Don’t have a self-hosted WordPress site but want good quality statistics?
You can get them from STATCOUNTER.
A long time ago —- well, in 2012 to be precise, I first began using the free WordPress.com software / platform for blogging. As a hobbyist blogger who is interested in all animal-kind, I found WordPress “purr-fect” to showcase the antics and photos of my beautiful cat Shandy, and of all sorts of other animals. Nobody was more astonished than me, when after around 6 months of blogging on my Fascinating Animals (FA) blog, the Views or “hits” really took off. I am being “relative” here because compared to Blogs with hundreds or thousands of Followers, probably the number of visits to my FA blog is low – but I run my blog because I love to, and not for business or for the stats.
I can see from the inbuilt WordPress Stats that the content of my FA blog has been read consistently by people. Back in the earlier days of my blogging, I thought I wonder if I can get more detailed statistics than WordPress’ “unique number of visits” and “number of page views” (where “page” means a Page or a Post)?
The answer is …. YES !
Statcounter offers a way to provide detailed statistics for your free WordPress.com blog up until a limit, FREE OF CHARGE. Statcounter says:
- The data we collect is then processed and analysed by us and stored in our database servers.
- This is the fun bit! You can then log into your account anytime night or day to monitor and view your visitors and stats in real-time!
Useful Links follow
The in-built WordPress stats show the Posts and Pages visited and Number of Visits, search terms, referrers, countries that visitors are from, and any clicks made on links in your blog.
HOW TO USE STATCOUNTER
It’s really easy to use Statcounter. You sign up (top link above) then sign into your Statcounter dashboard. Click on Add New Project at the top right corner and type or paste in the URL (web address) for the Blog you want detailed statistics for, and a general Name e.g. Fascinating Animals in the “Project Title” box. Skip “Project Group” then select and complete the rest of the information asked for.
You can have Invisible Tracking which is what I started with, which means no Counter will appear on your blog. Here you also set the frequency of Email Reports which I’ll show you more of what it looks like later, and you can even enter email addresses of other recipients that you want your Reports to go to!
If you select a customised Visible Counter for your Blog home page or a standard StatCounter Button, this will place a “Counter” on your WordPress blog. The visible Counter will show the number of page views to date.
You can tick “Make Statistics Public “under “User Access” if you select StatCounter Button, and this will generate a LINK on your blog home page, which visitors to your blog can click on – to see the SUMMARY STATS for your blog!
If you select “Visible Counter” you can click on Customize underneath it (see screenshot above) to customize a Counter by size and number of digits for the count and by colour, as shown below.
Note, customizing and using a Visible Counter does not require ticking “Enable Public Statistics” because once the Counter starts working, it will appear on your blog and will display or show the number of Page Views or Hits on your blog.
If you tick “Enable Public Statistics” it will put a LINK on your blog next to the Visible Counter, on which visitors can click on to see Summary Statistics for the default period of 7 days. If you don’t tick it, your visible Counter is displayed without a link next to it.
The Summary Stats are Page Views, Unique Visits and Returning Visits. The help page below explains what Unique Visits are. The number of unique visits or visitors are not always equal to the number of page views, because of course 1 visitor may look at more than 1 page.
Have a look at the bottom (Footer) of my blog, Book Reviewers International, to see the Statcounter Button and Link to the summary stats in operation.
Using the “Visible Counter” (customized to large size) will look something like that shown below, and you can have the Counter appear in either the Sidebar of your blog or in the Footer. 00000005 means 5 pageviews or page views to date.
After completing the New Project details, click on the blue Add Project button at the bottom left of the screen (not shown in my screenshot 1 above), and this will generate a piece of “HTML” for you to add to your WordPress blog, to get your stats tracking going.
ADDING YOUR STATCOUNTER TO YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG
- Click on “Copy to clipboard” to copy the stuff in the white box (into your invisible clipboard), then head over to your WordPress blog dashboard (sign into WP if you’re not already signed in).
- Click on Customize under Personalize (next to Themes).
