22 Jun 2017

What are the Best Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress?

If you have been searching for Google Analytics plugins to boost business and drive traffic, read on. There are many exciting and highly-proficient GA plugins for WordPress on the market that will help you get a deeper insight into the behavior of your site visitors and help you cater for them more effectively. Google Analytics was launched in 2005 after Google purchased Urchin. It is now one of the most popular web analytics services around.

Features of GA include various data visualisation tools including scorecards, motion charts and a dashboard. You can use the platform to view and assess changes in data and behaviour over time. It also offers segmentation for analysis of subsets like conversions and provides you with valuable custom reports alongside e-mail based sharing and communication. The platform integrates with various other Google products such as AdWords. The tool is targeted towards small and medium-sized sites, particularly retail websites.

Let’s take a look at some of the very best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress right now.

Analytics Cat

The process of adding Google Analytics to your WordPress site is quick and easy with Analytics Cat. The plugin doesn’t feature an array of unnecessary features and enables you to add your GA code to your site in under two minutes, without the site being slowed down. All you have to do to get started is install and activate the plugin, copy and paste the GA info and you’re ready to get started. The plugin works straight out of the box, and there is a useful quick-start guide to make the whole process wonderfully uncomplicated. What’s also great is that the plugin is totally free (we actually use this plugin our site).

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights was once known as Google Analytics by Yoast. Free and paid-for versions are available, and the installation process is simple. Once you have configured the plugin, you’ll be able to track visitors, download numbers and click on outbound links. The intuitive plugin features tool that users can get to grips with quickly. You won’t need to open any other site to access analytical data after the plugin is installed, as everything you require can be seen on the dashboard. The plug in also uses lightweight code that doesn’t put vast amounts of pressure on the server. There are demographic and interest-based filters to take advantage of. Many users begin with the free version before graduating to the paid-for one.

WP Statistics

Also easy to get to grips with is WP Statistics. This plug in works flawlessly with a host of search engines including not only Google but Bing, Yahoo and many more. Visits are tracked based on GeoIP, and hashing IP addresses in the database are supported, protecting user privacy. The plugin can also track e-mail stats and place them in reports. You can export XML, TSV and CSV file data with the plug in, which is renowned for the quality and number of its export options. If you regularly need to produce reports to gain access to valuable information about user behaviour, WP Statistics could well be the perfect match for your needs.

Google Analytics WD

Web Dorado’s Google Analytics WD integrates Google Analytics into your site impressively, and there are many useful features to take advantage of, including stats overviews, traffic information, analytics reporting and more. The plugin is pleasingly responsive and has what it takes to give you a real edge over the competition. Free and premium versions are available. If you do find the free version to be somewhat restricted, you can opt for various Pro packages that rise in price depending on the features you require. The Pro plans unlock various features such as ecommerce tracking, pushover notifications, AdWords reports and full GA reporting to name but a few.

WP Power Stats

WP Power Stats works independently and has no connection with GA. It has built-in options that let you track visitors and generate reports based on a number of elements. Filters can be used to obtain greater analysis, and nine languages are supported. The plug in tells you about page views, unique views, devices used for viewing, browsers used, traffic sources, search terms, the geographical locations of visitors, operation systems and referrers details.

 

Analytics Stats Counter Statistics

This simple but valuable and reliable plugin only has a modest number of features, yet each one it does offer is incredibly useful. The plugin gives you an excellent insight into the activity happening around your site and supports IPv4 and IPv6 connections. It has an uncluttered analytic meter and can give you information about landing page performance, unique visitors, returning visitors, page views and stats based on geographical locations, screen resolution and more. The plugin app can prove very helpful if you’re running multiple blogs.

 

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

The Google Analytics Dashboard for WP may be perfect for you if funds are limited. The powerful plugin is available for free and has a popular live stats function that appears on each page or post. One limitation of the plugin is that you’re likely to get more use out of it as an advanced user, however it retains a vast host of valuable features, such as enabling you to add your own GA tracking code and show stats in the WP dashboard.

 

Analytify

This unfussy, popular plugin provides you with a detailed breakdown of post stats on the back and frontends. Rather than having to work your way through various individual sections of Google Analytics, you can see everything you need on a single page. There are increasing numbers of add-ons being prepared for the plugin, such as a feature that will allow you to track Woo Commerce and Easy Digital Downloads activity.

We hope you found our guide to the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress useful. Hopefully, you’ll find something in the above list that meets your needs, preferences and budget perfectly.

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14 Jun 2017

How to Install Google Analytics

Okay so you have a website that you are about to launch, you have created loads of awesome content, you have some of the best features that you can have for a website and you’re ready to roll. You know that your visitors are going to love your website because you spent aging crafting unique, high quality content that is focused on your target audience.

What you should always remember is that it is important to effectively measure any kind of marketing method, whether it is an email campaign being measured for click throughs, or how many visitors are viewing each page on your website. These are key measurements of how well your marketing is working.

Google Analytics is a hugely popular choice when it comes to tracking website usage, partly because it is so easy to use and partly because it is free.

If you’re new to using Google Analytics, then here are some simple steps you will need to take to get up and running:

 

– Visit https://www.google.com/analytics to sign up for a new account. If you already have a Google account, you can use that one so you don’t need to create another account.

 

You might also want to take a quick look at the demo video to give you a better understanding of how everything works.

 

– Once you have either created your new account or signed in with your existing Google account, the following screen will then be displayed:

– For the purposes of this article, we are looking at tracking website usage but you can also use Google Analytics to track mobile app usage. You will be given the following fields to select from:

 

 

– Select ‘Website’.

– Enter an account name for the website you want to track (if you want to track several websites then make sure you can differentiate between each one easily).

