Should You Pay for Jetpack Stats?

If you have a WordPress website, you might have seen this announcement recently in your admin area:


It’s a paywall for Jetpack stats, the WordPress analytics tool. Jetpack is allowing noncommercial sites to continue using the stats for free, but requiring a paid upgrade for anyone using their WordPress site to promote a business, serve ads, request donations, share affiliate links, or otherwise produce revenue of any kind. Sites with fewer than 10,000 visits per month are asked to pony up $99.96 for the year, and pricing increases from there, reaching $950.04 for sites receiving a million visits per month, plus another $20 and change for every million visits thereafter.

Jetpack is trying to monetize their offerings, and they have a perfect right to do that. Many online services are free for a while and then require payment. Many have a free version (in this case, for personal, non-commercial websites) and a paid version. We have no philosophical objections to this move.

But the question remains — should you pay for Jetpack stats?

Are there alternatives?

You need analytics for your website, unless it really is a personal site with no business connections. When we build websites, we usually install Google Analytics, which is free, but sometimes we choose Jetpack stats for clients who tell us frankly that GA is too much for them, and often we do both. There are other options, too, both free and paid:

  • Matomo (formerly Piwik): A privacy-focused analytics platform offering detailed reporting and customization options. It’s self-hosted, meaning you have full control over your data, and it is open source and free.
  • Clicky: Provides real-time analytics with a user-friendly interface and features like heatmaps and session recordings. It’s free for one website and $79.99 per year for up to ten sites.
  • Statcounter: Offers basic website analytics like pageviews, visitors, and referrals. Plans range from free to $300 per month, and it doesn’t seem to offer historical data. The free version analyzes just your most recent 500 pageviews.
  • Fathom Analytics: Privacy-focused and lightweight, offering essential website analytics without cookies or user tracking. It starts at $15.00 a month, with a 17% discount for annual plans.
  • Plausible Analytics: Simple and privacy-friendly, focusing on core website analytics metrics. It starts at $9.00 for three team members and up to ten websites with a combined total of 10,000 pageviews per month.
  • Adobe Analytics: An enterprise-level platform with extensive features for marketing analytics, attribution modeling, and audience segmentation. While the pricing is not public information (you need to accept a sales call to get it), articles about it say it starts at $2,000 per month.
  • Mixpanel: Focuses on user behavior analytics, helping you understand how visitors interact with your website or app. There is a free option and paid plans start at $28.00 per month, but the pricing structure is complex enough to make it tough to compare prices with other options.
  • Heap: Tracks user interactions and clickstreams, providing detailed insights into user behavior. There is a free version, which allows six months of data history and up to 10,000 monthly sessions, but otherwise pricing is not public information.

We’ll try out some of these choices in the future, but for the moment, just know that there are plenty of choices. The price range runs from $0.00 to $2,000 per month, with many options around the same price point as Jetpack stats.

Is it worth it?

If you have just one website, you’re looking at $100 a year to continue using Jetpack stats. There are at least seven options that cost the same or less, including six free choices. Why would you choose to pay for Jetpack with that many less costly possibilities?

  • If you are already accustomed to using Jetpack, you won’t have to learn a new program or try out multiples to find the one that works best for you.
  • While we have not tried all these options, we know that Jetpack is simple and easy to use. I use it every day for a quick glance while planning social media and blogging topics, as well as keeping track of spikes in traffic and other surprises. For serious data dives, I like Google Analytics, but Jetpack’s quick information without leaving the website is definitely convenient.
  • You can support Jetpack as part of your support for WordPress. There’s quite a bit of anger over the price change online, but there are also plenty of people in the WordPress community who are willing to support WordPress with volunteer work, donations, and so forth. If you are part of this community, paying for Jetpack is a way you can help.

That said, it makes sense to look at some alternatives if these points don’t really resonate with you. Especially for those of us who manage multiple websites, Jetpack is no longer the most cost-effective option, so we should make sure it’s the most effective. $100 per year is not excessive, but Google Analytics is powerful, informative, and free. Check it out before you make your decision.

Google Analytics vs. Jetpack Stats

A workaround

I found this at Reddit: “In Jetpack Settings, go to the Traffic tab, scroll down and open the Jetpack Stats panel, and unselect ‘Enable a new Jetpack Stats experience.’” I tried it at our lab site, and the paywall did indeed disappear.

We also found that the paywall disappeared after a few days at some of the sites where it showed up, after we ignored it. We assume that both these workarounds will stop working at some point. Jetpack is rolling out the paid version gradually. Some of the sites we manage haven’t shown the paywall yet. Some showed it and then stopped showing it. Who knows what will happen next, but we’re guessing that it won’t be the equivalent of, “Oh, you don’t want to pay? No problem!”

If you still have access to Jetpack stats, think about saving the data before you stop having access. You can’t download a report, but you can grab a screenshot of the summaries. Then compare some other programs and decide whether you want to continue with Jetpack or not. Share your thoughts in the comments — we’re interested!



, ,




Leave a Reply