Have you ever wanted to know which of your posts or pages is most popular, what time of day is best for posting content or where visitors are coming from?
Analytics tools can help you track these things. But which analytics plugin is best?
Let’s closely examine the Jetpack plugin, including the Jetpack Stats feature and how to set up social sharing.
What is Jetpack for WordPress?
Jetpack is an all-in-one WordPress plugin for analytics, performance, security, design and marketing. Jetpack’s toolkit simplifies WordPress management and helps you save time, whether you’re running a personal blog or a thriving eCommerce business.
While Jetpack itself is free, you can purchase individual add-ons or bundles for additional features. The Jetpack Stats feature comes entirely free, while Jetpack Social has minimal free features and a paid plan.
The free version of Jetpack helps you design your website, monitor website stats, improve load times and enhance security. The Security bundle offers additional scanning, backup and anti-spam features. The Complete bundle offers those tools plus extra growth and performance features.
How to install Jetpack
You can download the free version of Jetpack from the plugin repository, and the setup is quick. You can install the plugin on your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins > Add New.
To access Jetpack Stats and some other features, you must connect to a WordPress.com account. You’ll be prompted to do this as soon as you activate the plugin, but you can also click the new Jetpack menu item in your WordPress dashboard.
Create an account by going to WordPress.com and clicking Get Started or through Jetpack.
If you go with a paid version, Jetpack will handle the installation. You’ll just need to enter your website’s URL and your WP-admin credentials while checking out.
If you’ve ever used Google Analytics with your WordPress website, you know it can be overwhelming — especially if you’re just curious about which posts are doing best. This tool may be powerful, but you may prefer the simplicity and conciseness Jetpack Stats provides.
Jetpack Stats offers a curated list of only the most relevant metrics. It shows you which pages perform well, what authors write top articles and the weekly and yearly trends. And it tracks all of this in real time.
There are four places you can view Jetpack Stats on WordPress. The first is a widget on your dashboard, which gives a quick overview of your visitors and highlights. You can also find the “at a glance” version at Jetpack > Dashboard, which offers a basic overview.
You can view quick stats for individual posts and pages from the Posts or Pages menus. Just click the icon below Stats.
Finally, you have your full stats page at Jetpack > Stats. There are more detailed stats here, so let’s break it down.
On the Traffic tab:
- Click the gear in the top-right corner to hide some modules.
- At the top, you can switch between your 7-day highlights and 30-day highlights.
- Below this, you’ll find your main view/visitor chart. Click the arrows to go back in time and the buttons to switch the period of time tracked. You can measure views, visitors, likes and comments.
- At the bottom, you’ll find enhanced metrics on top posts/pages, referrers, countries, author leaderboards, search engine terms used, link clicks and videos. Click any to see more of this search engine optimization (SEO) information in-depth.
On the Insights tab:
- View your annual insights and all-time highlights.
- See your most popular day of the week and time to post.
- Jetpack recently added support to track popular tags and categories.
Finally, the Subscribers tab tracks your email subscribers over time.
Jetpack has plenty of settings that allow you to tailor your user experience. You can find the settings for Jetpack Stats in your dashboard at Jetpack > Settings under the Traffic tab.
Here, you can revert to the old Stats experience, enable logged-in page views and allow certain users to see your stats.
One of the most annoying parts of being a blogger or eCommerce store owner is having to share your post across multiple social media accounts. Jetpack Social takes care of the menial work by automating social sharing.
This feature connects to Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Mastodon and Instagram Business. Twitter is recently missing due to API changes.
The free version of this feature allows 30 monthly shares. Upgrading to Social Basic nets you unlimited shares, while Social Advanced also has key features like video sharing and engagement optimization.
Jetpack Social is deactivated by default, so you’ll need to navigate to Jetpack > Settings > Sharing. Toggle Automatically share your posts to social networks.
Now, click Connect your social media accounts. Like Jetpack Stats, you’ll need a WordPress.com account for this step. Click Connect and log in to your account.
Afterward, go to any draft you have and click the Jetpack icon in the top-right corner. Toggle Share when publishing and which accounts you want to share to, then write a custom message for each. This works with scheduled posts, as well.
To do this with previously published posts, follow the same steps and click Share post.
Otherwise, all your future posts will go out automatically.
Jetpack offers relevant stats that are easy to understand. It can also handle social sharing, taking out another time-consuming aspect of running a website.