Tracking without cookies in WordPress – how it works

Tracking without cookies in WordPress – how it works

For many, cookies and website tracking belong together. There are now several ways to collect visitor numbers without cookies. Today I will explain to you how this can be done specifically in WordPress.

Why tracking without cookies makes sense? Anyone who has one will Cookie Consent Manager integrated on its website, can answer quickly. Because every visitor can decide to not to set cookies, fewer visitors are tracked. However, that is not the problem, but the “unreported number” of untracked visitors. It can be 10%, maybe 25% or 50%. through the lack of measurability no clear statement can be made here.

On top of that, a cookie consent manager like a barrier can work. The otherwise easily accessible content can only be seen after a decision has been made. However, working without cookies would mean being able to do without the Cookie Consent Manager.

Tracking without cookies has some exciting advantages, as you will learn in the next few lines.

  1. The purpose of tracking cookies
  2. Tools for tracking without cookies in WordPress
    1. Minimal tracking with Statify
    2. See the key numbers with Koko Analytics
    3. Extensive tracking with etracker
  3. Choosing the right tracking for WordPress
    1. Note on the comparability of visitor numbers

The purpose of tracking cookies

Before we look at the solutions for tracking without cookies, I would like to explain to you what the Difference to conventional tracking lies and which Function cookies fulfill.

Cookies are files dropped in a visitor’s browser. Among other things, they serve the purpose of enabling the user to be identified. In connection with this, a wide variety of questions can be asked about it visitor behavior answer, but also ensure important functions (such as online ordering or logging into the customer center).

But cookies are also important when it comes to Evaluation of advertising measures goes. If you manage to say clearly here which banner ultimately led to how many sales at which point, it can be booked further or ignored in the future.

Important: Tracking without cookies is possible, but will probably never be as accurate as conventional tracking with cookies. This is because with cookieless tracking less unique identifiers possible are. As a result, individual users and sessions are distinguished less precisely.

But now to the tools that can be used in WordPress for cookie-free tracking.

Minimal tracking with Statify

Site operators see these numbers after logging into the backend.

With over 100,000 active installations, Statify is a well-known plugin. It can be found in the official WordPress plugin directory. So you can do it easily Download from the backend under “Plugins”..

After setup, you can Statify configure individually. You determine, among other things, how long the data is to be stored, how many entries are to be shown and whether tracking is carried out via JavaScript. This option is especially recommended when using AMP or caching.

the visitor numbers you will find it on the Dashboardi.e. directly after logging into the WordPress backend.

The possibility for tracking is interesting in Statify filter to activate. So you can set that registered users should not be tracked. You can also ignore visitors whose comments are blacklisted. You can also install the Statify Blacklist plugin. This extension allows you to ignore specific referrer domains, individual pages or targeted IPs and subnets when tracking.

On off privacy view interesting extra: All Statify data is stored locally in the website’s database. This means that there is no transmission to the “outside”.

Behind Statify is the “plugin collective”, a team of several WordPress enthusiasts who work on the proven and well-known plugins Antispam Bee, Cachify or AntiVirus, among other things. A good sign that Statify will continue to be developed cleanly and securely in the long term.

See the key numbers with Koko Analytics

Koko Analytics is also a WordPress plugin that can work without cookies. I deliberately write “can” because Koko Analytics also offers tracking with cookies. To disable this, you simply have to disable the corresponding option in the settings. This creates the basis for cookie-free tracking.

Like Statify, Koko Analytics stores all information in the database. As a result, you will find an ever-growing file in your database. However, in the plugin settings you can define how long you store data want. With a value of e.g. B. “12 months”, all data older than 12 months will be deleted.

A nice extra: You can specifically exclude individual user roles from tracking. This is exciting for some WordPress sites where e.g. B. Visitor accounts for forums, online shops or similar can be created. These can be tracked while administrators and similar roles are ignored.

In the visitor overview you will find not only the page views and visitors but also a list of the top pages and their respective views as well as the most important sources.

In terms of functionality, Koko Analytics is reminiscent of Statify in several places. In a comparison by Vladimir Simović, however, he gave priority to Koko Analytics, among other things due to less space consumption in the database and more functions.

My tip: Install both plugins and see which solution suits you better.

Extensive tracking with etracker

If the two plugins are not enough for you, you will find one right extensive solution in etracker. Here, too, we work without cookies. However, cookies and thus even more complex tracking can be activated if desired.

etracker differs from Statify or Koko Analytics in a number of ways. become like this Data is not stored directly in your databaset, but on etracker servers located in Germany. Also, etracker is not “just” a plugin, but a complete one external service. This makes it compatible with pretty much every content management system. There is a suitable plugin for WordPress. This facilitates the installation. However, the luxury of seeing the latest visitor numbers in the backend does not exist. For this you would have to log in to etracker.

A look at the etracker backend shows that the data collected here is a lot more complex than that of the two tools mentioned. Here you will not only find the pages called up, but also one Overview of browsers, operating systems, campaign names, orders and more.

Unlike Koko Analytics or Statify, etracker chargeable. The monthly costs depend on the so-called tracking requests. This is Points of contact of the visitor with etracker. In other words: Every time etracker records something, a tracking request is used for this. In the cheapest version with monthly 100,000 tracking requests, the tool costs €19 per month.

Choosing the right tracking for WordPress

Which tracking tool you choose, depends on what you plan to do with the data. If you are planning extensive evaluations of campaigns and want to optimize customer journeys, services such as Koko Analytics or Statify will not provide enough data. etracker or a similar provider could be useful here.

If you want tracking that is “only” supposed to say what the most popular posts are, where most visitors come from and how many visitors are on the site on average, tools like Statify or Koko Analytics are completely sufficient. your easy installation and free use are ideal for finding space on smaller WordPress sites.

Note on the comparability of visitor numbers

A final note on traffic comparability: most tools will have some feature that differs from other tools in their tracking logic. So it is only logical that at a When comparing the three tools mentioned here, slightly differentiated figures can be obtained. In order to be able to work cleanly, we recommend Visitor numbers can always be observed from the same source. So you can also e.g. Compare last year’s data with current figures.

Do you have other solutions for cookie-free tracking in WordPress? Share your best practices in the comments!

Victor Peters

Viktor is an online marketing specialist and is particularly interested in SEO. When he’s not blogging about his favorite CMS, WordPress, he deals with every topic to help agencies and freelancers be more productive in their everyday lives. In his spare time, Viktor runs a few WordPress sites and can often be found behind a book. You can find him in the morning taking a leisurely stroll with his Australian Shepherd Watson.

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