WordPress is one of the most used CMS in the world, chances are you may build a website and need to know who is visiting the website, but not just the number of people who accessed the site, but also when, from where and for how long are visiting your site.
The most common platform used to track this data is Google Analytics though, WordPress’s plugin database has over 813 plugins so it can be a very time consuming task to find the right one for you.
An easy way to start de-cluttering a little bit is to see which ones are most installed in real websites, there are plugins with more that 1 million active installs.
Another easy way is, obviously, to see the rating, not just the rating itself, but also the amount of people who rated the plugin.
For example, if there is a plugin with more than 500.000 active installs, and 4/4,5 stars, you will think those are almost the same, but if you take a look at the people who actually rated, one has 32, and the other one 151. I would choose the later one.
I always install Google Analytics by Yoast there are many reasons but the most important one is that there a real person/team behind it, and also, there is a free very complete version, and if you want/need to go premium you just paid a yearly subscription and the plugin gives you even more options.
A quick tour
The good about Yoast GA is that it needs almost no setting to work after you install the plugin. Just make sure you are already logged In in your Google Account, and then connect from the WordPress Dashboard, in a few clicks you will be sending statistics to GA.
According to the description of the free plugin you will be able to do the following:
- Simple installation through integration with Google Analytics API: authenticate, select the site you want to track and you’re done.
- This plugin uses the universal or the asynchronous Google Analytics tracking code, the fastest and most reliable tracking code Google Analytics offers.
- Gives you incredibly nice visitor metric dashboards right in your WordPress install.
- Option to enable demographics and interest reports.
- Outbound link & downloads tracking.
- Configurable options to track outbound links either as pageviews or as events.
- Option to track just downloads as pageviews or events in Google Analytics.
- Option to track internal links with a particular format as outbound links, very useful for affiliate links that start with /out/, for instance.
- Possibility to ignore any user level and up, so all editors and higher for instance.
- Option to anonymize IP’s for use in countries with stricter privacy regulations.
- Tracking of your search result pages and 404 pages.
- Full debug mode, including Firebug lite and ga_debug.js for debugging Google Analytics issues.
The list in impressive, It will give you all the information you need, at least, when you start with a medium profile website. Highly recommended.