The Stats Every WordPress Website Needs & How To Set It Up In The Dashboard

by Corey Philip
February 6, 2020

Administrative work usually takes more work and effort than the actual labor or manufacture of products in running a successful business. There’s more truth to that for businesses in the online sphere or those that have their own websites. That said, much of the administrative work needed in staying relevant online is tracking your website metrics.

As much as you put out marketing campaigns and promotions, the same amount of work should be put in tracking them and making sure they’re garnering appropriate ROI. This is where website metrics and data would stand useful. If you’re a total noob or newb (newbie), take my word for the only metrics you need to know right now and how you can set them up to be displayed from your WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Website Metrics and Data You Should Know

There’s no point in trying to understand all there is to know about website analytics right away. You’d most likely get overwhelmed and give up that way, so it’s better to ease yourself into it. In the beginning and as your website grows bigger in content and reach, these are the core metrics that you’d want to check for to keep your website updated and relevant to customers, both old and new.

Total Visitors

By total visitors, I mean unique visitors or the total number of people that visited your site, not including the number of times they visited. It’s easy to mistake this for the number of total visits.

Whereas the latter is about the number of times people visited your site, total visitors counts the number of people that actually came to your site. Therefore, it’s a much more significant figure because you can confirm how many people could be an actual lead or customer.

Time on site

This is also called session duration. Quite simply, it’s the average amount of time visitors spend on your site. On average, the benchmark is usually 2 to 3 minutes. If you look at the numbers they seem short, but no surprise there since it’s pretty common for people to exit out of a website in under 10 seconds. For safe measure, you want your time on site for your website specifically to be more than 3 minutes.

Also worth tracking: bounce rate (the percentage of people who bounced from your site right after opening it or after a few seconds of browsing or scrolling)

Broken links

Broken links are matters that should not be taken lightly. These broken links usually link to pages that were already taken down, resulting in 404 or any other type of errors when clicked on. They’re incredibly impactful on your site’s SERP (search engine results page) rankings. If there are too many broken links on your site, you might be flagged as an unreliable site, and be ranked down.

Broken images

Broken images have pretty much the same results as broken links, if not more. Not only is there an error right on your page, it also affects the readability and visual quality of your content. Audiences rely on visual cues more than text nowadays and without images, your site will look bland, boring, and hardly enjoyable to browse through.

Page speed time

Page speed time tracks the time it takes for your website to load. No, this shouldn’t be exclusive to the landing page. It averages the loading time of all the pages on your site. On average, it should be within 2 to 5 seconds. That’s the amount of time you have not to lose your visitors’ attention or interest, whichever of the two gives in faster.

Popular posts

Popular posts are always a reliable metric, particularly the top 10 posts that are garnering the most traffic and engagement. This directly gives you an idea what type of content, what topics or subjects your audience are drawn to.

Why should this be important if you’re a business not a blog? If you’ve seen any of my other posts at all or my work about contractor marketing, much of the marketing strategies these days across different industries rely on having consistent, enticing content. If you’re even questioning this, might as well start first with knowing the power of content in a successful business.

How to Set Up Analytics on WordPress Dashboard

Now that you know what to look out for in your website, let’s now work towards getting all these metrics and data front and center on your dashboard when you open the wp-admin area. Plugins are the key.

1. WP Statistics

WP Statistics is currently one of the top-ranking statistics plugins for WordPress with over half a million users as of this writing. It’s a simple tool that immediately tracks your website’s data once you download and activate it on your site. (You can download it from the linked text.)

It tracks real-time stats, which means you can see how many people are actually on your site at any given moment. Among other metrics are search engine referrals, recent visitors, top 10 browsers, and top referring sites.

From Dashboard you can click on Statistics in the sidebar on the left, on which page you can arrange the statistics to show which you want to see first. Otherwise, you can also immediately see the Quick Stats from the dashboard, and add on the stats you like to see by selecting them from the “Screen Options” at the top right hand corner of your dashboard.