- Click on Widgets.
- Select Footer (or Footer Widget Area or one of the columns for your Footer if your Theme has a layout with more than 1 column for your blog’s Footer) – and I recommend that you put your counter in the Footer, BUT you can opt to place it in a SIDEBAR if you prefer, by of course selecting Sidebar rather than Footer.
- Click on “Add a Widget”.
- Scroll down until you see “Custom HTML” and click on it.
- PASTE the “HTML ” snippet from your Clipboard, into the Content box (don’t worry about the Title). You can right-click anywhere in the white box under Content: and then left-click on Paste (for Windows OS).
- Click on the blue underlined Done after pasting all the snippet in.
- Click the blue Publish button at the top.
You should then verify that the “installation” of the Code has worked by scrolling down your Statcounter screen for the part below, and clicking on the “Verify installation” button.
If it has been correctly inserted to your WordPress blog, you will see a message similiar to that shown below.
You should probably get Statcounter to ignore your own visits, if you want to get stats for visits by people other than yourself. For instructions on how to do that, please go to the end of this post.
WHAT STATISTICS CAN I GET FROM STATCOUNTER
Manual for using Statcounter http://statcounter.com/support/manual
The FREE Statcounter shows you Detailed Statistics for up to 500 pageviews (page views also called “lots” according to Statcounter) and this number of pageviews may equate to one month of visits to your blog or to 2 months or to one week or (dare I say) to 1 day for the very busy blogs, depending upon how much traffic your blog gets.
Once you have reached 500 pageviews (which I know is not alot) from that point onward, you can see the SUMMARY STATS for your blog since you started using Statcounter, but only see the Detailed Statistics for a short time-frame in the immediate past, e.g. for 14 days or 2 weeks. The actual time-frame, I think, will depend upon the rate of pageviews (page views or page loads) that your blog receives.
You can see what your Quota is by going to your Project (blog title) in your Statcounter dashboard, then clicking on Settings at the top, then on Project Settings in the left sidebar. A page / screen will appear and you scroll to the bottom of it, to see your Log Quota.
Say your detailed stats are available for the last 6 days only. You could download or save your detailed statistics every 6 days – to capture them on your computer, to cover the most recent 6 days of stats, if you wanted to. The OLD data is over-written.
Of course, if you want the convenience and functionality of detailed statistics for a maximumum of 100,000 pageviews or pageloads, you can go on a plan with Statcounter. Click on the link below for Statcounter Plans or pricing.
Very Important Note – please read
Statcounter detailed statistics are very limited with a free WordPress.com site – and this is explained later in this post. I wouldn’t pay for a plan because even with a plan you wouldn’t see Referrers or page titles of web pages that visitors come from, if they have not directly visited your blog (via having it bookmarked or typing in the URL / web address).
The inbuilt WordPress Stats DO show the latter, so you can use the FREE Statcounter service in tandem with the Stats provided via WordPress!
If you run a business and really want detailed statistics it’s better to have a self-hosted WordPress site with a relevant plug-in, such as Statcounter – which gives detailed statistics, including the names of the Pages and Blog Posts visited.
An explanation of Statcounter statistics can be found at the websites below (which is aimed at WordPress.org users who have a self-hosted website).
Statcounter Summary Stats show number of Page Views / Unique Visits or Visitors / Returning Visits.
You can chose the frequency for the display of your Summary Stats. The default is 7 days.
If you prefer the display to be a Line graph, rather than a Bar Chart, you can choose that by clicking on Chart options.
Here’s what I loved when I first started out with Statcounter, as I love information and statistics. It shows countries / towns / cities that visitors are from, and what computer Operating System and what Browser visitors are using, plus Visit Length and Languages of visitors (detected by technology that looks for language settings on computers of visitors).
The inbuilt WordPress stats do not give you the aforementioned statistics. Countries are given by WordPress but you cannot “drill down” and find actual towns & cities of visitors, as you can with Statcounter!
Statcounter statistic types are shown below (the options below appear in your blue statcounter dashboard).
