Google Analytics Questions
We have the WP Google Analytics plugin installed on the Commons. I have been looking for it in the WP repository, but can't find it. I have a sense that it really doesn't do that much. Can the same be accomplished by going to Settings>>General and entering a tracking ID? We have members that are expecting a little more magic from the plugin, like a GA dashboard, something that might be available with this plugin - https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/
If WP Google Analytics doesn't do that much, maybe we should replace it with an plugin that makes GA a little more user friendly.
I know we are not keen on supporting GA, but the Social Media Fellows are looking for web metrics, and currently we just have GA and Jetpack.
#1 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 year ago
- Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback
Here's the link to the plugin in the wordpress.org repo: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-google-analytics/ It's probably hidden from search because it hasn't been updated in several years.
I don't know whether it even works anymore, as I know that GA changes its syntax occasionally. Even if it does, I would certainly be fine with hiding it from new users. Removing it for existing users is much more complicated, and I don't think it's worth doing.
It looks to me like the plugin gives more control over the GA tracking behavior than our single Settings > General field. According to the documentation, you can send custom variables to GA based on things like tag views. I'm not certain how useful this is. But you're correct that it doesn't give any interface on the WP Dashboard for viewing GA data.
I'm never eager to add new plugins, Google-associated or otherwise :-D But if there's demand, I think it would be OK to try out something like https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/. It seems well-regarded. It's not clear to me how much functionality is available in the free version, but maybe this is something you could assess after I install it? What do you think?
#3 Updated by scott voth about 1 year ago
Hi Boone - Thanks for the link - I see that our plugin has not been updated in six years and agree that we should deprecate it.
I installed Monster Insights (https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/) and Site Kit by Google (https://sitekit.withgoogle.com/) on a non-Commons site. Monster Insights seems a lot better, although it is annoying that, of their six tabs, only one is available for free version. The rest require upgrades to the pro version. But it does give you the basic metrics, and if you want to delve further, it links out to your Google Analytics account site with some good canned reports and everything else that GA offers. It does really make it simpler to work with GA (which I find a heavy lift).
#4 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 year ago
- Status changed from Reporter Feedback to Staged for Production Release
- Target version set to 1.17.7
Thanks for doing this research, Scott!
In https://github.com/cuny-academic-commons/cac/commit/8e701f0f3d73bb96cbc0031a133ee490ff5fa8c3 I've hidden the existing plugin, so that it will no longer be possible to activate it.
I've added google-analytics-for-wordpress in https://github.com/cuny-academic-commons/cac/commit/e996486a93086350ff9739f6e62aac6180e07f2e. I agree that it's annoying that the tabs are disabled in the free version, but it sounds like the free version has enough features to make it worthwhile to install.