Do you know how to monitor user activity in a WordPress blog by using few plugins?
Monitoring user activity is always important for the blogger who is offering guest submission by the WordPress dashboard.
Submitting guest posts by WordPress dashboard is time-saving for blog admin.
But at the same time, Some guest bloggers do misuse their permission given by the blog admin like making a backlink for the keyword after publish or uploading any unwanted file or software.
Before knowing anything about how to monitor user activity in WordPress, let us first know what is user activity and what problems will be caused if he does not monitor user activity.
The user activity is the changes that are made to your WordPress website by different users in your WordPress website.
When you are running a website with multiple user accounts, each user or each moderator makes different changes for your website at different times.
These changes may be to the posts on pages or to the settings included in your WordPress website. Here are a few details about the WordPress activity monitor.
Why Monitor user activity in WordPress?
According to WordPress statistics 2019, WordPress is the used content management system and now 34% of all websites are powered with this CMS.
As an admin of your blog, it is very essential for you to monitor user activity of your WordPress website. Because the changes that are made to your website may lead to some errors.
To rectify these errors you need to have a log of activity. When there is a perfect log of your activity monitored you can look back or pinpoint the changes that were made on your website that caused the error.
Before considering the activity, one thing that should be remembered is that WordPress login access should not be given to anyone without trust. Still, there will be a necessity for the websites which required multi-users and multi moderators.
So in many cases, it is not obvious that your website has many users that make changes to your website.
There may occur any mistake or an error caused by the user that may accidentally cause your website to break down.
Even though the user activity is necessary for big websites that maintain a number of users and moderators that regularly changed the website it is also important websites that do not have multi-users.
The error caused in websites may not reflect as soon as a change is made to your core, but when the error is seen it is important to point back to the time where the change is made to rectify this error.
To identify this error from the change caused is difficult, by using user activity you can identify these errors easily.
Here are the two main reasons why one must always check the user activity of the WordPress websites.
A. Improves security
By enabling user activity in your WordPress website, when unauthorized login attempts or any content changes are made on your website you can easily find them and make them secure.
As you know the source of error you can rectify them easily and you can provide better service to all your users.
B. Better debugging
The user activity will pinpoint every particular change made to your website by your users. This will help you better understand the problems created and let you solve them easily.
By using the plugins given below, you can keep a log of the following
- WordPress Core Update changes
- Posts changelog
- Pages changelog
- Users changelog
- Plugins changelog
- Setting changelog
All the below plugins that you are about to learn to monitor the user activity will keep the above logs which will help you pinpoint any change that was made in that particular area.
How to monitor user activity in WordPress?
What Plugins are helpful to monitor user activity?
By default, there will be no option that will provide you with the activity log of your users in your WordPress dashboard. So it is essential to place an additional piece of code that will help you list the activity log.
To monitor user activity you can use some plugins which will track all the changes made by the users and keeps a log on them.
If WordPress no activity yet, here is the list of plugins that help you monitor user activity for your WordPress website.
1. Simple History plugin
The simple History plugin is the best free source for monitoring user activity in WordPress. This plugin is available for WordPress in the WordPress plugin store for free.
The below given is a brief guide on the simple history plugin. It is a simple WordPress history revision plugin
- Firstly install the plugin from the WordPress plugin store and activate it in your WordPress dashboard
- After installing the plug-in you can edit the settings of showing the history of logs on the dashboard or as a page under the dashboard menu.
- You can also edit the number of items to be viewed on the log page here.
After you set up all the settings in the simple history plugin your logs will be started entering. All the logs will be automatically deleted after 60 days.
If you want to change the range of the logs to be deleted you can click on the dates dropdown menu and change the time range. It shows WordPress user login count and blocked IPs.
Of course, this Simple History plugin feature comes with built-in support in these plugins – Jetpack (to give protection from brute force attack), Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), User Switching, Enable Media Replace, Limit Login Attempts and more.
2. Activity log
The activity log is another WordPress plugin that helps you in creating logs of all the user activity in your WordPress dashboard. how to see the WordPress activity log?
Search for the activity log plugin in the WordPress plugin Store and click on the ‘install’ button and then activate the activity log plugin
After installing the activity log plugin you can set the options to keep logs from 30 days to one year.
You can also delete the entire database by simply clicking on the ‘reset databases’ button in the activity log settings.
You can see all the activity logs of the activities of users and other members in your blog in the activity logs page.
You can view only certain parameters of the page in the screen option dropdown.
The Stream plugin will display all the activities of the user such as logins and other features and you can also easily organize all the logs by choosing the different filters, users’ roles, actions, and IP addresses.
