As is common for many people these days, I write a blog: OneFortyWines.com. Yay for me, right? I do this because I am passionate about wine, and I think that people who read the site find it interesting. The problem is that I don't *know *if they do or not, because I'm not sure who reads the blog (outside of my mom).
I used to know a lot about my audience, because I had a custom WordPress installation running and was able to install Google Analytics. Eventually this became too much of a headache for just a hobby, so I migrated over to WordPress.com to host my domain and blog.
I'm guessing that the majority of people who use WordPress.com for their blogs fall into these same categories:
- People who are NOT technically savvy enough to handle hosting and managing their own WordPress installation (and/or)
- People who simply don't want to deal with it. This is after all, why WordPress exists, no?
I didn't realize it at first, but in doing so I no longer had the luxury of Google Analytics on the WordPress.com implementation, as WordPress doesn't support this feature. Instead, WordPress offers their own proprietary analytics offering, which seems perfectly fine. However I have multiple sites, including non-WordPress sites, and I would like to have continuity in the analytics and tracking systems I use.
Equally troubling was the fact that I couldn't migrate over the reporting history from Google Analytics into WordPress. There may be a feature that supports this, but again, it's not something the average user is going to do. The chart below will illustrate this issue I'm experiencing, as I moved off of WordPress.com in December 2009 and back on again this month.
Enabling Google Analytics via CloudFlare Apps is a really cool feature that took a total of about 2 minutes for me to setup. There are plenty of other cool apps that are available as well - and the best part is that the CloudFlare service and many of the CloudFlare Apps are completely free!