As a WordPress webmaster, or webmaster in general, you are likely interested in how well your articles are doing. This can provide you with excellent insight into what the website's readership favors, and what they do not like at all. While you could install third party tracking software for that, or use your web servers or web hosting companies first party tracking apps, you'd need some experiencing in analyzing the statistics correctly to make sense out of them. Plus, you need to open a third party site to look at the stats.
WordPress tracking plugins can provide you with the information directly in the admin dashboard, which some webmasters and admins may prefer. Today, I'd like to review two tracking plugins that I'm currently using on some of the WordPress blogs that I own.
Author Page Views Plugin
This plugin is especially handy for multi-author blogs, as it displays the pageviews that each of the blog's authors generate. The plugin lists all blog authors, their emails, and their current view count in the admin dashboard.
The reports are configured to display page views for the last 30 days, with options at the top to change the date range. That's useful if authors get paid by impressions, or if they are paid a bonus if they generate a lot of impressions.
The pageviews, sorted by month, are also listed on each author's user account page. Here it is furthermore possible to add a rate per thousand pageviews if the authors are paid (extra) per pageview.
The plugin works fine with caching plugins. It has been tested on blogs running W3 Total Cache and Super Cache, and should work with other caching plugins as well.
I personally like the plugin as it provides me with insight how individual authors are performing on the site. You could also use it to compare the performance of authors, to find out what popular authors are doing differently to increase the page view count of less popular authors on the site.
The Author Page Views plugin is available at the official WordPress Plugin Directory.
This WordPress plugin keeps track of the visits each post and page on the blog gets. For each post, it displays the number of hits of the day, week, month, half-year, year and total, as well as the last viewed time.
Sorting options and filters are available to look at posts of a specific date or category, and to change the order in which they are presented in the interface.
The plugin furthermore provides information about the the ratio of viewed sites to non-viewed sites for all time spans, and a ranking list that lists the top 20 posts of the blog.
These information can be useful to find out what the blog's readership likes, and what they do not like or are not interested in.
Post Views is also available at the Plugin Directory.
Both plugins can help you better understand your site's audience. I would not necessarily install them on a high traffic site like Ghacks though, as they might put a lot of strain on the server otherwise. For small to medium sized sites, it is definitely an option to analyze the traffic the site receives.
Are you using similar WordPress plugins? Let me know in the comments.
Update: The posts view plugin is no longer available. We have removed the link from the article.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.