Do you currently use Google Analytics and a cheapo stats program that comes free with your web hosting to track your blog? Now you don't need to. Just install Wassup and access real time web statistics from within your Wordpress dashboard.
View Stats in Wordpress
If you are going to two or three different places to analyze your site traffic, look no further. This is probably the most addictive plugin to ever grace Wordpress. I find myself logging in two or three times a day just to check it.
Let's be honest, most of us use something cheap and free like awstats or a similar web stats program. With these programs you just don't get the information that you need to make your blog better. Google Analytics is a bit more advanced but even with Google's dominance, you are only getting the picture from the perspective of one search engine. Wassup brings the functionality of a more expensive subscription service like Hitbox Professional directly into your Wordpress dashboard.
Devil is In the Details
Wassup allows you to see what is going on with your blog in real time. Did you just write a piece giving your opinion on politics? Your heart will skip a beat like mine did when you see a dns server that belongs to someone in the government reading your post. You'll be able to see IP addresses, DNS servers, and browsers that people are using to access your site.
You'll also be able to see search terms that people are using to get to your site. While awstats offers this, not enough can be said about knowing this in real time. If you notice a bunch of incoming search terms hitting a post, you can quickly expand upon it or put links in to other posts that you are trying to promote. We live in a real time world and Wassup lets you view and react in real time.
Sample Wassup Chart
Setting 'er Up
Setting up Wassup is just as easy as setting up any other Wordpress plugin. Go to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wassup/ and download the plugin. FTP it to your plugin folder on your Wordpress installation. Then go to your Plugins dashboard and hit "install".
The only other suggestion I would give on setup is to exclude your IP address and the IP addresses of frequent contributors so that you can keep yourself and co-contributors out of the stats equation. You do this by going to the "Wassup" tab that is now conveniently placed right beside your "Comments" tab in Wordpress, then go to the "Options" menu. From there, go to "Statistics Recording" and enter your IP in the box provided for exluding IP addresses. If you don't know your IP address, you can look it up here.
You can generate Top 10 lists by changing the dates to your liking using the dropdown menu (i.e. one day, 7 days, 1 month) and then hitting "Show Top 10". This will show you the Top 10 referring keywords that led to your page across all search engines, your Top 10 referrers, and Top 10 requested pages. While it also shows you browsers and operating systems, you're probably more interested in the first three items.
Why do you care who is viewing your blog and what they are viewing? Simple - you want to use this information to tweak your blog to give visitors more of what they want. If you are giving equal weight to four different topics and people are really only interested in two, you can use this information to change the structure of your blog. My next post on the subject will be on how to form a Wassup Anonymous group because I know I'm addicted!