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Honest Review of Monster Insights and Jetpack

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack 2024

A while back, one of my websites experienced a massive traffic spike, out of the blue, prompting me to investigate. While Google Analytics has the data, it’s not user-friendly. That’s when I turned to MonsterInsights and Jetpack – both free versions. Having used them before and deleted both, I wanted to give them another chance.


Monster used to be  mal-ware. When you downloaded it, it would sneak other plugins into your WordPress, without asking or telling you. This time it asked me – in a vague question, about if I was interested in downloading some industry best software – NOOOO.


It connects really easy, a few clicks to let the API connect to your Google analytics account and Bam. You’re done. EZ PZ. But it took about a day for the graphs to populate, by the next day, it had imported all of the data.

But true to form, it started begging for a 5 star review, and popping-up, I should upgrade – BS, and I was about to delete it again, because I don’t do nagware, but before I deleted it, I googled if it was possible to turn off the notifications – and it turns out you can. It is well hidden, but I found it, disabled all of the notifications and so far,  so good.

So here we go:

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack

Intro:

MonsterInsights is a widely-used (3 Million active installs) WordPress plugin designed to provide website owners with robust analytics and insights. We’ll look at the pros and cons of MonsterInsights, offering a  look at the user experience it delivers.

Pros:

    1. User-Friendly Interface:
      • The dashboard is intuitive, providing easy navigation for users of all levels. Google analytics could learn from them!
      • The plugin integrates seamlessly with the WordPress dashboard, providing a cohesive user experience.
    2. Powerful Google Analytics Integration:
      • Offers a seamless integration with Google Analytics, delivering in-depth analytics and performance metrics.
      • Enables users to track various data points, including website traffic, user behavior, and conversions.
    3. Real-Time Stats:
      • Access to real-time statistics for monitoring website activity as it happens.
      • Valuable for businesses needing up-to-the-minute insights into user engagement..
    4. Customizable Reports:
      • Allows (paid) users to generate customizable reports tailored to specific business needs.
      • Enhances flexibility for diverse website types.

Cons:

  1. Pricing Tiers:
    • While MonsterInsights offers a free version with basic features, advanced functionalities are locked behind premium pricing tiers.
    • Some users may find the cost prohibitive, especially for small websites or personal blogs.
    • The subscriptions are yearly and are $100, $200 or $400 for the first year depending on your tier, then the prices double the second year – Ouch
  2. Learning Curve for Advanced Features:
    • Users of the advanced features will encounter a learning curve.
    • Understanding and implementing complex features such as custom dimensions and events require additional time and effort. Possibly an understatement here – You basically need to know how to manipulate big data. I would guess 3-6 months of courses at Coursea
  3. Dependency on Google Analytics:
    • As MonsterInsights relies on Google Analytics, users must have a Google Analytics account. 

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack

In conclusion,

while MonsterInsights PAID version has drawbacks like pricing and a learning curve, THE FREE version and its user-friendly interface and robust Google Analytics integration make it a valuable tool for actionable insights.

Note: The free version worked well for me. 

The magic bread crumbs to disable Monsterinsights notifications, should you download it

****** To disable notifications, turn on “Hide Announcements” in Insights » Settings » Advanced » Miscellaneous.

Jetpack

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack

My very first, WordPress install came preloaded with Jetpack, and it worked ok, until I needed some specialty plugins, then everyday Jet Pack would tell me it was going to break my site if I did not delete the offending plugin.

Jetpack is a needy plugin who does not play well with others, it is also a very bloated plugin, that tries to be something to everyone. That said it does have some cool features, that I wish someone else would copy.

 

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Jetpack for WordPress

Intro:
Jetpack by WordPress.com is a multifunctional plugin that provides a suite of features, including website statistics (5 million active installs).

We’ll examine the pros and cons of Jetpack’s analytics functionality, shedding light on the user experience it offers.

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack 2024

  1. All-in-One:
    • Jetpack is an all-encompassing plugin that not only offers website statistics but also includes a variety of other modules for security, performance, and content management. [80% of what they ‘offer’ I don’t need or want.]
    • Users looking for a comprehensive solution within a single plugin may find Jetpack appealing. If you have a small simple website, Jetpack could be a good match, but bigger websites will probably find better solutions with more dedicated plugins.
  2. EZ Integration:
    • Provides basic site statistics suitable for users not requiring advanced analytics.
    • Offers straightforward insights without delving into complex data.
  3. Basic Site Stats:
    • Jetpack provides basic site statistics, including views, referrers, and popular posts. *Very basic
    • Suitable for users who require straightforward insights without delving into advanced analytics.
  4. Image Optimization:
    • Beyond analytics, Jetpack includes performance optimization tools, such as image and video acceleration, contributing to a faster and more efficient website. Unless you already have a favorite, then Jetpack starts threatening to break things again…

Cons:

  1. Limited Advanced Analytics:
    • Lacks the depth of analytics offered by dedicated solutions like MonsterInsights.
    • Not suitable for users with specific and advanced analytics requirements.
  2. Performance Impact:
    • All-in-one nature leads to a bloated app, impacting website performance. 
    • * My website speed, sped-up 20 points at pagespeed.web.dev after I deleted all of that bloat.
    • Customization options for enabling or disabling specific features may not be easy to find or understand. 

 

Honest Review of MonsterInsights and Jetpack

In the end: Jetpack for WordPress emerges as a versatile plugin that goes beyond analytics, offering a suite of features for website management. While it may not cater to users with advanced analytics needs, its user-friendly interface, seamless integration, and broader functionality make it a suitable choice for individuals and businesses seeking an all-in-one solution.

Ultimately, the decision to use Jetpack hinges on the specific requirements and preferences of the website owner, considering factors such as the desired level of analytics depth, additional features needed, and personal workflow preferences.

My 2 cents, is that Jetpack is a good starter plugin if you are new to WordPress, after you grow out of the newbie phase, you will probably start looking at other options.

So, I still have Monster installed, currently on all of my websites, so that’s saying something!

Always be kind,
#ThePragmaticTechie
By Frank Joseph Rodgers

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