Stats warning when using Wordpress

Rob Whisonant

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If you are running Wordpress and your stats show you are getting 10,000 visits per month. (Example only) You most likely are not. Here is the problem. Hackers love Wordpress... Drill down in your stats and look for total visits to each page. Look for visits to the admin login page and the xmlrpc pages. You will most likely see that the vast majority of visits are to these pages. These are hackers trying to hack into Wordpress. Subtract these visits from your total and that 10,000 visits a month suddenly is only 150 visits per month. (example only)

This is one of the pitfalls for using Wordpress.
 

virtubox

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Hello Rob, at first it depend on the analytics software you use with WordPress. If you use the stats provided by JetPack, you will not have really good results.
But with a solution like Google Analytics or Piwik, you can track properly your visitors and the tracker will not be loaded on page like login or xmlrpc.
I do not have any bots in the stats tracked with my Piwik instance.
 

Rob Whisonant

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Many people rely on the stats available in Cpanel. Awstats for instance. It shows Wordpress stats the way I explained. Many other stats packages do the same. So yes you have to be careful what stats programs you use if you want more accurate stats when running Wordpress.

The main reason for my warning post was because I have heard over and over that someone is suddenly getting thousands and thousands of visits. They get all excited but can't figure out why they are not making any money. Once you dig into the problem, it's 99% of the time what I was warning about in the original post.
 

virtubox

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virtubox
Yes, AWstats isn't the most accurate solution to track visitors because it use only the access logs to display stats. But I was thinking almost all websites use Google Analytics.
 

Rob Whisonant

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Rob Whisonant
A very small percentage use GA actually. Pick a search term and look at the source of each page in say the top 20 or so and look for the GA code. Personally I use it on a few sites. But the vast majority of sites I have I do not use it.

Let's not even mention all the Google haters there are that would never use GA. :)

As far as accuracy goes. If the surfer has javascript disabled... What will GA show about his visit? Think about it.
 

virtubox

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On personal blogs that's probably true, but that's not the same on business websites.

I do not use GA, because it decrease website performance, and provide (in my opinion) too much data about my visitors to Google. But javascript file ga.js is useful only to have advanced informations on your visitors (device, browser, computer OS, screen resolution etc..). But even if the javascript is blocked, the request is already done to the Google server and will be displayed on GA (url, country, referer do not require javascript to be added in your stats).
That's why I use Piwik, which provide a fully asynchronous javascript file, and can track visitors with or without javascript. I do not need to know everything about my visitors, like the most part of users, I just want to see if my articles are popular, and the sources of visitors.

I'm talking about piwik.org, but there are some good alternatives : count.ly or openwebanalytics.com
 
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