The best thing in the Stream plugin is that you can also keep tabs on your clients such that there will be a separate log for each client that performs different things on your website.
To install this Stream plugin visit the WordPress plugin store and search for stream and click on the ‘install’ and then ‘activate’ buttons.
After installing the plugin in the settings you can also create rules to avoid the logs of a certain administrator or certain context or certain action such as logins.
The last and the best one of the list is the WordPress file Monitor to keep a log of your user activity.
By installing the WordPress File Monitor plugin you can keep track of all the files on your WordPress core.
If any file is added or changed or deleted on your website, you will get a notification by emails and alerts in the WordPress activity dashboard. WordPress user analytics are good.
By keeping track of the files using the word file monitor, you can keep your blog secure every time.
The WordPress track user page views and stores in WordPress analytics.
The WordPress file monitor’s major features include monitoring files, tracking the changes of files (sizes, modification dates, permissions), sending emails for changed information, displaying monitor alerts in the WordPress dashboard, and WordPress track visitor activity.
In the WordPress file monitor, you can also include or exclude certain files from checking, which lets you ignore some regularly operated files in your browser.
The WP Security Audit Log plugin doesn’t need too much configuration. Once you have installed & activated the plugin, it will start tracking all the activities.
But you also can track particular actions that you need to monitor from your guest author.
To track particular action, Navigate to Audit Log -> Enable/Disable Alerts. It will show up a list of alerts. Over here you need to disable the list of logs that you don’t want to monitor.
This helps you to stop recording some actions and keep your log meaningful. It shows the exact WordPress User Levels.
You can also limit the number of records that you want to keep in the settings tab.
You also have an option to exclude admin or some user that you don’t to track.
Since this plugin will also log blog admin actions which are not necessary to monitor.
Logs Of User Activities
I have made a few tests of this plugin by changing the content and a few other activities to check how the plugin works (WordPress Activity Log).
Here is a screenshot of the user activities from my blog dashboard:
This plugin is highly useful for blog admin who has multiple users with guest posts enable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are WordPress and its features?
WordPress is free and open-source software and Content management system (CMS). Using this CMS, you can create any website like professional portfolio, photoblog, travel blog, magazine or news website, online community, and websites. WordPress comes with thousands of free themes and plugins access from the own dashboard.
What are the disadvantages of WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS because of its ease of customization and its open-source feature. But it has some disadvantages like – need more plugins to add additional features, frequent theme and plugin updates, site loading issues, poor SEO ranking, the easy vulnerability of the website, and sometimes the website can go down without notice.
Is WordPress good for beginners?
WordPress is good for beginners because of its simplicity and ease to use as a word processor like Microsoft. So beginners can use it easily without any additional skills. It is very easy to setup. Most of the web hosting companies are providing one-click auto-installers. It allows you to install WordPress in your hosting accounts within few seconds.
How do I track user activity in WordPress?
To track the user activity in WordPress, there is a solution. You can install and activate the WP Activity log plugin, then go for WP Activity Log > Logged in Users Page. From this page, you can see all users’ activity. If you found any suspicious activity, you can force someone to log out by clicking on the Terminate session button.
How do I monitor user activity?
Sometimes, some of the users access sensitive files without any permission. It may be against company policies. So you need to monitor every user activity in one place. Different methods are implemented to monitor, like Video recording sessions, Log collection, analysis, network packet inspection, Keystroke logging, kernel monitoring, File/Screenshot capturing, etc. If you found any inappropriate activity, you can take action on the user activity as per the company laws.
How do I see all users in WordPress?
After registering the user, WordPress has the default option as Subscriber role as default admin setting. Once the user registered their details, you can change the role as per the user’s importance. By default, WordPress comes with six predefined roles. They are Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, author, subscriber, and contributor. You can see all the WordPress users in one place by going to Dashboard > Users > All users section.
By installing the above-mentioned WordPress plugins to monitor user activity will give you lots of features in monitoring all the user activities for your website.
You can see whoever changed the content of your website or whoever has given additional permission to another user, or you can also check any changes made to your settings on your website.
So by keeping these plugins to monitor user activity, you can keep an eye on them and rectify any miscellaneous things done by your users.
As we have said earlier, these plugins are most useful for websites that maintain multi-users. Still, the websites also face some hazards with a single admin, like multiple login attempts by unauthorized IPs.
In this kind of event, your monitor plugin keeps a log on the attempt made and provides the login attempt’s IP. By checking the log, you can block the IP or make changes to your settings.
let us know if you know of any similar plugins like mentioned above, just write in the comment section below.
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