Understand who is visiting your website
Then you need to download WP Statistics. I liked the old JetPack stats but I hadn’t really tried many other stat tools. This plugin has so many great features I don’t know where to start. Click on photo to enlarge.
What is so wonderful about this first is how easy it was to setup. You only needed to activate this plugin and it was ready to start. You didn’t need to go to Google Analytics like so many other plugins to get your Google ID number. Fantastic.
I also liked how simple it was laid out and how thoughtful. It has given me more details than I am interested in, but I could see why others might be interested in those details.
Thirdly it started working immediately. After I installed it I saw data in real time start to appear. I liked how it was broken up in Visitors and web page visits so that I could understand it better. Strangely I saw a big increase in visitors after installing the plugin. It could be because of my switch to Websynthesis my new hosting company, or because many of my articles I am redoing to enhance their SEO value.
The other neat thing is that it shows more detail than any other analytics plugin I have used. It shows by story what is the most popular browser that is used. I’m not sure what I would do with that level of detail, but it is available if I want it.
Strangely I went to the developers website and he doesn’t seem to offer an upgrade path or anyway to donate to him. This plugin is so good I want to give him money but I don’t see a way how. Does an email asking how to give money sound silly? I want to support those who provide great WordPress plugins.
WordPress › Support » WP Statistics.
My experiences with web service providers
I have been very pleased with my current hosting company InMotion Hosting. However it always helps to research the options – here are the best companies.
Email – Gmail is ok for email for personal use. Google for business is ok for email/cloud storage but it is not what people expect. Most people want Exchange and feel uncomfortable without knowing everything is what they have always known. Rackspace has been excellent in hosting exchange email for about $10 per person. Before Office 365 was popular this was my favorite option for clients. Now with the free features that Office 365 gives, most people are better served by using that for compatibility with others.
Website hosting – Rackspace has great reliability, and InMotion does as well. Rackspace is priced more for business and InMotion has very affordable plans. They both have outstanding service. With that said, if money is no object then the best web host is Websynthesis. (I am not an affiliate.) The cheapest plan they offer is $47 but that is a great value for all they do. They basically do everything that you would have to pay extra for with cheaper services. It is a great value. They are managed web hosting for WordPress and just focus on that. Since my site is WordPress I am considering going to them next year.
Website CMS – The choice of what you create your website with is huge. I tried many content systems and like WordPress the best. WordPress may have been for blogging originally but it does far more than that now. Many huge companies are using it and it remarkable how quickly you can do useful things with it. If you have tried to use SharePoint in the past to share information, WordPress is what SharePoint wishes it was.
Data Storage – I use Google Drive to store my data. DropBox keeps having security issues. If I were helping a company however, Box is the service I would use. They are the standard for enterprise storage and for many companies they work reliability.
Cloud computing – This is a tough one. It really depends on what you are doing. If you are a developer then Amazon is your best choice. If you are just looking for a computer to do general purpose computing then I would go with Rackspace/InMotion. Azure is bizarre in its interface and only a few months ago it had a major outage. AWS and everyone else has outages too so I wouldn’t put all of my eggs in one basket. I would strongly suggest that you have two cloud companies and one function as a backup if you need 100% uptime.
Computer Hardware – I prefer Macintosh computers since they tend to have less quality control issues. With Citrix and outsourced services, computing platforms continue to be less relevant. However the sad truth is that if you can use a mac to get your work done you can probably also use a Chromebook. Very few people who use a mac for video/graphical work couldn’t also get it done using a Linux system. There are many companies that have Mac/Linux systems and they seem to compliment each other better than the more traditional Mac/Windows combination. Even companies that do heavy graphic work now often use grid computing on Linux servers so the old model of huge hardware on the client side is no longer the trend. Most customers can work very well on a “consumer” system like a MacBook Air.