As I'm sure many of you can attest to viewing analytics for your WordPress site is not only helpful in determining what works, what doesn't, and where your traffic is coming from - it can also be really fun and addictive. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. So wouldn't it be great if you could get those stats right in your WordPress dashboard instead of having to go to your Google Analytics account or other analytics provider?
Of course it would. And sure, you could use Jetpack, but if like me you found that the Jetpack plugin significantly slowed your site down you might want to try something else. That something else could be a useful plugin recently re-launched called Google Analyticator.
The two main functions of this plugin is to provide a front end visitor counter (which in my humble opinion is a bit tacky and outdated) and a summary view of essential google analytics via a dashboard widget. It is the latter that I'm most interested and in the post below I'll show you how to install and configure the plugin to that end.
Installing the Google Analyticator WordPress Plugin
First things first, go ahead and download the Google Analytics plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory. Then navigate to your WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New > Upload > And install the plugin.
Once activated go to Settings > Google Analytics and get started there.
Configuring the Google Analyticator WordPress Plugin
The first step is authenticating with Google (i.e. granting this plugin access to your google analytics information), which Google Analyticator makes extremely easy. Make sure you're logged into Google and then click "Click Here".
A pop-up will appear asking for you to grant permission. Click "Allow Access".
Then Google will generate the code you need to paste into the space provided on the Google Analyticator settings page. Once the code is in there click "Save & Continue".
So now you will have access to the settings. The most important settings are the two at the very top. You'll want to make sure the plugin is enabled and that you've selected the proper matching UID in the drop-down menu. Other than that you can choose what else suites your personal needs.
When finished scroll to the bottom and click "Save Changes".
View Google Analytics in Your WordPress Dashboard
Now when you go to your dashboard you should see a widget that looks like the one below. As you can see it displays all of the essentials you'd want to check off and on throughout the day and if you want to dive in deeper you can always click the provided link to the full report in Google analytics.
I was really pleased with how easy it was to install and configure this plugin. I love being able to see my site stats without having to keep another tab open for Google Analytics and this is a really easy way to achieve that. What do you think? Is this a plugin you'd like to use? Are you using it already? If so, how's it working out for you?