The Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress (GADWP) which has been taken over by ExactMetrics was my Google Analytics plugin of choice for all my domains for the last 10 years. As of today, I have uninstalled it. In this post, I will reveal my reason for uninstalling this Google Analytics plugin and the alternative solution I recommend for every WordPress blog.
Fortunately, the alternative to the GADWP plugin is as good as the original plugin, so read till the end.
What made Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress the favorite for millions of users?
The GADWP plugin that has been downloaded millions of times has been a favorite among WordPress users for many years now. The reason was not that it was flashy or had many features. It didn’t.
But it performed one function really well and that was displaying your most useful Google Analytics stats in a neat little dashboard right in the WordPress admin dashboard. But don’t be mislead by its small size.
The GADWP plugin dashboard had some cool options like displaying your Google Analytics stats by sessions, users, bounce rate, top pages etc. Also, you could choose the date range from one day to up to 3 years.
I also loved the line chart display that showed how my blog performed in terms of traffic over a period.
Alas, all good things come to an end. In 2018, ExactMetrics, the sister concern of MonsterInsights bought the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin for WordPress. But it didn’t change anything and I thought things will remain this way.
But I was wrong.
In the latest update to GADWP, the plugin has undergone a complete makeover. It now closely resembles the Google Analytics plugin by MonsterInsights. If you have already used and like the MonsterInsights plugin, then you will like the ExactMetrics plugin as well since both have the same features.
But if you liked the old GADWP plugin as I did, then you will be disappointed with its new avatar.
The ExactMetrics plugin no longer displays the line graph stats for bounce rate, top pages, average duration etc. as was displayed by the GADWP plugin. Worse, I cannot choose the date range in the free version. If I want to select a custom date range for Google Analytics stats, I need to upgrade to the pro version.
There is a separate dashboard in the ExactMetrics plugin that shows the additional site data: New vs Returning visitors, Device breakdown, Users by country and referral, and your top posts/pages.
But the point is I didn’t need a separate dashboard for my Google Analytics stats earlier. I could see all the vital stats for my site in one central dashboard on the admin screen. Now, not only most of the stats that mattered have become paid, I need to navigate to a separate dashboard to see these not so important analytics details.
And it’s not just me who is disappointed with the latest update to GADWP but its long time users are dumping the plugin in droves. Just check out the latest reviews on the plugin page to see the long queue of 1-star ratings left by users left heart-broken with the latest plugin update.
So what’s the solution? The solution lies in the alternative to the Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin (GADWP) which is…
GainWP Google Analytics Integration Plugin
The following screenshot is taken using the report generated by the GainWP plugin.
As you can see, it has the same features as that offered by GADWP plugin for WordPress. The plugin author Tom Dude says he was concerned about the future of GADWP after the ownership of the plugin changed hands in 2018.
We should all buy him a cup of coffee for his foresightedness. Thanks to developers like these, the GADWP plugin is still alive with a changed name. I strongly suggest that you install the GainWP plugin if you want your site stats in a dashboard widget on your admin home screen.
Read how to set up the GAinWP plugin on your WordPress website.
Site Kit plugin by Google
The second alternative to the GADWP plugin is Site Kit by Google.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Site Kit also doesn’t offer a line graph display on the welcome screen as was offered by the earlier version of the GADWP plugin. But it integrates four functions into one: Analytics, Search Console, Adsense, and PageSpeed.
Plus, the stats are really detailed. I can check out my Search Console stats for up to 90 days and my Analytics stats over the last 28 days.
And these stats are displayed in an inviting line chart graph. What’s more, the Search Console dashboard also shows my CTR, Average Position, Total Clicks, and Impressions.
I can also see the detailed stats for any page on my site along with the top search queries for the page.
So the choice is obvious to me. Uninstall GADWP and install the GainWP or the Site Kit plugin by Google. What about you? Are you sticking with the GADWP plugin or switching over to some other Google Analytics plugin?