Does WordPress Track Visitors or Include Analytics?

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When running a website, you’ll want to know how many people are visiting.

But does WordPress track visitors for you?

You may not see it in your dashboard, or maybe you’re wondering about this before you decide to use WP for your website.

Well, the answer is a bit complicated, but by the end of this tutorial, you’ll understand exactly when WordPress does and doesn’t track visitors.

Let’s get started.

Does WordPress track visitors?

The answer to this question depends on whether you have a self-hosted install of WordPress or if your site was created through WordPress.com.

If you made your website through WordPress.com, you’ll find traffic stats inside your dashboard that look like this:

WordPress.com traffic stats menu
Image source

There isn’t a ton of data, but you can see your Views, Visitors, Likes, and Comments.

If you have a self-hosted WordPress installation, then you won’t find this analytics dashboard in your menu.

However, adding visit tracking to WordPress is easy with the addition of a free plugin.

How do I know if I have a self-hosted install? You know you are self-hosting if you signed up for a web host, like Bluehost or Kinsta.

How to add visitor tracking to WordPress

Independent Analytics is a free plugin available for all WordPress sites and adds user-friendly analytics to your WP dashboard.

The Independent Analytics plugin

Independent Analytics starts tracking your views and visitors the moment you install it. It won’t slow down your site, it’s fully GDPR compliant, and it’s packed with valuable features for gaining insights into your visitors.

Here’s how to add it to your website.

Install Independent Analytics

To install Independent Analytics, start by visiting your Plugins > Add New menu.

From there, use the search bar at the top right of the screen to search for “Independent Analytics”. It will be the first result, and you can click the Install Now button to begin the installation.

Searching for the Independent Analytics plugin in the Plugins menu

After a few seconds, the installation will complete and you can click the Activate button to enable it on your site.

Button to activate the Independent Analytics plugin

With Independent Analytics installed, your site will now be tracking visitors.

Here’s how to access your new dashboard and learn more about your visitors with this analytics plugin.

How to access your analytics dashboard

You’ll find a new Analytics menu item added below the Dashboard menu item where you can find your analytics reports.

Screenshot of the beautiful analytics dashboard

From here, you can see how many views and visitors your site has gotten, including a beautiful chart and a table below listing all of your pages that have received a view.

Since Independent Analytics is deeply integrated with WordPress, it can show you things like your page titles and their page type (post VS category page), which is really helpful for making sense of your stats.

If you click the Edit Columns button in the toolbar, you can customize which columns show up in the table below.

Colum customization option

As you can see, it’s possible to include info like the post categories and authors alongside your view and visitor metrics.

There are filters too, which you can use to pull up traffic data for specific pages on your site.

Filtering data in Independent Analytics

And lastly, there is a separate report for your referrers, which are websites that have sent you visitors. You can think of this as a traffic sources report as it lets you know where your visitors are coming from.

As you can see, Independent Analytics functions well as a basic analytics program for anyone wondering how to track visitors on a WordPress website. At the same time, it also has tools for those that want to dig deeper and uncover new insights.

Start tracking visitors today

If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress website, there aren’t any analytics included by default, but this is easily fixed with a plugin like Independent Analytics.

It’s a much simpler alternative to Google Analytics, which is extremely complex for a blogger or small business website.

You can install Independent Analytics by searching for it by name in the Plugins > Add New menu or download a copy from here:

Download Independent Analytics

Now that your question (does WordPress track visitors) is answered, you’re ready to start recording visits on your own. If this tutorial helped you out today, please take a moment to share it with others using the buttons below.

Thanks for reading!

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.