Google Analytics versus WordPress.com Stats

I went to put Google Analytics into this site and hit a snag straight away – where do you paste the code in a WordPress data driven site? where are the web pages?

Originally the first websites I made consisted of pure HTML pages. JavaScript offered client side scripting and Flash offered multi-media. Then I had a server that gave me PHP and MSQL. Now I could design sites with pages that could do anything, but were still structured around a set of HTML pages (albeit now with the file extension .php).

Then I started to experiment with content management systems (CMSs) like Joomla and WordPress (originally blogging software, now CMS?) that are data driven. With a data driven site all the site content is stored in a database and the CMS extracts it and presents it to the user.

Google analytics gives you some JavaScript code that you paste into the pages that you want to track. I pasted the code into the index.php file (the first file that is loaded) and it did not work. I was hoping not to use a plug-in, I think you learn more by altering the code yourself, but if I used a plug-in I would try to see where it altered the code.

Looking at popular plug-ins there are two for Google Analytics and a Statistics plug-in from WordPress themselves, too much choice!

My plan is to try the WordPress.com Stats on this site, and one of the Google Analytics on watch.freemovies.co.uk and compare them. Watch out for future blog entries for my comparisons.

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