This post is to set the facts straight on the recent update issues with the GADWP plugin.
Plus, to clarify my suggestion for why to use the Google tag manager code directly on your site instead of a plugin.
Replay of Livestream on the BlogAid Facebook page
Due Diligence Not Performed
When several of my clients began reporting to me that they were having massive issues with updating the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin, I did not do deeper research to see how widespread the problem was.
It is my job to help my clients avoid issues and so I jumped on the news.
The updates were only having an issue when using the Safari browser.
A patch has been released to fix that.
The main takeaway here: Safari is just one step up from Internet Explorer (Edge) and is most definitely not the best browser to use when logged into your site, or even for surfing the web. You’re missing a lot.
Use either Chrome or Firefox.
Here’s what I reported that is true.
Both the GADWP plugin as well as Google Analytics by MonsterInsights are both owned by the same parent company.
And that company also offers paid services for deeper analytics.
And both plugins have voluntary, anonymous info that is reported to that company.
Here’s what I reported that is not true.
The information provided to the company via the plugins is not related to your analytics and is not monetized directly.
It is related to the environment in which the plugin sits – specifically, the PHP version on your host, the WP version you are using, other plugins, and even your theme. It also reports the settings you are using in the plugin.
This info is gathered to help them keep the plugin working and to improve it.
Here’s my opinion on the reporting, which still stands. I would rather not be sharing this info on an automated basis, but rather in a log when requested on-demand, should I have an issue with the plugin. This is exactly how many other plugins work when support is requested.
One of the reasons I jumped the gun on reporting this news was to help folks avoid a bad update.
And, the other reason was to educate on how to ensure you can always roll a plugin back to a previous version from an update gone wrong by installing the WP Rollback plugin and using the super simple method outlined when you do plugin updates.
FYI, having the WP Rollback plugin is not enough. You HAVE to use the stupid simple and easy update method outlined in the post so you have the opportunity to rollback instantly if a plugin update goes goofy on you.
Using a Plugin or Add Google Tracking Code
Another educational point I wanted to make in this post is why to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your site manually instead of using any GA plugin.
Any plugin that brings in data to your site from the outside world is going to slow down your site. In the case of analytics plugins, they do not slow down your front-side page load speed. They do slow down your back-side admin area load speed, but only for the Dashboard.
Yes, I get that you may like the nice Google Analytics metrics showing up in your WordPress dashboard every time you log in.
Get over it.
You are missing so much of the analytics feedback you need to do serious content marketing.
Dump the plugins and get in the habit of going directly to Google Analytics and get the whole story.
You will be amazed at how much more you learn about your traffic and what your visitors can’t get enough of and want you to create more. Or, what they are panning that you need to make better.
Close of Open Tutorials
I also took this post opportunity to open tutorials to the public from my DIY SEO course to help more folks switch from a GA plugin to direct GA tracking code.
I have since closed those tutorials to the public as I don’t want this apology to be seen as a pitch for my course.
I Am Truly Sorry
No matter how much of a rush I was in this morning, there is no news so hot that it doesn’t deserve due diligence in research before reporting.
I appreciate Chris from ExactMetrics for jumping into the comments of that original post immediately and correcting the info presented.
Neither of the GA plugins made by this company is evil and I apologize if I made them sound that way.
I also apologize for wasting Chris’ time with putting out a fire that didn’t need to happen today.
I’ve removed the original post from my site, as well as all social media accounts and have replaced it with this one.
When I’m wrong, I say so, and I hope my followers, and ExactMetrics will forgive me and accept this apology as a way to make it right.