WP Plugin Review: Cystats

Blog statistics provide blog owners a lot of information regarding the health and growth of their blog. Through statistics, the author can determine the number of visits/pageviews incurred daily, monthly or yearly, what pages were visited, who referred the visitor to the blog, what keywords were used that lead the visitor to the site. It also helps the author understand more about who the blog readers/visitors are, what pages they visit, what OS or browser they’re using and country they come from.

WordPress.com blogs have a built-in blog stats page but self-hosted WordPress blogs have to rely on third party web analytics like Google Analytics, Mint, Woopra, Reinvigorate, etc. some of which are commercial and some are free. There are also some WordPress plugins that keep track of blog statistics or analytics like the WordPress.com Stats plugin, Blog Stats by W3Counter and Firestats. The other day, I came across another blog statistics/analytics WordPress plugin called Cystats.

Cystats is statistics/analytics plugin created by Michael Weingaertner, that has a lot of features and is integrated in the WordPress dashboard or admin area. Although it hasn’t been updated since October of 2008, it still works on the latest version of WordPress which is 2.8.4. Below is the list of features or statistics that Cystats provide:

  • Bounce rate, ignore-by-cookie, ignore-by-ip/post-id/user_agent lists
  • hits, visits for day/week/month/year — human or robots
  • Top referring pages
  • Most read categories and tags
  • Most read, most commented posts
  • Most read feeds, number of feed visits today
  • Internal/external search words
  • Operating systems
  • Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly statistics
  • 404 error requests
  • Browsers/clients/tools/…, w/o. version numbers
  • Template tags for most read posts, user count,…
  • Optional IP-anonymizing
  • Multi language support (currently English, German supported).
  • Optional tracking of admin area visits

The Cystats page is divided into several areas. Index, Blog, Clients, Referer, Robots/Tools, Pages, Time and Options.

Index page displays Hits and Visits, Pages and Comments, Referrers and Search Words.
Cystats Index Page

Blog – recently commented posts, most active comment authors, Tags, Categories and Database statistics.
Cystats Blog Page

Clients – Browsers, Browser versions, Operating systems and Tools & Scripts.
Cystats Clients Page

Referer – Referer today, Referer yesterday, External referer and Search Engine referer.
Cystats Referer Page

Robot/Tools – Search Engines, Email/Feed reader, Tools & Scripts and Unknown user agents.
Cystats Robot/Tools Page

Pages – Most visited blog pages today, Most visited blog pages, Entry pages, 404 error pages and Page types.
Cystats Pages Page

Time – Visits per day, Hits per day, Visits per hour, Visits per weekday, Visits per week, Hits per week, Visits per month, Hits per month, Visits per year and Hits per year.
Cystats Time Page

Options brings you to the page found in Settings > Cystats.

My Take:
I’ve installed Cystats here on my blog to check it out and see how it performs. I can say that I like it alot and that it also provides accurate blog statistics. It provides alot of data and metrics like Google Analytics, Woopra, Reinvigorate and Firestats. If you’re looking for a different blog statistics plugin or web analytics service that’s built-in to your WordPress dashboard, then you should definitely give Cystats a try. It’s easy to install and user-friendly, just upload to your wp-content/plugins directory, activate and you’re good to go. It also has an Options page located in Settings > Cystats, where you can configure some of the plugin, database and tracking settings.

The advantage of using a WordPress plugin like Cystats is that you don’t have to login to a different site just to check your blog stats. The disadvantage of using it is that all the data gathered and kept by Cystats makes your WordPress database bigger and this can be a problem if you have limited disk space in your web hosting. As much as I like the Cystats plugin, I don’t plan to keep it because I like to keep my WordPress database as small as I can, which is also the reason why I stopped using the Firestats plugin. But then I might just change my mind.

Learn more or Download the Cystats WordPress plugin.

Anyone else tried the Cystats plugin? If not, what plugin or third party web analytics service are you using to keep track of your blog stats?

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  1. Hi,
    I have installed several analytical plugins including, wp-stats, StatPressCN, Google analytics along with CyStats. But all of them shows completely different results..

    Wp-stats and Google Analytics shows some what similar stats but rest of all performs differently. I was wondering how you claimed it to show accurate information.

  2. Hi,

    Does anyone know any way by which I can list top posts based on traffic? I see lots of traffic coming to my post. But the number of people commenting are a few. So I would be very happy to list them using such a system.


  3. hi , i have been using this for last 5 months . i think it gives fake data /stats . because it shows a lot of visitors come at my website but my alexa ranking is going backward day by day .

  4. I’ve been reading about awstats today because its in my cpanel and an alternate view of my stats. Basically WordPress stats have shown little change over the past year except for a small decrease in total readers. I found this a bit discouraging. Awstats can pump you up with the numbers they suggest are actual readers. So what’s the real story? I don’t know but awstats does show a seventy percent increase in readership over the past 12 months. That’s valuable information.

    Thanks for your comment about hosting and being concerned about adding volume to your database. That was the most important part of the blog post in my view. Hostgator doesn’t hesitate to shut me down when they perceive things are getting out of control. So Ill continute with WordPress Stats and an occasional peak at awstats.

  5. I have a problem with this plugin. where can I find the list of usable functions and “HOW TO USE” of them ! unfortunately, homepage of program is in German! :-??

    I’m waiting for your reply :)

  6. @Tyrone – I see. I like cystats but I’d rather use a third party analytics site to track my blog’s statistics coz it uses less resources from my server.

    That’s the Wibiya Toolbar. Its free, all you need to do is request a token/invite in order to use it. :)

  7. @jp – It’s not that its a bad plugin but it depends on your needs, your preference and your webhosting specs/limitations. If everything works out, this plugin is very useful and I would’ve love to keep it.

  8. @Michael – You can definitely try it out on your blog and it’s an awesome plugin in terms of functionality and the information that it provides. The only problem is that it makes your WP database bigger thus eating up more disk space.

  9. based on the comments, I think this tool is not good to use. I think i’ll go with the proven and tested like google analytics, and since I’m new to blogging world.

    Thanks for this post.

  10. @Jhay – I also like Google Analytics and I’ve tried 103bees before but I started using Reinvigorate first so I decided to stick with it.

    Yup, the Cystats plugin is a very cool plugin and the author did a good job with it. :D

  11. I’m happy with Google Analytics, 103bees.com, sitemeter and WP.com stats, at least they don’t bloat the database and add more strain to the server.

    Kudos to Michael Weingaertner for this plugin though. It’s a good one without a doubt.

  12. @Loy – Yeah, that’s the problem with these plugins. They’re nice and useful but users who don’t have much space or have limited web hosting specs won’t be able to use them. :(

  13. @Raju – What I don’t like about these type of plugins is that they eat up space and make your WP db bigger. Although I didn’t have any issues with Cystats making my site load slower. I’ve tried Google Analytics, Woopra and other 3rd party analytics but I prefer Reinvigorate. :)

  14. I had tried Cystats sometime back when my site was not so huge, but faced lot of issues wrt slowness of site and database getting huge. The UI is very professional and nice, but as you said I would prefer to keep my database light and use something like Google Analytics and Woopra :)

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