Last week WordPress.com announced that Google Analytics is now available for its customers on the business tier, which is priced at $299.00 per year. Users have been clamoring for the feature for years. While many enjoy using the built-in Stats feature, it is severely limited in comparison to Google Analytics and the data is not portable if the user moves to another publishing platform.
Business customers can now enter a GA tracking ID under Settings → Analytics screen in the new site management area.
Access to setting up Google Analytics was added to the new backend administration area. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg confirms in the comments that all future new features will bypass the old /wp-admin dashboard in favor of the new interface.
“[There are] no plans to put any new features into the wp-admin dashboard, beyond what comes from core updates from the open source side,” Mullenweg replied to a comment on the post.
“You don’t have to stop using wp-admin, and it’s not going anywhere, it’s just not where we’re focusing our energy right now,” he said, in response to a user’s confusion about the two separate admin areas. “As you’ve probably noticed, most of our new updates and iterations are happening in the new interface. You’ll see lots of improvements there in the coming months.”
Users on the free and premium plans were disappointed that Google Analytics will not be available for all, given that it’s a free service. WordPress.com opted to limit the feature to business customers in order to make it more compelling for users to upgrade to the highest pricing tier. They have taken to the WordPress.com support forums to express dissatisfaction in the feature’s restriction.
In the past, users have adapted various jerry-rigged methods of adding Google Analytics to WordPress.com sites, using a mapped domain with Cloudflare + Google Analytics enabled. While this is a proven solution for adding the tracking code, it requires using a custom domain with WordPress.com, as well as the ability to follow a few technical instructions. At this time, there is no easy way to add Google Analytics to the bottom tier accounts.