Visitor Stats is a plugin for Movable Type 4+ that displays visitor and page view statistics for your MT sites. Visitor Stats Pro provides even more statistics and widgets (details below).

Visitor Stats looks like this:

New Features in Visitor Stats 1.6

  • Support for MT 4.1
  • Some template tags now supported under MT's PHP-dynamic publishing system (<MTVisitorStatsTracker>, <MTVisitorStatsCounter>, <MTEntryStats>, and <MTPageStats>)
  • Option to build dashboard stats via scheduled for better performance (Pro)
  • Code optimized for better overall performance

Visitor Stats Pro

Additional features included with Visitor Stats Pro:

  • Blog Widget for displaying a ranked list of "Most Read Entries"
  • Entry Stats graph that displays entry pages views by date.
  • List of Recent Visitors and Views on the admin Dashboard (including IP address, username, referrer and keywords).
  • Dashboard widgets for displaying top search engine keywords and referrers.
  • Detailed Entry Stats screen with graph, top keywords used to find the entry, and a list with details of each page view for that entry.
  • Many new template tags for displaying stats on the published pages for your blog.
  • See details about Visitor Stats Pro below

Visitor Stats also provides a "stats counter" tag (and widget) that you can place on your site to display your stats. Note: you can visit the MT4 Test Blog to to see some of the Visitor Stats (and Pro) publishing widgets and tags in action.

Visitor and View Stats

Visitor Stats tracks two key statistics for your blog:

  • Visits - A visit represents a real person who visited your blog. Even if the person views 20 pages of your site, it only counts as one visit (per day).
  • Views - Also known as page views, a view represents the viewing of a single web page on your site. If the person views 20 pages, it counts as 20 views. If a person refreshes the same page several times, each time counts a view.

How it Works

Visitor Stats tracks visitor and view information and records that information directly into your Movable Type database. After placing a single template tag in your templates, Visitors Stats will begin recording stats automatically using a combination of JavaScript and PHP (note that you do not need to enable MT's dynamic publishing feature). Then, when you view the admin dashboard for your blog, you will "Visitors" and "Views" tabs on the Blog Stats widget, which will display a graph of your stats (see image above). On the System Overview dashboard, you will see aggregate graphs of your stats for all blogs on the system.

Visitor Stats - Template Tags

Visitor Stats provides 4 template tags:

  • <MTVisitorStatsTracker> - Place this tag before the </head> tag in every template where you want to track stats. Only place one of these per template.
  • <MTVisitorStatsCounter> - This tag will display the total number of visitors or views for your blog, just like a web stats counter. There is one optional argument:
    • type - the type of stats that you want to count, which either be "visit" or "view". The default is "view". Example: <MTVisitorStatsCounter type="visit">
  • New! - <MTEntryStats> - Used within an entry context, this displays the total number of views for that entry.
  • New! - <MTStatsImageURL> - The URL to the small stats image ( that looks like ).There is one optional argument:
    • type - the type of stats that you want to graph, which either be "visit" or "view". The default is "view". Example: <MTStatsImageURL type="visit">

Visitor Stats Pro Features

Visitor Stats Pro includes additional stats and provides ways to view visitor and view stats in more detail, helping you understand the traffic to your sites. Where are readers coming from? What search keywords are they using in search engines to find your site? What entries are they reading? Which entries get the most views? Visitor Stats Pro helps you answer these questions and more.

Display a List of the Most Popular Entries

Visitor Stats Pro includes a widget that you can use to display a ranked list of the "Most Read Entries" in your blog sidebar, showing readers which entries are the most popular. You can also create customized most readlists by category, tag, etc. Examples include "Most Read Entries in this Category", or a "related entries" section that lists that the most read entries with the same tags as the current entry. This is a powerful feature with many possibilities.

Detailed Stats for Each Entry

In the MT4 admin interface, Visitor Stats Pro displays detailed view stats for each entry. On the entry screen, an Entry Views graph can display the traffic history for that entry:

(The graph on the edit entry screen can be hidden with a single click, or disabled in the plugin settings, for those who don't want to the graph to appear on this screen)

On the right side of the Edit Entry screen, the number of views for that entry will be displayed, and you can click the link for Detailed Stats:

The same graph also appears on the Detailed Stats screen for each entry (just click the "More Stats" link from the main entry screen), plus a list of top keywords for that entry, and a detailed list of the pages views for that entry:

As you can see from the image above, in addition to displaying the IP address for each Visitor (just to left of this image), Visitor Stats Pro will also identify visitors and views by registered users on your system. This includes both local MT authenticated users, as well as TypeKey, Vox, Livejournal, or other OpenID users. This provides valuable information about the traffic stats of your signed-in users. You can even filter the list of page views by dragging the sliders on the graph -- just choose a date range, then click the link that appears. The "From" column shows the URL that the visitor came from before arriving on your site.

