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It seems every major app platform from Android to iOS has great stats for developers. However, if you publish a plugin via WordPress.org you are not allowed to include any 3rd Party tracking code (for good reasons).

So what can I do to track Active users by day / week / month ?
and ...
How can get the raw data behind the graphs for downloads by day ?

I also have plugins using the plugin update checker via Janis / w-shadow because they are not hosted on WordPress.org ... so how do other plugin developers track downloads and active users?

Currently .. the only way I've found to track active users is via Google Campaign Tracking tool. I create tags which mean anyone clicking a link from a plugin settings page to my website is tracked in GA as 'plugin-installed' and anyone clicking a link from a Readme.txt has a different tag. This is not reliable as many people may install the plugin and never click back to my website ...

So what can be done? Will WordPress.org offer a Developers Console?

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Your edit changed the meaning too much. You could add that to the question. I rolled it back. –  toscho Oct 17 '12 at 20:39
    
hmmm well I'll leave the question title alone but the question is about active users of any plugin (not active visitors or end users). Does that help? –  Damien Oct 17 '12 at 21:09
    
You changed users to sites in your edit making the answers confusing. Change it to users or sites and it is okay. –  toscho Oct 17 '12 at 21:57

1 Answer 1

You cannot get these data.

There are several issues with plugin usage tracking:

  • No clear definition of a user: Think multi-site, local installations, intranets …
  • Privacy: You would have to ask the user before you can activate tracking. There are many good reasons not to send any data to an unknown entity without consent (traffic, sensitive information).
  • Different laws: In Germany I need a double opt-in just to send comment notifications. Other countries require different procedures. And you need a privacy policy that every user can understand (good luck translating that!) and that doesn’t break any law. Even Google Analytics cannot do that.

A unified API in WordPress itself is almost impossible and very hard to support. Don’t expect that to happen.

And finally: You don’t need that information. Write good code, ask for feedback, but get used to the fact that most users just don’t care about your curiosity. Use your bug tracker or other feedback to improve the plugin, not statistical data.

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While I agree with everything you say here ... consider the whole WordPress Eco-System ... .. every plugin already has a download stat and active site stats is possible as each site pings WP.Org at least 1x per day. Its an old argument that WordPress can't do this when Apple, Android, etc already provide the same stats and better. –  Damien Oct 16 '12 at 12:12

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