Lightweight WordPress Visitor Stats

If you are anything like me, you like to look at the stats on your site.  Which posts are popular, where your visitors are coming from.  I want to tell you about a nice lightweight stats package that I use to give you this information at a glance.

Google Analytics

I have google analytics installed on my site, and I will use this less than once a month.  It gives you very detailed and in-depth stats about your sites, and I DO recommend that you use GA, it’s free and easy to install, but for at  a glance day-to-day stats I want something less detailed and easier to use.

WordPress.com stats

I have the wordpress.com stats plugin installed on my system.  This plugin was developed for hosted wordpress.com blogs, but has been made available to the wider WordPress community.

You install it like any other plugin, and it gives you a dashboard widget and a more detailed site stats page.

The plugin can be downloaded from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats/


The stats program uses your wordpress.com api key, the same one used by Akismet.  To get an API key visit wordpress.com and sign up for a free account, then go to the dashboard and retrieve your API key.

It is not he easiest thing to find, have fun.

So what does it give me?

Using WordPress .com stats I can get an “at a glance” overview of my sites performance.  I can then drill down on the various stats to get more details information.  My at a glance screen gives me

  • Total site visitors for the last 30 days
  • Top ten referrers (where the  traffic came from) for yesterday and today
  • Top ten posts or pages for yesterday and today
  • Top ten search engine terms for yesterday and today
  • Top then click aways (useful for people watching affiliate sales) for yesterday and today
  • Recent incoming links

For me this is more than enough information to get a quick overview of how my site is working, if a new blog posts is resonating with people, if my marketing is bringing people to my services page.

Check out these screen dumps for an idea of the graphs and stats http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats/screenshots/

You can click into any of the stats and get more detailed over time results.

Give It A Go

It is not the most powerful stats package out there, if you need details such as bounce rate or segments from where your visitors are coming from you definitely need something like google analytics, but a quick check to see if people are reading your stuff, and wordpress.com stats will suit you down to the ground.

I’m keen to know which other stats packages people use, drop me a line in the comments if you are using something not mentioned.

Image by kevinzhengli

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