin allows you to add Alexa Ranking information to your WordPress blog’s sidebar, header, or footer.
Ultimate GA is another Google Analytics Plugin that tracks outbound links, download links, and ignores hits that skew statistics.
WhoLinked WordPress Plugin Widget shows who is linking to your blog.
WP-Mint WordPress Plugin integrates the Mint stats software into your WordPress blog. GetAMint WordPress Plugin interacts with Mint to add those statistics to your blog. There is also WP-Mint Popular Posts which displays the most popular posts on your blog as measured by Mint.
Site Meter Tracking WordPress Plugin integrates your Site Meter tracking information into your blog.
How to Install a GoStats Hit Counter using WordPress Plugins helps you add GoStats counter information to your WordPress blog.
If your blog host uses AWStats, you can use the AWStats Extended Info WordPress Plugin to add more sophisticated tracking to your WordPress blog to measure screen size, Flash, PDF, and Java support among other things.
WP-GoogleStats tracks when and how often Googlebot crawls your blog pages.
WP-GotLucky WordPress Plugin sends an email when Google visits your blog.
While not counting comments, Cavemonkey50’s Akismet Spam Counter will display the number of comment spam Akismet has caught on your blog. Some think comment spam is an indicator of how popular your blog is. The truth is that it is an indicator of how big a couple of the blogs linking to your are. The bigger the incoming link blog, the more likely comment spam bots traced their way through their blog to yours, like a virus. Still, it’s a fun statistic to add to your blog and to promote the great job Akismet is doing to stop comment spam.
Counting Posts and Comments
The two most important statistics many people monitor is their posts and comments. They want to know which posts attract the most attention and which posts get the most comments. This is a good indicator of which content is working best for your blog and generating the most interest.
Post and comment statistics can be tracked in your WordPress Administration Panels, but many like to publicize these popular statistics on their WordPress blog, pointing visitors to where the action is. While some WordPress Plugins offer both, most of these are very specialized, providing the information in different ways to increase blog navigation.
bsuite b2 is a “do it all” kind of statistics WordPress Plugin. It tracks page loads (hits), search terms, “pulse” graph of traffic activity globally or by post, related posts (at the bottom of your current post), recommended posts matching arriving visitor’s search criteria (landing pad), and a variety of tagging features, along with various traffic information that can be used within your WordPress Administration Panels or featured on your blog’s sidebar. Examples include most popular pots, recent comments, and top search terms.
Most Popular Categories By Post WordPress Plugin is a different twist on the most popular post lists. This Plugin list the most popular categories that get the most popular post traffic, directing visitors to your hottest discussed categories rather than just popular posts.
WP Plugin: Site Statistics shows site stats for posts, comments, categories, last post, last commenter and last modified.
Post Count provides the total number of published posts on the blog.
WordPress Statistics Plugin offers different post statistics. It provides a “readability analysis” of how hard your blog post is to read. It sues the Gunning-Fog and the Flesch-Kincaid scores and displays the results in your WordPress Panel, though you may be able to display the information on your WordPress posts. In theory, this may help you write better or at least more clearly.
Post Count Minus Category is an odd WordPress Plugin that displays the total number of posts not belonging to a specific category. I’m still puzzling over how this would be useful. Ideas?
Counting Post Views
Like the old fashioned visitor counters, people still like showing off how popular a post is by how many times it has been viewed or read.
The problem with these statistics, however, is that they aren’t a good indicator of how long the person spent on the page and if they actually read more than the title. Still, people love these and WordPress Plugin authors have come up with some fun ways of presenting these statistics.
WP-PostViews WordPress Plugin shows off how many times a post has been viewed.
Post Readers WordPress Plugin adds a counter to your posts to show how often they’ve been read. Includes ability to showcase most recently visited posts and most visited posts on your blog.
Counting Blog Comments
Comment statistics help bloggers and readers keep track of which posts are attracting the most comments and interests, and also point visitors to where the hot topics are being discussed. These comment WordPress Plugins count comments globally or per post, and can showcase the information in charts and graphs, too.
Some can count who is online and who has commented recently, as well as how many comments a particular registered user has made on the blog, another fun way of keeping score and encouraging competitive people to participate on the blog.
