Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress is a free, featured plugin that brings Google Analytics reports into your WordPress site.
This plugin uses a set of comprehensible reports to make your Google Analytics data easier to understand. A powerful widget with custom reports provides key analytics insights in your Administration Dashboard, while in-depth Page reports / Post reports allow further segmentation of your analytics data, providing performance details about your posts and pages.
The tracking component of this plugin will automatically install Google Analytics on your website by inserting the required tracking code in all your webpages.
If you are new to Google Analytics and you don’t have an account yet, you should create one before proceeding further. To create your first Account, Property and View follow this tutorial.
Google Analytics Dashboard – General Settings
In order to allow this plugin to retrieve analytics data from your Google Analytics account, you need to go through a simple authorization process.
To authorize the plugin go to Google Analytics -> General Settings and press the button called Authorize Plugin.
You will have to generate and save an access code. To generate the access code, press the link called Get Access Code, a new window will pop-up asking you to allow specific data from your Google Analytics account to be used by Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. After agreement, an access code will be provided by Google API.
Copy the code, paste it in the field called Access Code and save it by pressing the Save Access Code button.
The following video will guide you through the authorization process and will give you an overview of the available features.
When needed, you can use your own Google Analytics API Project to authorize the plugin. This is suitable for web developers, for websites generating a huge amount of API requests (huge websites/huge networks) or education purposes. To use your own API Project, select use your own API Project credentials in Google Analytics -> General Settings.
Using your own Google Analytics API Project has nothing to do with the amount of properties(domains) you have defined in your Google Analytics account. Webmasters managing multiple websites from a single Google Analytics account should use the Hide Now option. You’ll find more details about that option below.
After completing the authorization process, the page reloads and a set of new options will be available. At this point, you can select the preferred View from a Properties / Views list. If you have multiple Properties or Views defined in your Google Analytics account, the plugin will retrieve all of them and you’ll be able to select a default one.
After selecting a default Property with a View you can opt to remove / hide all other Properties / Views using the Lock Selection button. This feature is useful when you are authorizing the plugin using a Google Analytics account with multiple Properties / Views defined and you don’t want other Admins to be able to see them. To unhide the domains you’ll have to clear the authorization and authorize again.
Using the Theme Color option, you can pick a favorite color. This color and some variations will be used to render the aria chart, the geo map chart and the pie chart. This option will also affect the color of your front end widget.
Switch on the Automatic Update feature to automatically update the plugin when new maintenance or security releases are available for download.
Okay, you’ve completed the authorization process and selected a default color for your theme, now it’s time to make some extra settings like Backend, Frontend and Tracking Settings. To access the plugin’s options, select Google Analytics from your main menu.
Google Analytics Dashboard – Backend Settings
You may want to share your analytics data and your success with a team, your employees or your friends. The Show stats to option handles this kind of needs, allowing you to share your reports with other administrators, contributors, editors or authors. If you choose to share your data with your editors, you’ll have to select Editor role for Show stats to option. Similar access levels and roles can also be set for Frontend features.
If you have multiple Properties in the same Google Account, but you want to share reports about a single Property, you will need to keep the enable Switch View functionality option switched off. If you enable this option, authorized users will be able to switch between Properties using the domain list selector from their Google Analytics Dashboard.
Google Analytics Dashboard gives you full control over its features. For example, if you plan using it only as a tracking plugin, you can switch off the enable reports on Posts List and Pages List and enable the main Dashboard Widget features.
The Real Time settings will allow you to display real-time stats in your Administration Dashboard. To find more about the Real Time Feature read this post. You can limit the number of pages displayed on Real Time Dashboard by setting a suitable value for the option called: maximum number of pages to display on real-time tab.
If you have a local website or business you can target the Geo Map to a region and display visitors by city instead of visitors by country, you can read more about this feature here.
Google Analytics Dashboard – Frontend Settings
If you use this option, you will see some stats about how your articles/posts are performing, on front end, at the end of each article. You can display Views vs. Unique Views and Searches for each article/post. These stats and reports are only available for the user roles selected in the Show stats to option.
A sidebar widget is also available, you can enable it from Appearance -> Widgets. This is a public widget that will display your analytics stats to all users, as a regular widget works. You can choose between Last 7 Days, Last 14 Days and Last 30 Days reports and you can also choose to anonymize the stats. By anonymizing data, you can display your website’s trends while keeping the real analytics data private.
Google Analytics Dashboard – Tracking Code
Disabled (not recommended) means you are disabling the tracking component. The Google Analytics tracking code will NOT be automatically generated and inserted in your pages.
Enabled is what most of you will use. When Enabled is selected in your Tracking Options the plugin will automatically generate the tracking code, which will be inserted in all your website’s pages.
Don’t worry about your UA code, once you’ve selected the default domain in Google Analytics -> General Settings, the corresponding UA-YYYYY-YY code is automatically retrieved from your Google Analytics account and the tracking code is automatically generated and inserted in all your pages!
If you need more details about the tracking feature and its options follow this documentation page: Tracking with Google Analytics Dashboard.
Google Analytics Dashboard – Errors & Debugging
Errors & Details tab will display the last error, providing additional details when an API error occurs.
- Last Error Detected is set to None when no serious errors are detected.
- Error Details will show additional information (when available) about the detected error.
For more details about errors and possible causes check this error codes list.
Select Plugin Settings tab to view a list with the entire configuration of the plugin.
Other Resources & Final Notes
To install the plugin using the built-in plugin installer follow the steps from the above video. For manual installs, here is a copy of the latest stable version.
To submit bugs, make pull requests or test the latest beta versions use this GitHub repository.
To find more details on how this extension works and how your data is used, read Data Usage Policy for my Extensions.