Toplytics

Description

Displays the most visited posts as a widget using data from Google Analytics. Designed to be used under high-traffic or low server resources.

For more details check the official Toplytics documentation.

About the makers

This plugin was developed by the crafty people at Presslabs—the Smart Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. Here we bring high-performance hosting and business intelligence for WordPress sites. In our spare time, we contribute to the global open-source community with our plugins.

We built this plugin in 2013 to provide a less resource consuming alternative to help our clients that wanted to display a list with the most popular articles on their websites.

What is Toplytics?

This plugin displays the most visited posts as a widget, using data extracted from Google Analytics. Toplytics is designed to work with high-traffic sites and all types of caching.

Why Toplytics?

You can use this plugin if you want to display the most visited posts of your site in a safe and reliable manner, with no risk of downtime or slowness. The plugin is built for high-traffic sites where counting every visitor’s click loads up the DB and presents the potential of crashing the site. Of course, you need an active Google Analytics setup on your site to use this plugin.

Toplytics features:

  • shortcodes are now supported for easier integration into posts/pages or other widgets. [toplytics period=”week” numberposts=”3″ showviews=”true”] Check FAQ for details;
  • connect with Google Analytics Account using OAuth 2.0 method;
  • starting with the plugin version 3.0 we have switched to GA API v3. Toplytics
  • provides a widget displaying the most visited posts as simple links (no styling);
  • use the widget to display the most visited posts from the past day, week or month;
  • set the number of posts to be displayed between 1 and 250;
  • display the number of views as counted by Google Analytics;
  • support/translate i18n requests;
  • generate the list of the most visited posts dynamically with JavaScript to correctly display them with any caching mechanism/plugin;
  • use the custom template to display the widget.

Receiving is nicer when giving

We’ve built Toplytics to make our lives easier and we’re happy to do that for other developers and site owners, too. We’d really appreciate it if you could contribute with code, tests, documentation or just share your experience with Toplytics.

Development of Toplytics happens at github.com/PressLabs/toplytics.
Issues are tracked at github.com/PressLabs/toplytics/issues.
This WordPress plugin can be found at wordpress.org/plugins/toplytics/.

Screenshots

Installation

  1. Upload toplytics.zip to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory;
  2. Extract the toplytics.zip archive into the /wp-content/plugins/ directory;
  3. Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress.

Alternatively, go into your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins -> Add Plugin and search for Toplytics. Then click on Install, then on Activate Now.

We offer two possibilities to use Toplytics: through Public Authorization or the Private Authorization, for more configuration details check Toplytics installation.

The Public Authorization method is using the Presslabs public API key to authenticate you to the Google Analytics API, and you don’t have to set up your own API keys. To use this method, simply press the Log in with your Google Account via Presslabs.org button and you will be redirected to the Google Authorization screen where you will be asked for read access to your analytics profiles.

Then you need to select your profile and you are all set.

The private authorization is the recommended way in using Toplytics, as it offers you complete control over the connection by using your very own API keys and application for granting access.

You need to enter your Client ID and Client Secret from your Google Analytics account. The next steps will guide you in configuring your Google Analytics account to Toplytics. Keep in mind that you will need the Redirect URL mentioned in this page further in configuring Toplytics.

Configuration step 1

In this step please register a new client application with Google. To register an application please login to your Google account and go to Google API console.

  1. Create a New Project (set a unique project name and id);

  2. Enable the Analytics API by going to Enable APIs and Services and browse the library to find the Analytics API, then click it and enable it;

  3. Create new Client ID;

After you set up your product name, you can create your credentials. Go back to the Dashboard section, click on the arrow of the button Create credentials and choose the OAuth Client ID option.

When asked to choose your application type choose the Web application option. You will be asked to introduce the Javascript Origins and Redirects URI’s. As Authorized JavaScipt Origins introduce your domain name, and as Authorized redirect URI you need to introduce the Redirect URL from Settings -> Toplytics -> Private Authorization.

Your newly created credentials will appear on the Credentials page and the Client ID and Client secret you need to authorize the Private Authentification will appear in a pop up. You can also see them by pressing the Edit OAuth Client button from the Credentials section.

Configuration step 2

In this step you will need to authorize requests.

  1. Copy the Client ID and the Client Secret keys from the Credentials section, then go back to Settings -> Toplytics -> Private Authorization to paste these credentials. By using these keys the client application will avoid sharing the username and/or password with any other Toplytics users.

  2. Click the Private Authorize button and after logging in you need to agree that the newly created app will access your Analytics data and you are all set.

  3. You can select from the list of profiles the one you want to use for this site or you can disconnect your Google account. Make sure you have a Google Analytics profile set up, otherwise a warning message will appear that there are no profiles on the selected Google account.

Usage

Connect your plugin with Google Analytics Account from the Settings page (Settings -> Toplytics);
Use the Toplytics widget from the Appearance -> Widgets page;

FAQ

Why should I use this plugin?

You should use this plugin if you want to display the most visited posts of your site in a safe and stable manner, with no risk of downtime or slowness, based on data from Google Analytics statistics. The plugin is built for high-traffic sites where counting every visitor’s click loads up the DB and can potentially crash the site.

How often is the data from Google Analytics refreshed?

You can set how often the data is refreshed from the widgets settings: hourly, twice a day or daily. By default, it is refreshed hourly.

How to use the custom template?

You also have the possibility to create a custom template. Here it is how.

In toplytics/resorces/views/frontend/ there is a file named widget.template.php, which is the default template. To create a custom template, copy the widget.template.php file here, rename it to custom.template.php and then customize it as you wish. The file is a typical PHP template file.

You can also use the old method of creating a custom template with Toplytics: add a template.php file in your active theme’s root folder.

The priority regarding template files is the following:

  • Toplytics will look for a template.php file in the root of the active theme folder – this is to ensure backwards compatibility, as this is how you could create a custom template before; you can still use this option too
  • Then it will look for the file custom.template.php in toplytics/resorces/views/frontend/ folder, and if it does not exist, it will display the default template, which is widget.template.php

How can I use the shortcode?

The shortcode has 3 parameters: period -> default=month (today/week/month), numberposts -> default=5 (min=1/max=250), showviews -> default=false (true/false)

Shortcode example:

[toplytics period="week" numberposts="3" showviews="true"]

The shortcode can be used within post/pages and in other widgets from the sidebar. For any parameter that is not used, the default value will be used.

How can I use JavaScript code in order to show up the top in widget?

There is a check in the widget Settings for this operation, called Load via Javascipt AJAX. This way the stats are read from the toplytics.json file or wp-json/toplytics/results (depends on which endpoint you’ve activated) and loaded dynamically with JavaScript. Otherwise, the results will be read from the database.

This can be useful for sites that are using caching, for example. If the top is not loaded dynamically with JavaScript and AJAX, it will not refresh unless someone flushes the page cache.

You can check the JavaScript code on the default template toplytics/resorces/views/frontend/widget.template.php.

What is `toplytics.json` file?

This file contains the statistics in JSON format, if you have the custom JSON endpoint enabled. This option exists to maintain backwards compatibility, the recommend option now is to use the REST API Endpoint. This way, your statistics will be retrieved from the endpoint /wp-json/toplytics/results.

After you enable the REST API Endpoint or the custom JSON endpoint, you need to flush the Permalink cache after you change this by visiting Settings > Permalinks and saving that form with no change.

Both the toplytics.json file and the /wp-json/toplytics/results endpoint are designed to be used with the JS custom template code to load the top dynamically with JavaScript and AJAX.

Where is `toplytics.json` file located?

The file toplytics.json is located to the root folder of the site.

Example

If the site domain is http://www.example.com/ then the file url is http://www.example.com/toplytics.json.

What is Local Post Discovery?

The Analytics API only returns the permalink of the posts and the number of pageviews. In order to display the title, as well as other post fields like featured image, post type etc, Toplytics searches your site’s database for these additional information.

However, there are some rare cases when you want to display on your site a top from another site, for example. This means that you don’t have access to the respective site’s database, only to it’s Analytics statistics. In this case, you can activate Skip local posts discovery. This means that instead of searching for additional information in the site’s database, Toplytics will try to generate a human readable title from the URLs that Google Analytics returns. This will only work if you have pretty permalinks enabled for your site’s URLs.

For example, if you have a post with the URL /code/kubernetes-mysql-operator-digital-ocean/, Toplytics will generate the title Code Kubernetes Mysql Operator Digital Ocean.

Along with Skip Local Posts Discovery, you will also need to specify the Custom domain for the site, since Google Analytics doesn’t give us the domain in the URLs it returns. We need the domain to create the links to the articles in the top.

Why are pages showing up in my Toplytics Most Viewed Posts Top?

In the Toplytics settings, you have an option called Posts to fetch from GA, which sets up how many articles, pages and other custom post types will be returned by the Google Analytics API.

If you only want your top to show your most viewed posts (not pages or other custom post type), you have a Toplytics setting for specifying what king of posts appear in your top, called Allowed post types. By default it is set to post, which means that it will extract from the data fetched from Google only the posts.

Toplytics will still extract for Google Analytics your 20 most viewed posts and pages for example, but will only display the most viewed posts.

Why is my Toplytics output empty?

Toplytics fetches from Analytics the number of posts, pages and other post types that you specify on Toplytics Settings -> Posts to fetch from GA, generically called “posts”. Then, they will be filtered based on your Settings. For example, you can set up the Allowed post types, which is set by default to post. In this case, only the posts (articles) will show in your top.

However, you may encounter the following situation. Your most viewed content is your pages, and you only fetch 10 “posts” from Google Analytics. By default, Toplytics displays the most viewed posts (articles), but if the results fetched were all pages, it will have nothing to show. In this case, you can set up a higher number of “posts” to be fetched (the default is 20).

How can I use the plugin functionality outside the sidebar?

The plugin offers 2 functions that can be used either in the theme or by another plugin. Please review the complete documentation below.

1. toplytics_results

Description

mixed toplytics_results( [ array $args ] )

toplytics_results() prints the toplytics results in <ol> format.

Parameters

args -> This parameter is a list of toplytics options:
period – represents the statistics period, default=month (today/week/month);
numberposts – represents the number of posts to be displayed, default=5 (min=1/max=250);
showviews – set this parameter to true if you want to print out the number of posts views, default=false (true/false);

Return Values

If the toplytics results will be printed, then the function returns TRUE, otherwise the return value is FALSE.

Example

Here is a simple example that displays the first 7 most visited posts in the past month, toghether with the number of views:

<?php
    $toplytics_args = array(
        'period' => 'month',  // default=month (today/week/month)
        'numberposts' => 7,   // default=5 (min=1/max=250)
        'showviews' => true   // default=false (true/false)
    );
    if ( function_exists( 'toplytics_results' ) )
        toplytics_results( $toplytics_args );
?>

2. toplytics_get_results

Description

mixed toplytics_get_results( [ array $args ] )

toplytics_get_results() returns the toplytics results into an array; in this case, the toplytics results’ HTML can be formatted according with your needs.

Parameters

args -> This parameter is a list of toplytics options:
period – represents the statistics period, default=month (today/week/month);
numberposts – represents the number of posts to be displayed, default=5 (min=1/max=250);

Return Values

If the toplytics results contains at least one element, the function will return an array with the toplytics results, otherwise the return value is FALSE.

Example

<?php
    if ( function_exists( 'toplytics_get_results' ) ) {
        $toplytics_args = array(
            'period' => 'month',  // default=month (today/week/month)
            'numberposts' => 3    // default=5 (min=1/max=250)
        );
        $toplytics_results = toplytics_get_results( $toplytics_args );
        if ( $toplytics_results ) {
            $k = 0;
            foreach ( $toplytics_results as $post_id => $post_views ) {
                echo (++$k) . ') <a href="' . get_permalink( $post_id )
                    . '" title="' . esc_attr( get_the_title( $post_id ) ) . '">'
                    . get_the_title( $post_id ) . '</a> - ' . $post_views . ' Views<br />';
            }
        }
    }
?>

The outcome will look like this:

1.) This is the most visited post – 123 Views

2.) This is the second most visited post – 99 Views

3.) This is the third most visited post – 12 Views

Reviews

October 31, 2019
This plugin is great! I personal customize use it to display thumbnail images. I hope it will be maintained for a long time.
February 7, 2019
Just, the best. Also such quick and helpful response to questions when having trouble installing.
December 21, 2016
5 stars althoug I would like to see more options.
December 10, 2016
Long time searching for a REAL GA trending widget and this is incredible. I could add my own css style! Recommended 100% and it deserves more downloads.
Read all 8 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Toplytics” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “Toplytics” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

4.0.7

  • Fixed: Status messages were not being displayed on the admin settings pages

4.0.6

  • Optimized vendor dependencies for a smaller package footprint

4.0.5

  • Updating vendor dependencies
  • Fix updating date ranges before every update

4.0.4

  • Fix #150 – set proper size for featured image
  • Fix #146 – Update analytics data on saving plugin settings
  • Fix #145 – Create option toplytics_results_ranges, if not exists
  • Fix Skip local post discovery with no domain provided
  • Remove Blade templating engine from view files
  • Add support for rendering posts per category.

4.0

Upgrade Notification: Please TEST this new version of Toplytics on your development site before upgrading! You might need to update your custom template file or change some settings inside the new settings page.

This version is a complete rewrite of the plugin for better code management and better maintenability.

Please read our FAQ: https://www.presslabs.com/code/toplytics/how-to-use-toplytics/
You can see a list of fixed issues that came with this complete rewrite here: https://github.com/presslabs/toplytics/pull/128

3.2

Simplify the auth process using our own API keys.

3.1

  • Allow multiple post types via filter
  • Add shortcode to features list fix #115
  • Remove PDF. Change documentation link from PDF docs to Presslabs site
  • Fix #109 – deprecated constructor method call
  • Fix #100, exclude disconnecting for network is unreachable
  • Fix travis tests
  • Use different ID for wrapper div of list of posts
  • Fixed get_result() returning null instead of array()
  • Update readme.txt
  • Remove unused parameter $when
  • Fix add_query_arg vulnerability
  • Add the filter toplytics_widget_args

3.0

This is a major update and you need to re-authenticate with Google Analytics for the plugin to work!

  • Google Analytics API v3.0 is being used from now on
  • major code refactoring
  • removed realtime template – the JS code can now be used directly in toplytics-template.php file
  • removed filters and actions
    filters:
    toplytics_ga_api_url_$name
    toplytics_ga_api_result_xml_$name
    toplytics_ga_api_result_simplexml_$name
    action:
    action toplytics_options_general_page
  • removed debug page
  • added new filters in order to get more information about how the plugin works
    toplytics_disconnect_message
    toplytics_analytics_data
    toplytics_analytics_data_result
    toplytics_analytics_data_allresults
    toplytics_rel_path
    toplytics_convert_data_url
    toplytics_convert_data_to_posts
    toplytics_json_data
    toplytics_json_all_data
  • removed 2weeks from the data range.
  • removed Romanian translation

2.1.1

  • fixed a possible infinite loop
  • WP_DEBUG enables toplytics debug mode

2.1

  • added new filters and actions
    filters:
    toplytics_ga_api_url_$name
    toplytics_ga_api_result_xml_$name
    toplytics_ga_api_result_simplexml_$name
    action:
    action toplytics_options_general_page
  • resolved the realtime template issues
  • added toplytics debug page
  • added 2weeks in the data range.

2.0

  • Implemented OAuth login method.
  • Added Display posts in real time option.
  • Fixed some display bugs.
  • Refactored and cleaned-up the entire plugin code and added some tests.
  • Simplified the template syntax.
  • The plugin settings page now resides under Settings and not Tools.
  • Added i18n support.
  • Added shortcode support.
  • Added more information and documentation into Readme.txt.

1.2.2

  • Added custom theme templates support.

1.2.1

  • Add a token to login process.

1.2

  • Added custom templates.

1.1

  • First version on WP.