Comment Analysis WordPress Plugin by Be Lambic or Green is a potentially powerful comment statistics Plugin. You can customize a listing on your blog (or from within your Administration Panels if you wanted) to include your total comments, total pingbacks, total trackbacks, last comment, last pingback, last trackback, latest comments, latest commented posts, and most commented posts. You can feature some or all of the comment statistics.
Most Commented creates a list of the posts with the most comments.
Comment Word Count gives the number of words in your blog’s comments. This could be fun combined with other comment statistics.
Posts/Comments Time WordPress Plugin creates a chart to show the number of posts and comments for the hours of a day or days of a week.
Count-Comments WordPress Plugin counts the number of comments by “authornames” counting all the registered and logged in users. This is not for blogs without comment registration.
Naatan UserOnline WordPress Plugin is a little different type of user and comment Plugin. It reports on user names and includes the ability to add tags to custom user names to add CSS styles to specific user’s comments and participation.
Counting Words WordPress Plugins
There are several WordPress Plugins whose sole job is to just count how many words are in a specific post or the entire blog. This is critical information for those writing posts based upon word counts like ezines which pay by word and have word count restrictions, PayPerPost, and ReviewMe.
- Category Word Count WordPress Plugins counts words per category
- Post Word Count
- CharCounter WordPress Plugin (counts characters in a post or comment
- Prolific for WordPress
- TD Word Count
A different kind of word counting WordPress Plugin is Weighted Words. It goes through your posts in the database and creates a link list of words you use the most in your blog posts. It doesn’t decide which words are keywords. It just lists the ones you use the most. This is a great way of finding out if you are really writing about what you intend to write about, and if you are using enough of the right keywords. It also makes a simple navigational word cloud like a tag cloud.
Counting User Activity
Live WordPress Plugin, mentioned earlier, can provide a live view of statistical activity on your blog, and there are many other WordPress Plugins that track user activity.
WP-UserOnline WordPress Plugin displays how many users are online at any time, where they are and, if registered, who they are. This is great for highly interactive, member-oriented blogs.
Total Users Registered displays the total number of registered users on your blog. This could be fun used in combination with other user activity Plugins.
Click Counter Plugin For WordPress counts the clicks for any links on your blog posts. Any link in your blog will be “scored” and a record kept of how many times it is clicked. The author warns, however, that as neat as this is, it can overload your SQL server as it adds one SQL query to every link with the counter. It is not for lightweight server blogs.
Backlinks WordPress Plugin displays the number of inbound links arriving on your WordPress blog. It creates a graph that shows how your number of inbound links develop over time and counts the total number.
Where are your readers going? Mostpopularlinks WordPress Plugin creates a list of the most popular outbound links to external sites from your blog to display in your WordPress Administration Panels or on your blog’s WordPress Theme.
SearchHistory WordPress Plugin stores information about searches on your blog and reports on them in a sub-panel on your WordPress Administration Panels.
Novelty Score Keeping WordPress Plugins
The following WordPress Plugins track various things on your WordPress blog. Some are for serious score keeping and others are more for fun.
DownloadCounter WordPress Plugin tracks the number of times a file has been downloaded on your WordPress blog.
Blogtimes displays a bar graph showing the times you posted in the last month or so, and features a variety of customization options. Blogtimes with Icons works with Blogtimes but creates a mini icon bar to showcase posting statistics.
Posting Frequency Plugin tracks how often you post and shows it in the sidebar of your blog.
Useless Stats WordPress Plugin displays a bunch of blog statistics that the author considers “useless” such as the age of the blog, an average of how many posts were released in the past week, month, since conception, and similar statistics for comments. You can choose what statistics you want shown.
Simple Graph WordPress Plugin can be used to showcase blog statistics, but it goes further than that and allows you to showcase any statistical information in a chart. You enter in the information and the chart is generated.
How Do You Track Blog Statistics on Your WordPress Blog?
I’ve only skimmed the surface of the different WordPress Plugins that provide statistical and counting information on your blog. What are your favorites? What do you like about them? Which ones do you recommend?
Have you found some interesting ways of displaying counts and measures on your WordPress blog? Share!
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network