  • Quick Stats
  • Top 10 Browsers
  • Top 10 Countries
  • Today's Visitor Map
  • Hit Statistics
  • Top 10 Pages
  • Search Engine Referrals
  • Latest Search Words
  • Top 10 Visitors Today

2. Broken Link Checker

Broken links are rarely included in analytics or statistics trackers and plugins. Broken Link Checker is a plugin solely for the purpose of finding and resolving broken links. It currentlyhas over 700 thousand users and is frequently updated.

This is the process of fixing broken links:

Step 1: The plugin will parse through your whole site (posts, pages, blogroll) for links.

Step 2: After it collects all the links, it will check each link if it works. (You can change the settings for which links are checked under Tools → Link Checker)

Results: Broken Link Checker will appear as a widget on the Dashboard, which you can opt to have closed by default, and only expanding when it finds a broken link.

You can change the settings to let you see all the links found, whether they’re broken or not. Otherwise, you can also create a filter that lets you customize the links that the plugin will check. For example, you can filter it to just be comment links or embedded Youtube video links.


  • Link monitor (checks all links in your website)
  • Custom link checking filters in search
  • View of redirects (when a link is working but it redirects to another page or site)
  • Link listing (includes all links in a page, broken or not)
  • Actions associated with links:
    - Unlink
    - Edit URL (edits the same URL across different pages if link is used - more than once)
    - Mark as ‘not broken’
    - Dismiss (to leave the link as is but mark it as broken or a ‘redirect’ on the page it’s in via strikethrough)

3. WordPress Popular Posts

WordPress Popular Posts is a very advanced plugin with a lot of features that doesn’t restrict you from displaying popular posts on your website and dashboard. For the purpose of this post, yes it does include a feature that puts a widget on the dashboard showing the most popular posts at the moment.

However, hear out some other cool stuff it enables beyond the dashboard. Popular posts is the plugin that lets you put a widget on several areas of parts of your website that mimics the style of a popular posts list. You can show popular services if you’re a service-based business or most popular products if you’re in retail.

It also has customization options like doing your own theme or layout of the widget. If you’re confused and can’t do what you intend with it, the plugin provides very reliable support.


  • Multi-widget popular posts in different pages
  • Most Popular Within a Particular Time Range
  • Custom Post-type support (Top post-type list with other content like popular products)
  • Thumbnails of popular posts
  • Statistics dashboard
  • Filtering options
  • Custom themes

4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

If you already have a Google account and have Analytics synced with your WordPress website, it might be more sensible to put metrics from Google Analytics to your dashboard than find a new plugin with its own set of measurements. The results with the two might be different based on how differently they capture data and your filtering settings.

It’s best to sync this if you’re already using Google Analytics, mostly because you can skip the hassle of changing the metrics you’re following! One of the top picks for this is Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.

With over 1 million users and frequent updates in accordance with WordPress updates, it’s almost a no-brainer. (More on this later) The biggest selling point of this plugin (at least in the context of this post) is that it gives most of the things in our list of metrics to keep track of.


  • Real-time results
  • View and access permission settings for users of your WordPress site
  • Entire Google Analytics tracking
  • Uses Analytics tracking code and provides privacy
  • Mobile-specific tracking
  • Various event tracking (emails, affiliate links, et cetera)
  • Display of Google Analytics reports

5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress by MonsterInsights is the reason why I say the previous plugin is just one of the top contenders and is just almost a no-brainer. If we’re going to look at the numbers, this one has more than 2 million users. I can probably attribute that to the fact that this one also enables the display of Google Analytics metrics to your actual website and not just your dashboard.

If that feature is important to you, then this plugin definitely tops the other. With everything else, most of them are similar in features offered. If you also own an e-commerce website, this being under MonsterInsights will give you more leverage because you can also benefit from the features offered by another great plugin for commerce sites.


  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance adhering to privacy regulations passed by the EU
  • Universal tracking for users/visitors from different browsers, devices, and platforms
  • AdSense and affiliate link tracking
  • Access to MonsterInsights features


Aside from the broken images, which can only really be fixed by accessing the web server via FTP, there’s a way to see all the metrics I’ve enumerated on the dashboard or wp-admin page after logging into your WordPress. Once you do, it’s easy to keep track of your website’s performance and make changes to it as necessary.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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