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WordPress® All-in-One For Dummies® by Michael Torbert, Andrea Rennick, Kevin Palmer, Cory Miller, Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Exploring the Options to Track Data

You have a lot of options when it comes to tracking data on your blog. Although Kevin prefers one specific solution, Google Analytics, we share with you some of the different options that you have. Analytics is popular because of its widespread use, the amount of content written on how to maximize it, and the fact that it is completely free.

Here are three popular tools:

  • StatCounter (www.statcounter.com): StatCounter has both a free and a paid service. The paid service doesn't kick in until you get to 250K page views a month.

    StatCounter (shown in Figure 3-1) uses the log generated by your server and gives you the ability to configure the reports to fit your needs. If you want to use a log file, you need to have a self-hosted blog and to know where your log file is to be stored. StatCounter requires a little more technical knowledge than your average analytics app because you have to deal with your log file instead of cutting and pasting a line of code into your site. The main advantage of StatCounter is that it is in real time, whereas Google Analytics always has a little bit of lag in its reporting.

  • WordPress.com Stats (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats): WordPress.com provides a pretty good stat package for its hosted-blog users. Shortly after launching, WordPress.com provided a WordPress Stats plugin that self-hosted users can use (see Figure 3-2). If you use this package, your stats appear on the WordPress Dashboard, but to drill ...

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