With the data protection basic regulation (GDPR ) and the coming ePrivacy Regulation the status quo of the WordPress community will be shaken up. Many of the numerous Plugins, which exist for WordPress , and partly WordPress themselves are not yet prepared for this step. There is a lot of uncertainty among most WP website operators. What exactly has to be done? Is my site also affected?
This blog post is not legal advice. In the context of our work as WordPress web host we have dealt very intensively with the data protection regulations applicable in the EU. But we are neither lawyers nor data protection experts. We do not assume any liability for the completeness, topicality and correctness of the contents provided by us.
As a blogger, author and online marketing specialist, I help many businesses build a system for long-term online customer acquisition. On my blog I regularly publish my own thoughts on the subject of WordPress , online marketing and technology.
One of the most common problems I experience during my work is the integration of Google Analytics. The tracking tool of the internet giant is market leader and accordingly installed on many WordPress websites. But because personal data is also transferred when the analysis data is transmitted to Google, the use of Google Analytics without the user's prior consent is problematic.
As far as I understand the requirements of the upcoming privacy changes, you would have to take the following steps before you are allowed to use Google Analytics:
- Order data processing contract conclude with Google.
- Ask users for tracking permission when entering site .
- If you agree, load tracking code with IP anonymization enabled and if you disagree, do not load tracking code.
- Provide tracking opt-out option.
Google itself offers a cumbersome solution and many WordPress users are also on the brink.
So what to do? Do without analytics data altogether? Not an option for most, because they are an important factor for decisions made in the company.
Using Plugins like Borlabs cookie tracking codes like the one from Google Analytics can be embedded in the way described above. But is the infinite collection of visitor data really the right solution?
May I introduce. Statify - WordPress -Analytics without tracking cookie
It was all too much clutter for me and I didn't want to greet visitors to my website with a big banner saying "Hi I use Google Analytics to find out what you're up to on my website. Please agree once, thank you!" Anyway, I almost always just looked at Google Analytics for the statistics on the most visited sites . I also know that most users visit my website with a smartphone.
After a bit of research, I then found Plugin , which is a simple and elegant solution and provides exactly what I needed to put an end to the jungle of obscurities: Statify. Statify is a WordPress -Plugin of the so-called plugin collective - a group of volunteers who maintain and develop several Plugins, which were originally developed by Sergej Müller.
After installing Plugins, you will find another widget in the WordPress dashboard, which from now on displays three pieces of information:
- Traffic sources
- Best list of contributions and sites
- Graph of the last X days
For me completely sufficient, because I want to know actually only, which sites of my Website were clicked most.
If you wish, you can make further settings. So the period of storage of the data can be limited, the best list "Top-sites " only to the current day or change the number of entries in the best list. And much more is not needed.
I find for anyone who really just wants to know when ran which article or site of my website well, Statify serves them.
But what about data protection?
Good question! Since Statify obviously displays data, one should briefly ask where the data comes from in the first place and whether personal data is part of the collection.
On the Plugin-site in the WordPress -Plugin-repo you can find a detailed explanation about how Statify collects the data.
There you can read that Statify not only keeps it minimalist with the display of data, but also stays true to minimalism in the collection and storage of data.
"In direct comparison with statistics services like Google Analytics, WordPress .com Stats and Piwik, Statify does not process or store personal data such as IP addresses - Statify counts calls, not visitors.
Complete data protection conformity paired with transparent procedures: A database table created in the local WordPress installation consists of only 4 fields (ID, date, origin, destination) and can be displayed, cleaned up and emptied by the administrator at any time."
Perfect! No stress about privacy and still the possibility to monitor the popularity of different sites .
Statify Bonus Plugins
Besides Statify, there are two more plugins that might be useful in use with Statify.
On the one hand the Plugin Statify widget by Finn Dohrn. This allows you to add a widget to the WordPress sidebar that displays the most popular articles based on the data collected by Statify. On the other hand the Plugin Statify Blacklistwhich extends Statify with the function of a filter.
For example, if you get a lot of SPAM calls, you won't be able to determine accurate statistics without this Plugin . Statify Blacklist allows us to filter out specific IP addresses, domains and sites from the Statify results.
I think that Statify is a good alternative to Google Analytics or Matomo (Piwik) for most WordPress users. Anyway, I have the impression that very few users can really understand and interpret the statistics from Google Analytics. Of course Statify is not a complete replacement, but still a possible solution. Especially inexperienced website operators are usually already satisfied with a simple visitor statistic.
In cooperation with the other plugins two Statify widgets and Statify Blacklist, Statify is in my opinion a great project that many more WordPress users should know about.
The low-data mode of operation of the naturally plugins favours the use in Europe.
I invite you to install Statify on your WordPress website as a test. Maybe a minimalistic visitor statistic in the WordPress dashboard is enough for you instead of the detailed analysis by Google.