I have been writing this blog and focusing on grilling, sports, photography, and home projects for over a year now, but I have yet to post about the analytical side of the site until now. While at work on Wednesday afternoon I received an email from WordPress that made me absolutely excited: “Just released: Google Analytics on WordPress.com Premium.” I was absolutely pumped about this. As of this post, this site is hosted on WordPress.com and not a self-hosted WordPress.org site which provides some limitations into the extent of flexibility in the tools that I am able to use to expand on the site.
WordPress.com paid tiers are broken out into 4 different silos:
- Personal – $4/mo – annually
- Premium – $8 /mo – annually
- Business – $25 /mo – annually
- eCommerce – $45 /mo – annually
For many people, more specifically, WordPress.com users there is not a need to make a jump into the Business/eCommerce tiers due to the limited demands of their site, but they may have a desire to have some of the core functionality and insight that is provided with one of those tiers via Analytics integration. This limitation forces people to make a significant jump in cost for functionality. In this case, if a user wanted to integrate Google Analytics into their site, and they are on a WordPress.com plan, they would have been forced to nearly triple their cost for the plan, from $8/mo (annually) to $25/mo (annually).
Much of the flexibility of the WordPress platform comes from things that are limited to the Business and eCommerce tiers, including plugin support – SEO tools primarily based on their “Most Popular” plugin section – and until now, implementing Google Analytics.
For me, Google Analytics is a massive deal to have included on the site. While it may not be necessary, it provides another level of insight into what visitors are doing while on the site and gives the owner of the site more context to the statistics beyond the “Visitors” and “Views” that WordPress is letting users know through their “JetPack” tool. With Google Analytics the site owner can see things like time on page, bounce rate, referral path, etc. All of these being metrics into the site to ensure you know more than an arbitrary “Visitors” and “Views” number.
With the more limited data initially being provided, the site owner may see numbers trending one way or another, but not actually know whether the traffic is genuine, or if it is bot traffic. With Google Analytics being implemented on the site, the data available to the owner can be honed in on, and they will be able see how long someone may be lingering on the page, and whether or not it was an immediate bounce. This information can be extremely helpful to the owner to be able to push things and change strategies to make the site more useful to the visitors.
All of this is to say, thank you WordPress for allowing this in a lower tier. To me, this is essential functionality that was unnecessarily being limited, but I am genuinely thrilled for those who have the Premium subscription to your platform to have the ability to integrate this.