More Dashboard Stats

Visitor Stats Pro provides even more stats on the MT4 admin dashboard. This includes a summary of recent visitors and views, along with detail about each. This is similar to the "Recent Entries" and "Recent Comments" displayed when you click the respective tab on the Blog Stats widget:

Top Keywords and Referrers Dashboard Widgets

Visitor Stats Pro includes two new widgets that you can optionally display on your admin dashboard. The "Top Keywords" widget will display a list of the top search engine keywords used to find your blog:

And the "Top Referrers" widget will display a list of the top referrer URLs for your visitors, so you can see where your traffic is coming from:

Many Visitor Stats Pro Template Tags

Visitor Stats Pro includes many new template tags that you can use to display your blog stats on your published pages, blog sidebar, etc. In addition to display lists of "most viewed entries" as described above, you can display lists of top keywords, top referrers, recent visitors, and recent page views. If fact there are so many new template tags, that I won't discuss them in detail here -- I will soon post a separate article that describes the tags with some example template code.


Installation or Upgrade

Note: If you are upgrading from version 1.5x, you do not need to reinstall the templates, as they have not changed in version 1.6.

  1. Download and extract the zip file, then upload the contents of the 'plugins' directory into the 'plugins' directory of your Movable Type installation (often /cgi-bin/mt/plugins/).
  2. (Pro Version Only) Upload the contents of the 'extlib' directory into the 'extlib' directory of your Movable Type installation (often /cgi-bin/mt/extlib/).
  3. (Pro Version Only) Upload the contents of the 'mt-static' directory into the 'mt-static' directory used by your Movable Type installation.
  4. Login to MT and you should be redirected to an "Upgrade" screen that will update your database automatically.
  5. For each blog that you want to track, go to Preferences > Plugins and then click on "Visitor Stats" and then click on "Settings". Now click the link labeled "Click here to install the Visitor Stats templates". Note: Even if you are upgrading from a previous version, you should re-install the templates.
  6. Now go to Design > Templates and insert the <MTVisitorStatsTracker> tag before the </head> tag for all templates that you want to track. Note that if you are using the new MT4 default templates, then you only have to do this in one place: click on "Template Modules" from the right side of the page and open the "Header" template module and insert the <MTVisitorStatsTracker> before the </head> tag and then save the module. Note: If you are upgrading from a previous version of Visitor Stats, you can skip this step.
  7. Now Publish (rebuild) all your files.
  8. (Optional) Add the <MTVisitorStatsCounter> tag to your templates or use Widget Manger to add the "Visitor Stats Counter" widget to your sidebar. Pro users can add the "Most Read Entries" widget and start using the many new templates tags.

Get Visitor Stats Pro

Commercial License - $97


Non Commercial Use License - $33


Get Visitor Stats

Visitor Stats (Basic Version) is free to members of MT Hacks.

Download Now

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Potential Future Features

Visitor Stats Pro was a much larger effort than I anticipated. As such, there are still a number of interesting features that may be added in the future. Future features will be determining largely by the requests of Visitor Stats Pro license holders. Here are some of the potential features:

  • Stats on a per author basis. If you have a blog with multiple authors, see which authors are generating the most traffic.
  • Drill-down into statistics. View the traffic history for a single visitor or registered commenter, see how they navigate through your site and which pages they viewed.
  • Geographical stats. See what country, region and city your visitors are coming from.
  • Recommended entries based on common viewing stats. For example "people who read this entry also read these entries..."
  • And more...

As always, suggestions, comments, and questions are appreciated.

A Note on the Small Stats Graphs

The small stats graphs included with this version of Visitor Stats are called Sparklines and were inspired by the SparkStats plugin for Wordpress. The sparkline graphs used by the Visitor Stats plugin are powered by the sparkline web service provided by The plugin stores a copy of the image on your blog, and updates the image a maximum of once per hour (note that that stats image only updates when the page is published, either manually or automatically when someone posts a comment, etc.). Credit goes to those sites discussed above for their cool work with Sparklines.