I no longer use WordPress Stats on this site, but I still use it on one of my other sites. When visiting the admin panel recently I noticed a message that the WordPress Stats plugin would only get future updates via the Jetpack plugin. Both are from Automattic, the folks who run WordPress.com. JetPack is a bundle of many plugins from Automattic. I have an instant aversion to bundles like this so I’ll be moving that other site off of WordPress Stats. I’ve no idea when the lack of a separate upgrade will cause me problems but I might as well replicate what I do on this site.
I’ve currently been trying out three stats options on this site. One is free, one is free for basic service with additional costs for larger logs, and the third has a small one time charge,
In the case of WordPress Stats it’s a plugin that maintains the stats on their own servers, taking the load off my own server. It provides summary data along with some search and post tracking. And it’s free, It integrates with the admin panel. So my requirements were admin panel integration and plugin support. Off site stats maintenance wasn’t a requirement.
Pros: Free, Off site stats storage, Long-term historical data detail
Cons: More data to Google (some may consider this a con, others may not). I’m on the fence.
Plugin: Many. I use Google Analyticator.
Google Analytics is easy enough to use for basic stats although it becomes more complex as you dive into what’s available. Due to it’s popularity there’s a plethora of information about setting it up and books about using it.
Pros: Free for summary data and detail on the last 500 visits. Additional detail logs for a fee. Offsite stats storage.
Cons: Depending on how busy your site, the 500 line limit may not be enough, requiring added cost.
Plugin: Official StatCounter Plugin
StaCounter is easier to extract the detail information than Google Analytics. The downside is the log file size limits how much detail you can keep with one line equating to one page view. So the free 500 is good for 500 views. I like that the detail includes the search terms that bring visitors to the site and StatCounter makes it easy to view and analyze this information.
Personally I like StatCounter better than Google Analytics but would have to pay for additional logs to make it useful. Summary information is kept long term which is often all I want.
Pros: You maintain the database and control the data. Flexible configuration, only track what I want.
Cons: $30/domain. You must maintain the database.
Plugin: Mint Analytics (which I’ve edited to ignore my visits)
Mint’s stats database can be on another server, but it needs to be a server you control. Since your installing the software and database locally it’s significantly more complicated than the other options. You can choose which plugins (called Peppers) to install. These peppers can be developed by the Mint community, not just the owners, I’ve had problems integrating some of the more complex features such as RSS feed tracking and on site search tracking, Some of these problems arise because of conflicts with some of my other choices, such as using a Google custom search for on site searches and aren’t necessarily the fault of Mint.
I want to like Mint because it lets me control the data. But I don’t like the hassle of maintaining it myself. While not a lot of effort once it’s installed, it’s more effort than the other options. In theory Mint would place more load on the server although I haven’t had any performance issues. Also, I had to manually edit the Mint plugin to not track my own visits, something the other options already include.
I also like StatCounter more than Google Analytics as I get to the data I care about easier than with Google Analytics. But I’ll have to pay for added log space in order to get the 30 days I’d want.
Finally Google Analytics has the long-term logging and is free. Still, I’m less and less confortable with all the eggs I’m putting in the Google Basket.
If you use WordPress Stats will you keep it once it’s part of jetpack? Do you use Jetpack already? Any other stats options you’d recommend?