How to Track Your Statistics

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 Stats plugin: 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:

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:

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  1. I have tried the Clicky Stats plugin and really didn’t care for it. I will give the plugin you suggested a try.
    sue recently posted… 4 Qualities of a Good Business LeaderMy Profile

    1. Sue, thanks for commenting and I’d love your feedback on the plugin after you’ve tried it. Clicky Stats is one I haven’t tried so I’m curious how they compare.

  2. Michelle ~

    I really appreciate this information! As I’ve already mentioned to you, I’m the furthest thing from a “techie-type” and a gal who’s not been paying attention to her stats.

    I’m going to head on over to WordPress and install the Stats plugin — sounds like the perfect solution for getting past the anxiety of analytics. :-)

    You’re a keeper!
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Add A Splash Of Humor To Your BizMy Profile

    1. Yes, it’s a great one for simple stats and gets you some info to start using those stats to focus and build connections. :)

  3. Sorry, Michelle – I’m unable to download the WordPress Stats plugin you recommended. The link you’ve provided in your post takes me to a page that reads, “not enough information” ?? and there’s no download tab to click. :-(

    Can you check it out and get back to me?

    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Add A Splash Of Humor To Your BizMy Profile

    1. Hey Melanie,

      I’m not sure why the link isn’t playing nice, but here’s another way to get it installed. :)

      – login to your wp-admin
      – click “Plugins” on the left side menu
      – click on “Add New” button at the top (or it also shows on the left under “Plugins”)
      – in the search box put “ Stats” and click to search for it
      – it should come up first in the list (it’s the one that says requires API Key)
      – click the “Install” link on the right
      – verify that you want to install it
      – activate it
      – enter your API key (the same one you already use for Akismet if you’ve got that plugin) and save

      That’s it. :) It takes a few hours to start showing stats, if I remember correctly.

  4. I love having stats on my own website rather than having to go to another site. I have the Wassup and Vstats plug-ins. In order for them to work effectively… you must put both on your site. They show the stats almost hour per hour. You can even tell how many times the spiders crawl your site per day.

    1. Thanks Kathryn, I’ll take a look at those. I love how many great options there are out there with WordPress plugins. :)

  5. Thanks for the information about tracking stats. It’s important to know your numbers so you can tell if trying different things improve your traffic.
    Lynn Jordan recently posted… What Is Google Buzz?My Profile

    1. You’re welcome. And yes, it makes it so much easier to know what the smartest ways to invest our time are when we can clearly see what’s working to generate traffic.

  6. I’m really disappointed with Google Analytics. Some of the data looked wrong to me, so I did some research and found other people complaining that Google Analytics is providing wrong data for them as well.

    I think it’s time for me to look into another stats provider. I think the WordPress plugin is a good start.
    Fiona Bosticky recently posted… Blog Commenting: Commentluv, Disqus or Intense Debate?My Profile

    1. I use all three of the ones I mentioned in the post for that reason. Sometimes they’re just wacky. :) I find I get different results from all three. But it’s enough that I can measure and compare.

      1. Ok cool, at least it’s not just me ;) I think I will start to use a few as well…
        Fiona Bosticky recently posted… 3 WordPress Plugins for Gallery SlideshowsMy Profile

  7. This is great information Michelle. Stats are important because they help you understand how many people are visiting your site and the information you’ve provided makes it easy to read. Thanks for sharing.
    Corrie recently posted… Suggestions for Writing a good Bio for your ArticleMy Profile

  8. Thanks! I’ll try that plugin. I’ve been curious about visitors and stats but have not taken time to look into the plugins available. I appreciate getting pointed in the right direction. :-)
    Evelyn Roberts Brooks recently posted… Book launch to benefit WTC Memorial on 9-11-10My Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Evelyn. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 20 Totally Free Image SourcesMy Profile

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