It’s great to quantify your readership, and there are several plugins on the Commons that provide interesting statistics.
The FireStats plugin has been available on the Commons for a long time, and many members use its widget in their sidebars to advertize site statistics (see screenshot on the right). Be forewarned that the widget can make your pages load slowly. If you notice slowness, go to Dashboard>>FireStats, found on the upper left hand corner (circled in red in the screenshot below). Click on the “Settings” tab and then “Compact old data.” This will help enormously with slow page loads.
FireStats provides a lot more than what’s displayed in the widget. Click on the “Statistics” tab (next to the Settings tab, hightlighted above) to discover what’s available.
Google Analytics is installed on the Commons site-wide, and provides a variety of statistics that are now available for individual sites. Follow this link to see how it works. You’ll need to contact Brian Foote, and he’ll set you up to receive activity emails on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. Activity is provided in a spreadsheet, broken down by Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average Time per Visit, Bounce Percentage, and Exit Percentage.
Since we have Google Analytics running site-wide, we don’t provide widgets to display individual site stats – you’ll need to receive data via email.
The Jet Pack plugin is actually a bundle of 16 plugins that have been developed for WordPress.com. Most are free, others are premium plugins that cost money to use. Each plugin can be activated or deactivated according to your needs. If you use a lot of other plugins on your site, you might want to be conservative in what you activate in JetPack – some of your existing plugins may conflict with JetPack’s plugins. (For example, if you have Simplier IPaper activated on your site, and you try to activate Shortcode Embeds, you will get an error. You’ll need to first de-activate Simplier IPaper.)
The screenshot below shows JetPack’s main page:
To use JetPack you’ll need to have a WordPress.com account. This is easy to get, and does not even require starting a WordPress.com blog. Just register here, get your id/password, and you are ready to activate Jet Pack.
JetPack provides a nice stats plugin that you can use to track your readers. It also provides Latex support for mathematical notation, and a bunch of other plugins, many of which are similar to other plugins on the Commons. Take some time and explore.
One of the plugins that’s included in JetPack is called “Stats” and it presents readership data in various graphs, in your dashboard, as shown below:
The Admin bar has a simple graph showing activity, and when clicked, takes you to full details.
The StatPress Visitors plugin was recently installed on the Commons, and comes with two sidebar widgets to display statistics. One shows the most popular posts and pages on your blog and the other shows statistics for today – number of visitors currently online, users logged on, etc.
From your dashboard you can retrieve a lot of detailed information, including statistics about bots, spiders, subscriptions to RSS feeds, popular pages, unique visitors, page views, browser and operating systems, IP addresses, etc.
This is a neat plugin with a lot of bells and whistles, and one worth checking out. Check out their Flickr slideshow: