Sorry, with WordPress.com at this time it can’t be done.
WordPress.com Is Great
Firstly let me say that I love WordPress.com. It is now my platform of choice for introducing web sites with web content capabilities to small companies. Many of my clients are Mom & Pop shops, small non-profits, or small for-profits with less then 50 employees and no IT staff to speak of. They might already have a site, but haven’t updated it in years. They don’t have the discipline in place to update their own sites on a regular basis, let alone a web development package to update their legacy site.
WordPress.com becomes a great inexpensive proof of concept tool. I can show the staff how a web site should be updated, by the staff, as frequently as needed. I can remain an admin to their site so I can fix any minor problems that occur or answer any questions on capabilities or limitations. If the client sees results that prove valuable, I can then walk them through the analysis of moving to a hosted WordPress.org site or a custom built site from scratch. (You can guess which one usually wins.)
I like WordPress so much I’m in discussions with the college I teach at to use WordPress.com and a WordPress.org installation for a CSS and Advance CSS class I want to teach.
Marketing Shortcoming – Stats
If there is one area that vexes me while I am navigating my clients through the proof of concept is the lack of decent stats. WordPress.com provides the basics: Page Views, Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks.
Items I would love to see:
- Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
- Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
- Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
- Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not. Outliers are the most fun!
- Time of Day Stats – When is my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.
Possible Statistic Solutions
I’m sure WordPress staff have heard all this before but I want to add my two cents. For anyone that uses some of the different log analyzing tools out there this is nothing new. The following seem reasonable to me:
- Upgrade Existing Default Package – maybe there is a add-on which could be implemented for WordPress.com that would bring it up to modern marketing times
- Google Analytic Tool – possibly some hitch in ‘Tools’ or ‘Settings’ that allow someone to put their unique site id in a field and WordPress would fill in the blanks behind the scenes.
- Log Export Utility – either on demand or on a timed event the site logs would be sent to the admins so they can manually run the logs against their own log analyzer (webalizer, etc.)
Even with the stats shortcoming I still would use WordPress.com as a starter web site for smaller clients. The ease of use and the fast indexing of content by Google make it a very strong tool to begin the processing of understanding exactly what your company needs.
PS. I’ve gone round and round on changing the title of this post to be more gracious to WordPress.com but I got the idea from the DailyPost.WordPress.com so I wanted to keep the “List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.” question theme alive in my post by focusing on the 3 top countries that visit my blog. Since I could not answer that question, this post was created.