Stream: A WordPress Plugin to Track and Monitor Changes in the Admin

stream plugin banner

Have you ever logged into a WordPress site, charged with the task of fixing something, but totally in the dark about what changes had recently been made in the admin? It can sometimes be tough to track down who changed what and when they did it, especially on sites with multiple administrators.

Stream is a new tracking tool that provides a log of specific activities performed by logged-in users in the backend. It’s a free plugin on WordPress.org that gives you information on recent logins, menu changes, plugin updates, content created/deleted, widgets activated/deactivated, theme changes, and much more.

stream plugin records

The great thing about this plugin is that it doesn’t display information in an ugly old error log style. It creates a beautiful table that fits nicely into the admin design with user avatars and sorting capabilities.

Records can also be searched and the plugin allows you to filter by date, users, context and actions. It even shows which IP address the event originated from. Sorting by actions allows you to find items such as the following: activated, assigned, attached, edited, uploaded, password reset and more.

Stream Records: Sort by Context
Stream Records: Sort by Context

Using Stream to Unravel Support Knots

This plugin might be an excellent solution for those who perform maintenance and troubleshooting for clients. Sometimes clients cannot remember what action they took in the admin to cause changes to the site. The Stream plugin goes a long way to help with troubleshooting. In the very least it can help you eliminate things like changes to plugins or themes while tracking down the source of a problem.

The Stream settings page gives you an option to determine how long records should be saved before being purged. You can set this depending on the amount of user activity you usually have on the site in question. It also includes an option to reset your stream by deleting all of the activity records in the database.

stream settings page
Stream Settings Page

Please note that Stream requires PHP 5.3 or higher. Download the plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository or via the plugins panel in the WordPress admin. The sooner you have it activated on a site, the sooner you’ll be tracking valuable information.

10 Comments


  1. Thanks for the write-up, Sarah! You really captured the purpose behind Stream.

    We think activity that’s done in the WordPress admin is a big blind spot for a lot of site owners and even freelancers/agencies working with their clients. Stream is an attempt to mitigate that.

    We have more exciting enhancements in the works, so if you’re a developer reading this, do feel free to stop by on GitHub and contribute to the project!

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  2. @Sinan İŞLER – Hi @Sinan,

    Can you elaborate on why you think ThreeWP Activity Monitor is better? We’d love to know ways we can improve this plugin.

    John

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  3. Whichever plugin “is better,” I’d love to see some pieces of it forked and incorporated into the new Dashboard’s Activity Stream as a Feature Plugin for possible inclusion in Core down the road. That feature was built in the hopes of expansion in the future and one of these plugins could be a great start.

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  4. When I started reading the review, I thought “brilliant for larger sites especially those with multiple admin / editor / contributor roles etc” but then got to Sarah’s suggestion of using it for tracking issues on client sites – fantastic use ! Off to have a play and install it on a few of our client’s sites who always claim they havent touched or done anything !

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  5. This plugin is great, however, the one thing that put it below the ThreeWP plugin was that it doesnt seem to be as easy to add logging on custom events. Example, all i wanted to add was the ability to log page views by user as they’re moving around the site. With ThreeWP i was able to add a logging action for any wp hook. IS there anywhere i can find reference towards creating my own simple connector for such? Thanks. Great work all the same!

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    1. Hi Anthony, I’m interested in logging pageviews withThreeWP, how did you add that function?

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