Blog stats need improvement

The blog stats are really poor and could use improvement. I’d really like more visibility into how many times my posts are being read and where the traffic is coming from. Just knowing that a post has X number hits doesn’t really do me any good. For example, I recently had a post that received about 3X’s the traffic my normal posts do. That tells me someone linked that post somewhere. I’d like to know where the traffic is being referred from. Is this possible?

And the stats usually don’t make sense. For instance, the bar graph will show I had 8 hits in one day but the post counter shows I had 49 reads. There is no consistency or explanation.

Thanks for bringing this up, @mattdotts. I can explain what’s happening with the numbers, and what any potential improvements might look like in the future.

First, here’s a good overview of how we gather stats on Write.as: Disrepancies in Stats on Write.as. In short, some numbers come from the server-side, so every visit is counted, and others come from Javascript tracking, which visitors can potentially block, causing some numbers to be lower than the server-side ones.

As for improving the stats, this is a bit tough for us as a tiny company. Our stats are really meant to be a starting place for a bit of insight into visitors. But to really go deeper, we’d need to invest quite a bit of time and effort into it, and potentially create an entirely new product to make it worth the investment. I think we do best when we stick to building writing tools, and I see analytics as a bit out of our wheelhouse – especially when you consider all the other options out there.

If you need more in-depth stats, I think the best route would probably be to use an external analytics service. (Indeed we might incorporate some privacy-respecting platforms in the future.) But for now, you might integrate your blog with Plausible or Matomo – or of course Google Analytics, if privacy isn’t important.

We can definitely keep this conversation going, as I’m open to changing our priorities if it makes sense. But for now, I think that’d be the best way to get the stats you’re looking for on your Write.as blog.