Analytify Good Free Google Analytics Plugin

Every website should have some form of visitor tracking. The analytics data lets you know if you are providing relevant content and engaging your visitors. Google Analytics is the most popular solution and while there is a very expensive enterprise plan, most sites are fine with the free version.

Google Analytics has a lot of reporting options built in, but people find the interface complex and confusing. For this reason, a popular approach is to have a basic set of reports available in the WordPress dashboard. Many of the plugins that provide onsite reports are premium plugins or plugins that ask for a lot of permissions, but there are a couple of free plugins that work well. One of those is the Analytify plugin. In this review I will provide an overview, walk-through the install, configuration, and show the report options. The review assumes you already have a Google Analytics account setup for the site. If not, you can refer to this Analytify knowledge base article or use one of the many online guides.

Video Version

Analytify Free vs Pro

The skinny on free vs pro is that free is good enough for most sites. See the summary and conclusion section at the end for my opinions on when you might want the pro version.

Analytify Free

There is a free version of Analytify in the WordPress plugin directory. It is easy to setup (see below), will automatically include your Google Analytics code if desired, and provides a good number of onsite reports.

Analytify Summary Card

The free version has more than 50,000 active installs, more than 290 five star ratings, and support threads are answered.

Analytify Free Install and Configuration

You install Analytify the same way you do any plugin from the WordPress directory. Click Add New and search for “Analytify”. Once activated there is a new admin menu. You will need to go to the Analytify / Settings menu to configure the plugin.

Analytify Admin Menu

The first time you go to the Settings menu you will see a setup wizard. On the first screen you have the option to allow the plugin to collect usage statistics or “Skip This Step”, which will skip the opt-in.

Analytify Start Of Setup Wizard

On the next page of the wizard you are prompted to connect the site to your Google Analytics account.

Analytify Step 2 Of Setup Wizard

When you click the green button, you are shown the Google login box. You will need to login into the Google account associated with the site and give Analytify read access.

Ga Permission

Once you give authorization, you can then configure the plugin. There are three settings screens. On the profile screen you can toggle to automatically include the Google Analytics tracking code, if you don’t already have it installed. You also need to select the account profile for the site.

Analytify Profile Settings

On the Admin settings screen, you can choose if you want an analytics report option under posts and pages.

Analytify Admin Settings

On the Advanced settings page there are some settings that might require more thought. The first option is to use your own Google project API keys. This is highly recommended for the pro version but not a requirement for the free version. I asked the Analytify team about this and they replied that Google recommends people have their own keys. They said that most free users are using the built-in Analytify keys and once in a while there is an error as a result. So I guess if you get a connection error they you might want to go through the process of creating your own keys.

You can anonymize the visitor’s IP address for GDPR compliance. If you site isn’t using SSL then you can force SSL to Google so the data is encrypted. If you want to track logged in users then you can track user IDs. The demographic, 404, and error tracking could provide information in the reports. If you have linked domains then you can track across domains. There is also an option for custom JavaScript code in case you need some custom tracking code.

Analytify Advanced Settings

Analytify Free Reports

Once the setup is done, you can go to the Dashboard menu. The reports can be run by a user-set time frame. The free plugin includes reports for:

  • General statics summary
  • List of the top countries
  • List of top cities
  • Browser, operating system, and desktop / tablet / mobile stats
  • List of top referrers
  • Social media referrers
  • Keywords used to find you
  • Bounce rates
  • AJAX, JavaScript, and 404 error reports

Here is a screenshot of the reports dashboard:

Analytify Report

There is also a free admin Dashboard widget available from the WordPress plugin directory.

Analytify Dashboard Widget Summary Card

The dashboard widget might be preferable if you have setup the dashboard for information and reporting, or if users are familiar with getting the site statistics information there.

Analytify Dashboard Widget

You can set the date range and there are several summary reports available from the drop-down.

Analytify Dashboard Widget Reports

Analytify Premium

The premium version is an addon to the free version, so you need to have both installed. The premium version adds additional reports for:

  • Graph for number of visitors
  • Graph for number of views
  • Real time stats
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Email Notifications
  • Google Analytics Goals tracking and dashboard
  • Enhanced E-commerce Google Analytics tracking for WooCommerce
  • Enhanced E-commerce Google Analytics tracking for Easy Digital Downloads
  • Shortcodes for showing the reports in more places

Note that some of the premium features are available as addons. The pricing plans for premium are tiered by number of sites. The addons can be purchased separately or in bundles.

Summary and Conclusions

Overall, I found the setup of the free version pretty straightforward and haven’t had any issues with the free version. In the past there have been a few times with the premium version where the reports took a long time to load, perhaps because of real time reporting (?). That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore and I’ve not noticed any slow down with the free version.

As you can see from the list of reports and screenshots, the free version covers all of the basic needs of most websites. The onsite reports will be useful for clients who just need basic reports and for site-owners to quickly see how the content is performing and to have some insight into their visitors. The premium version seems most useful when you want advanced campaign tracking or when you have an Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce store.

I hope you have found this quick walk-through helpful.

Visit the Analytify Website

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