WordLog

A weblog authored by Carthik about the latest in the WordPress world.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Get WordPress.com Stats for Your Self-Hosted Blog

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:39 pm

A blog statistics plugin has been announced at wordpress.com that allows you to have wordpress.com style stats on your own, self-hosted WordPress blog. Before we go any further, he’s a glance at the simple, efficient stats that await you:
Blog Stats - Flash

The Automattic stats plugin available at wordpress.org is real easy to install. You download it, upload the stats.php file to your “plugins” directory on your WordPress blog, and activate it. The plugin will then tell you that you need an API key for it to function. If you have an API key for akismet on your blog, you can use the same key for the automattic stats plugin. If you don’t have an API key, you can get one here. You just sign up as a user at wordpress.com and when you activate the account you get an email with the API key.

Once the plugin is installed, you get an extra tab on your blog’s Dashboard, and a half hour later, you can see the wonderful stats, the same way you see it on WordPress.com blogs. Besides the graph showing the number of visitors for the past month, there is also details regarding referrers, popular posts, popular exit links and incoming links – that’s about all the stats I care to know about my blog. Here’s the full screen of stats, for the Ubuntu Blog:
WordPress.com Stats Plugin Screenie

Now here’s the irony in all this: The day after I rekindled this blog, I decided that the first time-intensive article I will do would be one comparing different free blog/website statistics tools available out there. So I installed OneStat Free, Statisfy, Add Free Stats, HitTail, 103 bees, Extreme Stats, GoStats, ActiveMeter, StatCounter, Google Analytics, and Reinvigorate. I thought I’d let them run for a month or so and then compare them, all for your benefit. I left out mint, which seems to be popular among bloggers since I don’t have an expendable $30 to plunk down for fancy stats. I also left out sitemeter since they seem to add 3rd party tracking cookies that may violate browsers’ privacy.

I might as well go ahead and do it – in spite of the wordpress.com automattic stats plugin being available – I think there will be some merit in comparing these alternatives. I want to decide which stat tools to use and stick with them. Now I can compare these, and the wordpress.com stats, and find the best.

19 Comments

  1. wow what a combo of stats tracking. i’m curious to see how it all turns out. I have just used google analytics and awstats.

    Comment by Matt Ellsworth — 5/6/2007 @ 7:23 pm

  2. I like this plugin. Now I have an addiction. Checking my stats every hour. LOL.

    Comment by Jenny — 5/6/2007 @ 8:02 pm

  3. So HitTail is very specialized and likes to think of itself as one of the good guys. If you have any issues with our stats software during your evaluation, let us know. Maybe we can use your feedback to make it better.

    Comment by Mike Levin of HitTail — 5/6/2007 @ 8:07 pm

  4. Sure thing, Mike – I will write my thoughts for all to read.

    I sort of dread having to write the review. ;)

    Hope it all turns out right.

    Comment by Carthik — 5/6/2007 @ 9:01 pm

  5. Oh, I’m looking forward to reading your results. Shoulid be very interesting to see the pros and cons with each.

    Comment by May — 5/6/2007 @ 9:32 pm

  6. I look forward to reading more on your adventures with assorted stats packages.

    I use two more that you didn’t list. Performancing.com’s pmetrics and Feedburner’s stats (NOT just for feeds anymore).

    What’s a few more lines of javascript in your theme, eh?

    Comment by HandySolo — 5/6/2007 @ 9:32 pm

  7. Hmm, that reminds me that I have to redirect the feeds through feedburner. I use feedburner for another site – pretty good, will try and cover that too.

    As for performancing – they have been bought and sold and stuff, so I didn’t know what the current status was – I will play with that too.

    Comment by Carthik — 5/7/2007 @ 2:30 am

  8. In a flush of inspiration due to this new stats tracker from Automattic, I wanted to blog on it, but I thought I should also mention some of the other stats tracking packages I use, so I mentioned a few others. I also linked to this post as a useful review of Andy Skelton’s release. If you’re interested, check it out here:

    Blog Stats: Get your info-jones on with weblog traffic metrics

    Regards,

    Rich
    BlogRodent

    Comment by Rich Tatum — 5/7/2007 @ 4:13 am

  9. [...] Wordlog review. [...]

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  11. You also don’t have Firestats on your list for some reason. It’s free and it’s pretty good.

    Comment by Keith R — 5/7/2007 @ 1:07 pm

  12. Keith, I omitted Firestats and Shortstat since they are wordpress plugins, or hosted on the same server. To keep things level, I set out to compare the external tools, mostly those that ask one to include some js code to add tracking for a site.

    So what do you like about firestats? Shortstat was annoying since more than half the referrers are from the same domain as the site! :)

    Comment by Carthik — 5/7/2007 @ 8:25 pm

  13. i use WP-shortstat, and haven’t had any problems with it. i like that it is self-contained (no external dependencies), and haven’t seen that referrer issue you are talking about.

    but i’m definitely interested in finding out more about the different stats plugins, both internal or external.

    Comment by keith — 5/8/2007 @ 11:35 am

  14. [...] my page loads, I need to trim some back.  Speak of which, I’m also keeping on eye on Wordlog as Carthik mentioned he’s planning some reviews [...]

    Pingback by Google Analytics - User Friendly » Solo Technology — 5/8/2007 @ 11:17 pm

  15. You will find that GoStats has a rich feature set and is a mature system. Something to note is: GoStats is made by people who make only stats, while WP-stats is made by people who mainly do blogging.

    Comment by Richard — 5/9/2007 @ 7:06 am

  16. [...] recently downloaded a cool wordpress plugin, this is the latest wp stat plugin, and i think this one is far better than the Google analytics. It’s more of a [...]

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  17. [...] Get WordPress.com Stats for Your Self-Hosted Blog — A blog statistics plugin has been announced at wordpress.com that allows you to have wordpress.com style stats on your own, self-hosted WordPress blog. Tagged as: [wordpress plugin statistics tech] [...]

    Pingback by Niklas’ blog » Blog Archive » My Del.icio.us bookmarks created during the past week — 5/11/2007 @ 3:32 am

  18. I’d like to add a caveat to all the rave reviews. If your blog URL includes an underline or other non-standard characters (_,~, etc.) this plugin will not work. I have written to the author about the problem as have others. I don’t believe it’s been fixed yet though someone can correct me if I’m wrong. This seems like it should be a simple problem to fix but then again I’m not a coder.

    Also, when I installed the plugin it somehow turned off the 3rd party stat counter I was using.

    Comment by Richard Silverstein — 5/24/2007 @ 12:56 am

  19. I think your idea for comparing all the statistics tools is a great one!

    I imagine you have a decent amount of stats saved up in each of them by now. When do you think you might do the review? I’ll keep an eye on my WordPress dashboard for it…. :)

    Comment by Jason — 8/15/2007 @ 5:03 pm

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