Hacking Your WordPress.com Stats

For those who host their blog on worpress.com one of the advantages is the included statistics tracking program. For a free blogging platform it is nice to have a built in stat tracking apparatus that doesn’t require any additional effort to get up and running. Checking the metrics for your site is a great way to evaluate which blog content has been previously popular in order to create similar content in the future and grow your blog.

The downside to wordpress.com is that users are limited to the included stat tracking features by the inability to fully install other web metrics programs. Site Meter is a great web metrics tool however on wordpress.com you are limited to the non-javascript version which, among other shortcomings, fails to record referring sites. Google Analytics is completely unavailable on wordpress.com blogs.

However there is a way to hack the built in wordpress.com metrics tools in order to gain more information. This is the due to the use of php strings in the URL.

I’ll show you what I mean.

How to Hack the Summary Page

By default wordpress.com gives you the ability to summarize which posts have received the most hits over the last 30 days.

summary1.gif

By editing the php string in the URL you can broaden the range for this data.

The 30 days summary URL for my website looks like this (click to enlarge):

url30.gif

Notice the php string “&numdays” is currently set to “30”. (&numdays=30)

By typing a “9” over top of the “3” in the address bar I can change the string to:

url90.gif

Which returns this page summarizing my last 90 days of statistics:

summary2.gif

you can see that in the last 30 days my resume page has been the most popular post however in the last 90 days my rob bell post has been the most popular. I use this method to track which posts have been most popular over the life of my blog to manually update my all time top posts.

How to Hack Other Pages

The php string “&numdays” is editable on any of the wordpress.com metrics pages including:

  • Referrers
  • Top Posts
  • Search Engine Terms
  • Clicks

By default these pages show data for the last 7 days. However you can modify the rage to including any number of days you want with the ability to track stats over a much longer period of time. Simply type a new number into your address bar to create a new data set. (ie “&numdays=7” returns the last 7 days and “&numdays=30” returns the last 30 days.)

Note: Choosing a large range of dates will truncate your data. Apparently there’s a limit to how much data can be included on one page. For example if you view your “Search Engine Terms” for the last 7 days it will show you all of the terms used to reach your site even if that term was used only once. If you extend the range to 30 days it will show you only search terms that were used 2 or more times to reach your site.

How to Hack Daily Logs

You can go back to the “snapshot” page for any day in the life of your blog by adding the php string “&day” in the address bar to the end of the URL.

This page displays all the data for that day (including search terms or clicks that only occurred once.)

For example adding “&day=2007-07-23” will take me to the snapshot page for July 23, 2007.

statsday7.gif

You can edit the “&day” string to go to any day your blog has been in existence. (ie “&day=2007-06-16” goes to June 16, 2007 and “&day=2006-11-05” goes to November 5, 2006.)

Summary

By typing directly into the address bar of your browser you can edit the php string that is part of the page URL in order to access statistical tracking metrics from a broader range of time than is offered by the default wordpress.com statistics program. Both “&day” and “&numdays” are editable strings.

23 Responses to “Hacking Your WordPress.com Stats”


  1. 1 mudpuppy October 23, 2007 at 9:27 am

    I discovered that a few months back and have been loving it! I always do a really high number like “the last 700 days”, just to make sure I get the full spectrum.

    Never thought about letting others in on the secret though…

  2. 2 Billy Chia October 23, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Yeah it’s a pretty basic trick but I thought it’d be useful for a lot of people so I decided to share.

  3. 3 klampert October 23, 2007 at 10:07 am

    ah…billy thought about letting people on on the secret…cus he wants to beat us mud…simple as that…
    purely selfish

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    LOL!

  4. 4 Billy Chia October 23, 2007 at 10:28 am

    haha, yes the selfishness abounds at billychia.com lol.

    Actually man, congrats on getting your Chia post listed in the religion top posts. I think there are perhaps some blogging tricks you could teach me.

  5. 5 klampert October 23, 2007 at 11:20 am

    its was listed in top posts where? on wordpress.com?

  6. 6 Billy Chia October 23, 2007 at 11:31 am

    you were listed on this page:

    http://news.wordpress.com/

    as well as this one:

    http://news.wordpress.com/category/religion/

    You don’t have any referrals from those pages?

  7. 7 Fred McKinnon October 23, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I’ll show you my Google Analytics if you show me yours.

  8. 8 Billy Chia October 23, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Fred,
    lol – Right now I’m actually fully transparent with my stats – you can click on the site meter logo on the sidebar to see all my stats.

  9. 9 Megan October 23, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    my husband and I were just wondering about how to hack some of this stuff – thanks for putting it up Billy! You bless me with your geeklike savvy.

  10. 10 Russ October 24, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    My brain just exploded.

    I hate my blogspot blog, but I love the fact that it’s tied in to all my other google stuff so I stick with it.

  11. 11 Russ October 24, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    P.S. How about a link trade?? You’re already up on mine!

  12. 12 Billy Chia October 24, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Russ,
    I can’t believe I didn’t have you on there already… remedied.

  13. 13 worshipcity October 24, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Dude, I just wanted to know how I could get the past 30 days! I NEVER CLICKED ON “TOP POSTS” Hahahaha. That alone was worth it’s weight in gold reading through all this hub-ub!

  14. 14 Billy Chia October 24, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Conner,
    haha, I guess I did get a little techy there. Glad it was helpful.

  15. 15 Andy October 24, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Howdy! If you think that’s cool, try this:

    http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php

  16. 16 alex mclean October 25, 2007 at 12:06 am

    did u delete my comment?!

  17. 17 Billy Chia October 25, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Alex,
    What? No way! I’d have to be sick in the head to delete one of your comments man.

  18. 18 Sarah Chia October 25, 2007 at 7:49 am

    I’m with you, Russ. I figure that Google does a pretty good job with their stuff, so it’s just a matter of time before Blogger catches up, and then I’ll be glad I stuck with it.

    For now, I use SiteMeter, though.

  19. 19 blueraindrop October 27, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    i’m still trying to get mine to use my definition of “today” and “yesterday”, as while my post times are correct to my time zone, I’m currently operating on tomorrow on stats somehow. lol

  20. 20 Billy Chia October 27, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    blue,
    sounds weird – my stats have always well.

  21. 21 A. July 5, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for the links to this post, Billy! Checking this out now. 🙂


  1. 1 You have spoken! « Worship City Trackback on November 4, 2007 at 9:47 am
  2. 2 Virtual Hosting Blog » Web Stats Motherload: 100 Resources, Case Studies and Tools to Analyze Your Traffic and Improve Conversions Trackback on December 21, 2007 at 11:04 am
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