Syed Balkhi Acquires Google Analytics by Yoast, Renames to MonsterInsights

Google Analytics Monster Insights Featured ImageUsers who are updating Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast are discovering a new menu item with a green monster icon in their WordPress backend. That’s because Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner.com, has acquired it for an undisclosed amount and has renamed it to MonsterInsights.

Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast.com, says the company is focusing on its core offerings surrounding SEO and that the plugin no longer fits into its roadmap.

One of the ‘problems’ of a quickly growing business is that you have to choose what to focus on. We’ve made that choice: we’ll focus on building best in class SEO products, from plugins to reviews, eBooks and training programs.

Apart from the changes to its name and the new menu icon, the plugin remains the same and should function normally for existing users. According to Balkhi, additional features are on the way.

Over the next 8 months, we will be adding some amazing new features that I know you will love. Since it’s a plugin that we will be using across our suite of products and websites, you can expect it to be the best.

Since Google Analytics for WordPress was the first major plugin created by de Valk, handing it over to a new owner is bittersweet.

While I’m very happy about the decision to give this plugin a new home, I’m also feeling nostalgic. It’s been ‘with me’ for a very long time, but I trust Syed and team will take it to even greater heights.

The acquisition seems like a perfect complement to Balkhi’s other products like OptinMonster and WPForms where analytical data helps make crucial decisions. Let us know what you think of the acquisition in the comments.

24 Comments


  1. According to the internet, Syed is knowing for keeping quality standards in his projects. Besides if he does something wrong I know where he lives. Nah, just kidding.
    I kinda trust him but can’t controvert at the same time. And that is normal and expected in every change of this kind. This is the internet. And businesses on the internet are more flexible but also more fluid by trend.

    My opinion is that this plugin just got an innovation path.
    If that doesn’t happen, there is always the fork way.

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  2. Syed and Joost,

    Heartiest congratulations from the Team Analytify and It would be fun to learn from you guys.

    Cheers
    Adnan

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    1. My thoughts exactly the branding, the evil looking monster, almost gave me a heart attack. I stopped everything and checked to make sure my updates were working first before I found out what it was all about. Cannot say I am enjoying the multiple banner ads being shown so soon after the takeover.

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      1. The banner ads were there prior to the change as well.

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  3. When any plugin owner announced someone take over his plugin, I am trying to find alternatives asap. But not this time. Syed blog helps me to learn WordPress and he knows how to code and maintain high quality plugins.

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  4. Hate the name!! Is there an alternative for Google Analytics?

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  5. I’d be down for a fork that doesn’t highjack my admin with overt marketing.

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    1. Anything specific you would look for at such a fork, expect for removal of ads?

      (I contemplated forking it in the past due to it being in a “not very maintained state”, but forking is a word that is easy to say, while getting actual user traction is hard, and with no users it is just pointless)

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    2. We’re listening to user feedback. The menu was never supposed to be at the top, but it happened due to a legacy code issue that we overlooked.

      It’s fixed in the new version.

      The green icon is no longer there. We quickly created a mono SVG that looks more inline with other WP icons. This is something we should have done from the start, and I admit our mistake there.

      Also fixed in the new version.

      Menu Label is now called Insights instead of MonsterInsights.

      The ads in the free version were always there. Yoast was promoting 4 of his products, and we replaced it with 4 of ours.

      You can always upgrade to the Pro version and you won’t see any ads there.

      If you have feature ideas that you’d like to see in the plugin, then please add them here:

      https://github.com/awesomemotive/google-analytics-for-wordpress/issues

      Or you can email us using the contact form on our site.

      We’re having a scope meeting beginning of May where we’ll finalize the roadmap for the next 8 month.

      We look forward to improving this product and giving our users better insights, so they can make data-driven decisions to grow their businesses.

      Thanks for patience and support.

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      1. That’s great. I hate colored icons in WP Admin. Everything looks much better now.

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      2. Thank you Syed. I read your latest notice on the changes and checked them out myself. They look great and answer many of the issues that users were having with the handling of the hand over.

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      3. If I may, I would like to suggest to update the links in the readme.txt file that ships with the plugin. On the main description page of the plugin, the links to the debug mode and Github development are still pointing to yoast.com

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  6. I problem I had was with the lack of announcement in advance. I’m not upset at Syed about this but more at the Yoast team. I paid them money for their plugins and I received their email announcement after the WordPress Repo had been updated with the newest version from MonsterInsights.

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  7. All users of freemium plugin or service – You are not customers, you are a product, that can be bought/acquired.
    Your complaints are just annoying.

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    1. A lot of us paid for these plugins off of the Yoast site. Sure, there was a freemium component but more than just the freemium content was transferred… paid subscriptions were transferred as well.

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      1. So good for you paid clients, new fresh owner of the plugin/service with enthusiasm to make things better with more features. You should celebrate that for the old price paid in the past you will get fresh blood to your service/plugin.

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      2. In the end it will probably be for the best. However, there was no announcement prior to the WordPress plugin repo being updated which is the issue I have with the Yoast team, and I think the issue a lot of the paying customers have with them as well.

        I’m not upset that they sold the plugin to Syed and his team… I’m upset that I wasn’t made aware of this prior to upgrading the plugin through the WordPress repo.

        I’m excited to see where the plugin goes as it could definitely use some new love however I think Yoast dropped the ball on the transition.

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  8. I was caught by surprise and i quickly uninstalled the plugin

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  9. I do not like the green monster popping up in my wordpress dashboard. It’s very annoying! Just uninstalled!!!

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  10. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the news.

    First of all, Congratulations Syed!

    Being an authority in WordPress tutorials, I hope Syed will make this plugin even better. I have seen few people are complaining but in long run this plugin will improve.

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