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Tag Archive for ‘Stats’

On Google Analytics Alternatives ➝

Matt Birchler, on the state of Google Analytics alternatives:

The cost for these have some just insane numbers. $89/month, $500/year, and the dreaded “contact us for pricing” abound! Even the most affordable option costs $9/month, which is already more than I spend on hosting for this site through DigitalOcean! I want to have basic analytics for my site, but the pricing for these solutions are clearly made for businesses and not indie writers like myself.

He mentions WordPress.com stats, which is available in the Jetpack plugin for free, but that’s only available for sites built on WordPress.

Aside WordPress.com stats and Google Analytics, the only free options that I’m aware of must be self-hosted:

If I wasn’t using WordPress, I would probably use Ackee. It looks pretty slick and can be easily installed using Cloudron, which I’m currently using to manage software on one of my server.

➝ Source: birchtree.me

Chris Wiegman: ‘No More Analytics’ ➝

Chris Wiegman:

After 6 months of chasing analytics I’m not using them for anything other than vanity. I check multiple times a day to see who has visited, where numbers are, etc and nothing translates back to the content I’m writing.

This is, to me, the wrong way to do this. As a result I’ve removed analytics from this site entirely for now and will simply continue to focus on the content itself, not on the views that don’t mean anything.

I have analytics on Initial Charge, but check them very rarely. I’m not chasing views anymore. I write because I want to share my thoughts and the exact number of people that read them is inconsequential.

It also doesn’t show a complete picture. Some number of people read this site entirely by RSS and are never counted in the stats. And then, of course, there’s all of the folks using ad blockers that prevent the stats script from even running. I’ll never really know how many people read what I write, but I still think having stats is valuable so I can see more broad trends across longer periods of time.

➝ Source: chriswiegman.com

Cloudflare Launches Web Analytics Service to All ➝

From Cloudflare’s weblog:

Today, I’m excited to announce that anyone can now sign up to use our new Web Analytics — even without changing your DNS settings. In other words, Cloudflare Web Analytics can now be deployed by adding an HTML snippet (in the same way many other popular web analytics tools are) making it easier than ever to use privacy-first tools to understand visitor behavior.

It looks like a nice service, but I think I’ll be sticking with WordPress.com stats through the Jetpack plugin. I like having the WordPress mobile app’s stats widget on my iPhone, WordPress.com stats gives me all the information I want, and it’s an opportunity for me to dog-food Automattic’s services.

(Via Chris Hannah.)

➝ Source: blog.cloudflare.com

Jetpack Stats Shortcut

Jetpack Stats Shortcut

After my favorite web stats software was sunsetted by its developer, I knew it was only a matter of time before I moved on to something newer. I did that late last year when I uninstalled Mint from my Media Temple server and installed Jetpack on Initial Charge. This site now makes use of Jetpack’s built-in stats feature that’s powered by WordPress.com.

I’ve been pretty happy with it so far. The feature is lightweight — adding just over 2.5KB to my webpages — and offers most of what I would want in this type of software while still remaining respectful to site visitors. I wouldn’t mind getting a bit more information about the operating systems, web browsers, and screen resolutions used by my readers — for web design purposes — but I’d rather err on the side of collecting less than collecting more.

There was one additional thing that was missing in the transition from Mint to Jetpack — a quick shortcut to my stats from my iPhone home screen. For years I had an icon on my home screen that would load directly into my Mint installation’s interface so I can peruse my stats without having to launch my browser and type in the URL or open a bookmark. Jetpack doesn’t really have anything like that.

The WordPress app has a pretty nice interface for viewing Jetpack and WordPress.com stats, though. But there wasn’t anything immediately obvious within the app — such as a URL scheme — that I could use to launch directly into that interface. It had to exist, though. You see, the WordPress app includes a Today View widget that can display the daily stats for a single site. And when you tap on the site name, it launches the WordPress app into a modal view of that site’s stats — something that, from what I can tell, is only surfaced when you open the app from the widget.

I was curious if the app was using a URL scheme for that and decided to do some investigating in the app’s source code, which is freely available to browse on Github — open source is so great. After a bit of digging, I found the code that was used for this and to my surprise, it does use a URL scheme:

wordpress://viewstats?siteId=

The Today View widget uses that URL scheme along with the chosen site’s site ID to launch that slick modal stats view. The trick from here is finding your site’s site ID, which you can then plug into the end of the URL and use for all sorts of purposes, such as building an iOS shortcut. But how do I find my site ID, you might ask? By visiting your site within a web browser (when logged out of WordPress or from within an incognito/private browsing window) and using “View Source” on your homepage.

The stats code is automatically added to your footer and should be listed like so:

Finding Your Site ID Using View Source

This is the source for Initial Charge’s homepage and you can see my site ID listed after blog: within the code. So in the example of my site, to launch directly into my stats within the WordPress app I use the following within a shortcut:

wordpress://viewstats?siteId=127845174

Of course, you won’t see anything if you try and open that URL scheme on your device, since it is setup to display my site’s stats, you’d need to be logged in to my WordPress.com account for it to work. But after finding your site ID and logging in to the associated WordPress.com account — that you used to setup Jetpack — you’ll be able to launch directly into the WordPress app to see your site’s stats.

The neat thing about this little URL scheme, though, is that it doesn’t just work for WordPress sites that run the Jetpack plugin for stats. It can also be used by any WordPress.com site — since they both use the same stats system and application for viewing.

To put this all together into something a bit more useful, I’ve put together a shortcut that asks for your site ID when importing and can be used to launch directly into your site’s stats within the WordPress app. You can download the .shortcut file, or for you thrill seekers out there, you can download the shortcut from iCloud.

Once you have it all setup, you can launch it from the Shortcuts app itself, from the app’s Today View widget, or by just about any other means. I have mine added to my home screen using this custom icon, so I have quick access to it on my iPhone and iPad — just like I had with Mint.