But there’s obviously plenty of other services and tools we integrate into the WordPress websites we design and develop, from Google Analytics to Disqus to Mailchimp. Each one serves its own purpose, making your site smarter, faster or more useful.
Let’s take a look at three tools your website can benefit from — and what they do for your bottom line.
As much as Google Analytics dominates the market for in-depth statistics, one of its biggest problems is its real-time reporting. Yes, Analytics has a real-time section, but I’ve never gotten onboard with it — mostly thanks to a history of delayed reporting — it used to take a few hours for Analytics to report your site traffic.
Because of that delay, many early users of the service looked to alternatives for real-time data. For that, we use StatCounter. It’s a free stat tracker that lets you break out “Recent” data in addition to overall data, so you can see what’s currently happening on your site — currently popular content and where the traffic is coming from — so you can respond as appropriate.
AddThis makes it easy to integrate social sharing into your site. Rather than grabbing sharing code from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more, AddThis gives you simple code to use to make sure you’ve got sharing buttons.
One of the more convenient things about using AddThis is that you can track sharing from your site into your profile, so it’s easy to tell what content is getting shared and where. They’ve also got a bunch of plugins for WordPress, so while we normally like to implement the code in the template itself, if you’re looking for a plugin, they’ve got one (or more).
If you’ve ever wanted to see a visual representation of how users use your site, CrazyEgg is the tool that gives it to you. It’ll deliver a heatmap of specific pages you’re looking to track, showing what’s most popular based on where people are clicking. It’s really useful if you’re testing out two different designs of a particular page, or want to find out where people go after visiting a particular page.
It even lets you get more specific; for example, you can see what users who came from Google did on your page and compare that to users who came from a different referrer.