How to Track Page Views & Statistics in WordPress

Sometimes people moving from Blogger to WordPress can be confused about how to track page views. Blogger has a built-in page view counter (it’s highly inaccurate, but that’s not the point..), but WordPress does not. So how do you track page views in WordPress? Thanks to Lydia, I’m going to address that today!

Hi Ashley! Your tutorials have been awesome with my switch to WordPress but which plugin would you recommend for page views and statistics? I’m looking for one that doesn’t include the “back end” work of the site that I do and also, how would I install it? Lydia

In WordPress, you need to find a third party plugin to install on your blog in order to track page views and unique visitors. But the good news is, there are a ton of options! I’ll go over a few of them.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
Click to Enlarge

I think Google Analytics is the best method for tracking page views and other visit information. Google Analytics isn’t a WordPress-specific thing, but it can very easily be installed on a WordPress blog.

I use a plugin called Google Analyticator. Once installed, this plugin simply connects to your Google account and voila! It’s basically done. They actually have an installation video on their website.

Once installed, Google Analyticator hooks up your site with Google Analytics. So then if you wait a few days for it to start gathering statistics, then visit http://www.google.com/analytics/, you will see your page views and other information there! Additionally, Google Analyticator adds a widget to your WordPress dashboard, which contains a more condensed version of the statistics. It shows you information for the last month including: number of visits, page views, average time on site, top pages, top referrers, and top searches.

If you want to view the full report, you can always go to the Google Analytics website to learn more!

There is also an option to not track Administrators on your site. This means your own visits will be excluded from the logs.

NewStatPress

StatPress - WordPress Plugin

NewStatPress is a WordPress plugin. You simply install it, and it adds a new tab on your blog for statistics. When you view it, you can see the number of page views, visitors, and feed hits. It also shows you recent search terms and referrers.

The downside to NewStatPress is that I find the numbers to be less accurate than Google Analytics. But this is a good option for people who want everything contained within WordPress itself and don’t want to use a third party site.

Jetpack

Okay I personally despise all things Jetpack, but a lot of people do like it, which is why I’m including it. Jetpack has a ton of features, but one of them is a statistics feature. The information it shows is very similar to NewStatPress, including referrers, top posts and pages, search terms, views, and visitors.

How do you install these plugins?

All of these plugins can be installed by going to the “Plugins” tab on your WordPress admin page, clicking “Add New”, then just search for the plugin name there (“Google Analyticator”, “NewStatPress”, or “Jetpack”). Then hit install, activate it, and look for the settings page to configure it!

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39 comments

    1. In Google Analytics, click on the “Behavior” tab and click on “Site Content” (the “All Pages” section). There you can see each page on your blog and how many hits they get. You can also use the search tool to locate a specific page.

  1. isnt there a plugin that allows you in WP to exclude your visit on IP level. Present plugins including Jetpack, only exclude your visit when your already logged in.
    And setting cookies is only half the job. My FF delets all cookies[safety] after it is closed. So cookie control doesnt work.

    1. I don’t know if there’s a plugin that’s set up to do that, but it’s definitely possible. You could manually do it with code if you’re comfortable with PHP. Use a function like this to get the visitor’s IP, check to see if it’s YOUR IP, and if it’s not, only then add the Google Analytics tracking code.

      1. thanks for yr reply ashley, but no, totally not comfortable with PHP. Just looking for someone that could setup a simple plugin to add to WP that corrects the stats

  2. You got a very handy list there, i already use GA, and tried jetpack. Pretty much loaded with other features, but if you want a simple blog with only a few plugin that does alot, jetpack is awesome πŸ™‚

    1. They do not get more traffic simply because they’re on Blogger.

      The statistics shown in Blogger are less accurate. They include a lot of ‘fake’ page views that aren’t real people/visitors.

      Google Analytics is a more accurate representation of the real people on your site.

  3. Thanks for giving these options! Google Analytics is great.
    But I am looking for something which tracks the page views without having to load some additional script or anything which hampers the page load time by even a tiny bit. I would not mind if it does not provide many details like which country the page views come from, which browser, etc. But it should not ruin my WordPress blog’s speed at all. I hope you get what I am trying to say. Could you help me out here?
    Thank you.

    1. It’s simply not possible. In order to track statistics, it requires loading *something*.

      – A script.
      – An image.
      – Writing to your database.

      All of those will add *something*.

      But we’re talking milliseconds here.. It’s not worth arguing over that small amount of loading time. Plus Google Analytics loads asynchronously. A human would almost certainly not notice the extra loading time at all.

  4. Great piece of work Ashley,
    I personally use the Google Analytics Stats Counter Statistics plugin. Works tremendously for me especially because I run more than one blog and all of them are being managed in one hood thanks to the web application available by this plugin.

  5. Hi there,
    Thanks for your post!
    I installed the google Analytics plugin, went and did the settings, tried to drag it over in the widget section but it gives me an error when I add the widget.. see far below. What / how do i fix this, do you know?

    Thanks
    Mel

    There was an Analytics API service error 400: Error calling GET https://www.googleapis.com/analytics/v3/management/accounts/XXXXXXXX/webproperties/UA-XXXXXXXX-X/profiles: (400) invalid accountId: XXXXXXXX.

  6. Hi Ashley,

    Do you still recommend Google Analyticator to connect to Google Analytics? I have some issues with Google Analytics. It shows zero, but my wordpress blog shows traffic in the hundreds. I’m trying to figure out what went wrong, and how I can fix it. Do I need a plugin that connects with Google Analytics? I thought by placing a code into the header it would be all taken care of.

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