a note on statistics and the wordpress dashboard

for those of you on wordpress (hosted at wordpress.com or not), i offer two items of advice, if you are interested in knowing who’s really linking to you, and how many people are visiting your contributions to the general irresponsibility of the world at large:

  1. WordPress statistics is very generalistic. they depend entirely upon whether or not the proper tag {wp_footer()} is contained somewhere within your main index page and any other pages that might serve content (author templates, archive templates, category templates, tag templates, single post templates, and wordpress ‘page’ templates). if your theme has all those separate templates, but lacks the proper code, those templates won’t trigger information into your stats. and if you’re on the hosted wordpress.com, you can’t edit the themes. see why i left? well, that was reason # 57, i think.
  2. When blogs that link to you directly, as in through a particular post, update their content and that post scrolls to the next page, that link will disappear from your wordpress dashboard. i just saw that happen with links from Jess and Tengrain. so basically, you can ignore that kind of shit too in your dashboard. Also, if someone simply hasn’t clicked a link to you, say in someone’s blogroll, for a while, wordpress drops reporting it as well. this is one of the reasons why i try to take time out every week to click through people’s blogrolls.

in short, the wordpress stats and dashboard information never come close to matching the real stats i get from my server software itself. so, at the risk of pimping something my wife may or may not be working for in the near future, i humbly suggest google analytics. it’s free, for one thing, the stats are far more verbose, and they match succinctly with the actual statistics i get from my server software. it does a lot of other useful things as well.

i also have a sitemeter thingy running from my sidebar. it’s not very verbose, either, for what it’s worth. at least not the free one. my stats from feedburner are absolute crap (they report less than 30% of the hits my server stats say touch my feed. kinda sad, that, and i’m glad i don’t pay for it).

okay, that was your handy tip for the day from Commander Other. carry on!

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