[wp-hackers] track activity of user engagement in plugins

Eric Mann eric at eam.me
Tue Feb 14 16:17:57 UTC 2012

One thing to keep in mind - people don't necessarily like to have their
activity tracked by third parties.  Particularly when on their own site.  I
*highly* encourage you to provide an opt-out mechanism for this tracking

That said, you have some options.

On a basic level, Google Analytics can provide you with a certain amount of
data.  You'll know how many people visit which admin page and how
frequently.  But drilling down into user navigation might be a bit
difficult (Google doesn't provide the best tools in this regard, but hey,
it's free).

You could also build in a mechanism to have your plugin "phone home" to a
system on your own server to register page loads, load times, etc.  Use a
hash unique to a site to track users, and you'll be able to follow specific
users' navigation habits through the plugin.  If you decide to go this
route, BE SURE TO DISCLOSE IT to the user.

There's nothing worse than discovering after you install a plugin that it's
been sending data to a third party without your permission.

On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 7:43 AM, Nuno Morgadinho
<nuno.morgadinho at gmail.com>wrote:

> I'm developing a commercial plugin where I would like to track the
> user engagement, namely the following metrics would be nice:
> - how much time has the user spent playing with my plugin since plugin
> activation ;
> - what is the normal usage of the plugin (once a month? once a week?
> once a day?) ;
> - while navigating through the plugin does the user go back and forth
> a lot of does he follow a certain pattern?;
> - etc.
> This has the purpose of measuring the extent to which a user has a
> meaningful experience when using the plugin.
> I'm unsure of what one would use to do this kind of thing, Google
> Analytics? Something else? I've been researching this and couldn't
> find anything related. Any input appreciated.
> Cheers,
> N.
> --
> Nuno Morgadinho
> http://www.morgadinho.org
> http://twitter.com/morgadin
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