– Enter the website name and URL, followed by the type of business from the drop down list. Make sure that you select the correct time zone.

– The next section covers data sharing details which basically gives Google permission to access your data to provide analytical data and support, as well as using it for benchmarking. If you have any concerns about how your data will be used then read the privacy policy.

– Once you have selected your data sharing options, you can generate your tracking ID by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page:

– Read through the Terms of Service and if you are happy, click on the ‘I Accept’ button.

– You will then be presented with your unique tracking ID with the code that you will need to paste into any page on your website that you wish to track. The ID looks like UA-12345678-1 in terms of format.

– Familiarise yourself with some of the settings and if you want to monitor organic searches (where people have found you using a search engine), there is any area to add more than the default list of search engines.

At this point you will have successfully set up your account details ready to start using Google Analytics.

– You now have the choice between manually entering your code into your WordPress site or opt for one of the many plugins that will do it all for you.

A popular choice is the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. So you need to go to Add New Plugin within your WordPress site and find the plugin that you want to add. Install your plugin as you normally would (you can get more advice on how to install a plugin) and you will get the following page:

 

– Because you have already set up your Google Analytics account details, all you need to get started is to click Get Access Code. Copy the code that you are given into the Access Code field and you are ready to go.

You will be able to see a Google Analytics section has been added to your dashboard and you can find all of your website usage information in here.

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08 Jun 2017

How to Block IP Addresses in WordPress

Do you need to know how to block IP addresses in WordPress? If so, read on. There are many good reasons for blocking certain IP addresses from accessing your site. Many people choose to do this so they can avoid spam and reduce the likelihood of their sites being hacked. This article has been produced to tell you how to block IP addresses and tell you more about which IP addresses you may need to block to avoid attacks from cyber criminals and similar unscrupulous types.

What are IP addresses?

IP addresses can be compared to real-life addresses and telephone numbers. The addresses consist of 4 sets of numbers between 0 and 255 that are separated by dots. All computers that connect to the internet have IP addresses, which are given to them by ISPs or Internet Service Providers. Each time someone visits your site, their IP address is stored in your access log. In turn, each time you visit a website, the event is logged and your IP is stored. The fact that IP addresses are logged is very useful as it makes it easier to identify those engaging in unscruplous or illegal behavior related to your online space. IP addresses have resulted in many people having action taken against them for cybercrime including cyber bullying, hacking and more. However, some people opt to hide their IP addresses via VPN services. This can help them protect their personal information.

Reasons for blocking IP addresses

So, why would you need to block an IP address? Blocking an IP address can protect you from spam of various types including e-mail and comment spam, unwanted visitors, hacking and DDOS attacks. Symptoms of a DDOS attack include websites becoming inaccessible or pages taking too long to load. If you start to receive more spam e-mails or spam comments than usual, you may need to block IP addresses to stop this occurring.

Comment spam and DDOS attacks

WordPress can tell you the IP addresses of anyone that has left a comment on your site. Visit the comment page in the WP admin area to link comments up with IP addresses. Do you suspect you have come under a DDOS attack? If so, the first thing you should do is to look at your server’s access log. Login to the cPanel dashboard linked to your WP hosting account. Head to the ‘logs’ section and click the ’Raw Access Logs’ button. Click on your domain name in the access logs page so you can download the access logs file.

You will find the access log file in a gz. Archive file. Click on the file to extract it. There are various options available to you if you don’t currently have a program for extracting such files. You may wish to download a reputable program such as Windzip. Once you have extracted the files, you can open your access log file in a plain text editor such as Notepad. The file consists of raw data relating to all requests that have been made to your site. All lines start with the IP address that has made the request. Take care to avoid blocking yourself, trusted users and search engines from your site. If an IP address seems suspicious, there are IP lookup tools online that you can use to find out more about it. If you have a particularly high number of requests from a single address, this could be the source of the unwanted activity. You can copy and paste the IP addresses you are suspicious about into a new text file.

How to stop IP addresses leaving comments

Do you simply wish to prevent certain users from leaving comments? If so, you can do this in the WP admin area. Go to Settings » Discussion and scroll until you reach the ‘Comment Blacklist’ text box. The process is relatively simple – just copy and paste the unwanted IP addresses and click on ‘save changes’. Users with the IP addresses will now be unable to leave comments, though they will still be able to visit your site. However, this should help you win the battle against spam and help you deliver a better user experience for those who aren’t abusing your service. The offending users will see an error message when they attempt to leave a comment.

Have hackers attacked your site?

If you need to take more drastic steps to challenge those misusing your site, help is at hand. You can block IP addresses via cPanel to stop them gaining access to or viewing your site. This step may be for you if you have come under attack from DDOS or hackers. Login to the cPanel dashboard of the hosting account and head to the security section. You then need to click on the ‘IP Address Deny Manager’ button. This facility enables you to add any IP addresses that you need to block and can be of great value whether you need to block one or several addresses. If you do decide to unblock certain IP addresses – perhaps after learning someone else was responsible for the malicious behavior – you can do so in the same page.

Are you being attacked by addresses from across the world?

There may be situations where these steps are not enough. If you have come under attack from hacking attempts and DDOS threats from various random addresses from across the world, you can use a Web Application Firewall (WAF) for extra protection. One example of such a service is Sucuri, which is designed to protect you from such attacks and is ideal if keeping up with scores of offending IP addresses is simply not realistic. All of your site traffic will be sent through their servers so it can be assessed for suspicious behaviour. The facility can block all IP addresses deemed to be suspicious from accessing your site. The above steps can help you thwart hackers and keep your WordPress site safe from malicious attacks, so why not get started today?

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