Round and round the Google: Keeping your analytics dashboard active


A screenshot of Slimstat just after installation – yes, you start from zero again but it will be worth it.

Headaches were caused around the world last week, when Google changed the settings and rules affecting the automatic display of your analytics within your own website.

What this means for you, dear WordPress website owner, is that you would have lost that lovely snapshot of Google Analytics on the dashboard of your website admin screen.

One by one, authors of analytics plugins are heading back to the drawing board to make sure their code jumps through the new hoops that Google has forced upon them.

There is actually just good news and good news out of this for you.

Good news one

The first bit of good news is that the Google Analytics plugin we would have installed in your website (assuming you are a Baker Marketing client) will still have you connected to Google.

This means, your Google Analytics account will still be accurate and up to date.

The only thing missing is that handy summary on the admin page.

You can hop into Google Analytics and set up an emailed report, if you wish, as one way to resurrect your daily, weekly or monthly fix of statistics. See my previous blog series on how to set up Google Analytics emailed reports.

Good news two

The second piece of good news is that this has sent me out surveying the plugin landscape for alternatives and what I have found I love immensely.

It is a plugin called Slimstat and it does two things:

  • It actually analyses traffic on your website from your web server’s perspective
  • It adds a neat link in your WordPress task bar along the top of the screen when you are logged in, giving you a rich dashboard of live stats.

Interestingly, Google tracks visits via some javascript code which means that some devices can come and go from your website without a trace, rendering your results a little skewed. Admittedly, this skews your numbers down, which I like, because I believe conservative analytics are more helpful than overly optimistic ones.

However, Slimstat actually records activity on your server, no matter what device is responsible. This means you see everything BUT can also stop it from tracking bots and spiders (non-human visitors trawling your site for indexing purposes) and your web team (you don’t want your own team inflating figures through their incidental use of the your site).

Slimstat then rounds off its offering with its comprehensive set of displays, giving you realtime information on your top pages, top blog posts, traffic sources, etc.

So, out of a Google-enforced disruption, comes a better way for accessing a comprehensive view of activity on your website.

You should find the plugin easy to install but you can always ask us to do it for you as it will be a rather inexpensive exercise if you are time poor.




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