Curious where your traffic is coming from? Or who’s reading your blog or visiting your website? You can find all sorts of great information out by tracking your website statistics.
Most website hosts have built in tracking software you can access. If you’re on a cPanel server, you likely have AwStats already tracking your traffic and just waiting for you to login and view it. Login to your cPanel and look for the AwStats icon or ask your website host where to access it.
My favorite plugin for basic blog stats is the WordPress.com Stats plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats/ It adds a box to your Dashboard and an extra page to your admin that will show your traffic by day, week or month in a nice graph (see below) as well as show you the top pages & posts for the day, your referrers (where your traffic is coming from), what people searched for to find your site, and what outgoing links people clicked. It’s easy to install and understand.
For more advanced stats, try Google Analytics along with this plugin to help you add the tracking code to your WordPress site without needing to edit any of your theme’s code: http://www.semiologic.com/software/google-analytics/
Click the image below to watch Google’s tour of how Analytics works:
Now that you know how to track your stats, you’ll find the challenge is to not spend too much time refreshing the page to see the latest updates… :)
For more in depth info on how to read your statistics and what you can do with all that great info, check out this post: http://www.michelleshaeffer.com/understanding-the-basics-of-website-statistics/2009/08/11