NOTE: when using WordPress.com, Statcounter is limited in what stats it yields, e.g. it won’t tell you the Referrers (what website that visitors came from), or Entry and Exit pages for visits (once you have used up all of your free Log space for your Project / blog). To get that data from Statcounter, you need to have a Business Plan with WordPress.com for your blog, OR a self-hosted website for your WordPress blog or a paid WordPress.org blog, and to install Statcounter as a plug-in, or another relevant plug-in.
Once you have used up all of your Log space for a Statcounter Project (WordPress blog) the Popular Pages and Entry and Exit pages will not be loaded or displayed.
The unknown means the Page / Post titles of pages & posts visited is unknown, because the HTML version of Statcounter for free WordPress blogs cannot get that information.
Recent Visitor Map
Each of the orange symbols is a “plotted point” which you can click on, to get data.
Recent Pageload Activity
Recent Visitor Activity
Some Visit Lengths are recorded under “Recent Visitor Activity”. I think that visit lengths are not returned for visits less than 5 seconds.
This shows visit lengths for the past 2 weeks for my FA blog. You can can choose to examine visit lengths over one of the following time-frames – Today / Yesterday / Last 7 days / Last 14 days / 24 hours / entire Log duration. Remember to click “Apply” at the bottom right after you make your selection. The visit lengths could be different depending upon the time-frame that you choose to look at, e.g. you might like to look at yesterday’s visit lengths each day to get a snapshot of visit durations on a daily basis.
Country / State / City
Data for the log duration for my FA blog (2 weeks). You can choose one of the time-frames covered under “Visit Length” by clicking on the little arrow next to Entire Log (2 weeks). Note, that my log duration for DETAILED stats is only the last 14 days because I have used all my free quota of recording detailed stats for a maximum of 500 pageviews.
Country stats continued below … the numbers show the number of pageviews originating from that country
You can click on State / Region or City or on ISP or Language to “drill down” and see that variable in detail.
State / Region
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Language (look up a Language Code Table for the languages captured by statcounter)
NOTE: for the criteria Country, State/Region, City and ISP you can click on the magnifying glass, to “drill down” to get stats for each category under the criterion. For example clicking on United States, the first entry under COUNTRY yields the computer operating system and browser used for the pageviews, the Location and the Language. This is handy for targeted analysis, e.g. you want to just look up details for a particular country.
LOG REPORTS AND EMAIL REPORTS
To look at data for your Blog if you have more than one blog with Statcounter installed, click on Projects after you sign into Statcounter. Then click on the name of your Project.
There’s an option “Download Logs” at the very bottom of the blue dashboard – see the snapshot under DETAILED STATISTICS above. Clicking on this gives you the choice to download a document or log of your Statistics as a csv (comma separated value) file or as an Excel file. Below is a screenshot showing how the Stats look like in an Excel file. This shows stats for my entire Log duration (2 weeks) for my FA blog. Note: the Stats don’t show Page or Blog Post titles i.e. do NOT show what pages / posts were visited. Also I have used fake IP Addresses (but in real-life of course they are different, I am not making them public). The stats are ordered by Date and then by time of pageload or pageview.
Statcounter will email you a Report for your stats according to the frequency that you have selected, e.g. weekly or monthly. The screenshots below show what these emailed Reports look like and what data they include.
The rest of the email shown below ..
Finally, if you want to change any Statcounter Settings for your Project (i.e. your WordPress blog) click on Settings for your Project, at the top of the screen when signed into Statcounter.
Clicking on Settings will show you the following options on the left, e.g. here’s where you can opt for a Statcounter button or customized button for your blog, if you started with an invisible Counter, or get new Code to paste into your WordPress widget if you update your settings.
You can click on Ignore Visits from the Settings area of your Project, to block counting of your own visits to your blog.
You can let someone else access your Statcounter reports by clicking on Users/Public Access under the Settings options for your Project / blog. The trusted person will need to be registered with Statcounter and you will have to enter in their email address and password that they use to sign into Statcounter.com.