bStat Features

UPDATE: bstat has been updated.

bStat is a hit and search term stats tracking plugin for WordPress. In addition to reporting lists of popular stories and popular search terms, it will report recent comments and a unique “pulse” graph showing the activity for a story or the entire blog over time.

The documentation for the current release (b3, as of July 9, 2005) explains the public functions and their use. I believe they reveal themselves in their names, so here’s a list of most of them:

  • bstat_todaypop
  • bstat_recentpop
  • bstat_todayrefs
  • bstat_recentrefs
  • bstat_refsforpost
  • bstat_discussionbypost
  • bstat_discussionbycomment
  • bstat_pulse

You can see them at work in the column at right. Look for the headings “Today’s Most Popular”, “Recently Commented”, and “Top Incoming Search Terms” Today. I built many of these features into my old pMachine-based site and you’ll find a wish-list of features at Richard Akerman’s SciLib Pad. Among the many features not yet implemented is RSS output of these lists.

Aside from the “pulse,” the most unique feature of bStat is the way it counts stats. Many hit tracking packages either increment a single counter for hits over the life-time of a story or create a detailed record for every hit. Most people agree that “hit counters” offer too little detail, but often, those detailed logs provide too much. Reporting from those detailed logs incurs a big CPU hit, forcing bloggers to compile stats at regular intervals and never offering “live” stats to the public. bStat solves this by creating a hit counter for each story each day. This allows us to see changing traffic patterns over time. Separately, bStat tracks incoming search terms in a similar manner. The result is a reasonably detailed and lightning fast stats tracking app.