How to Keep an Eye on User Activities on a WordPress Site

Here we are not talking about tracking visits to a blog or website. We're talking about registered users activities within the dashboard. Such type of activity logging is also known as audit trail. This includes recording their common tasks like post creation, changing password, widget or plugin update, uploading of media files, modifying content and much more. In simple words, the administrator can get a detailed report what all registered users are doing after logging into the dashboard. This facility is very useful for multi-author blogs and for multisite WordPress installations. So do not wait any further and use powerful audit trail plugins to watch what users are doing on your WordPress installation. The following plugins also help you strengthen the security of your WordPress blog by initiating preemptive monitoring activity.

Stream - Audit trail plugin for WordPress
Stream - This powerful monitoring plugin is a perfect tool in the hands of an administrator to track user activities. It tracks almost every user activity and prepares relevant reports in the database to help you watch what's exactly happening inside your WordPress site. The reports presented by this plugin are formatted in a nice way. It also gives developers the ability to track custom events suiting their needs. The plugin itself is resource friendly and doesn't affect the performance of the site even during peak loads. Here are some of its features.

  • Private audit trail feeds - Administrators can generate both RSS and JSON activity feeds to fetch the activity details outside the WordPress dashboard.
  • Automated or manual record deletion - It also allows automated deletion of records that can be overridden by the manual process.
  • Live stream updates - All the logging of user activity is instant and the records are available immediately as they're generated.
  • Extend with custom connectors - Developers can build their own custom connectors that can log and track custom WordPress events.

WP Security audit Log plugin for WordPress
WP Security Audit Log - This plugin works seamlessly both on single and multisite WordPress installations. Apart from regular activity logging, it generates alerts whenever important events happen on the blog. This facility can be used to watch and secure your blog before any mishap. The sheer volume of the type of events it logs is impressive. Administrators managing WordPress sites with large user base must install this plugin for better monitoring. The report format is also user friendly providing details of each event or user activity in every single record.
  • Rich event logging - This plugin can log large number of single and multisite WordPress events. This makes it one of the preferred audit trail plugins among the users.
  • Custom event database size - You can change the size of event records this plugin can store in the database. Depending on your requirements, you can shrink or expand the number of events it must store before deleting automatically.
  • Enable/disable select events logging - Administrators can also disable logging for select WordPress events that are generally not required.
  • Flexible settings interface - The plugin's setting interface is very user friendly and presents the information in a properly formatted arrangement.

WP Activity - Audit trail plugin for WordPress
WP-Activity - Apart from regular event logging activity, this plugin is also capable of blacklisting IP addresses to safeguard your blog from hacking attempts. It has one of the nicest interfaces among all the audit trail plugins. This plugin also lets you showcase users' activity to other users and visitors. It also has handy filtering options to see the relevant records instead of scanning the entire activity stream. Administrators can see user activity via regularly updated event records within the dashboard. Following useful features makes this plugin popular among its users.
  • Export records to .csv file - You can easily export the audit trail log in a .csv file for offline analysis with Excel file.
  • Graph based statistics - It also shows vital statistics in graph format to help you visualize trends at a glance. This gives you a macro picture of various events happening on your blog.
  • Date range records retrieval - You can also retrieve event log records between ranges of dates to analyze data from the audit trail archive.
  • Ajax powered activity stream - Its excellent activity viewing pane is constantly updated with fresh new event records without any need to reload the web page.

Simple History - Audit trail plugin for WordPress
Simple History - As the name suggests, this useful plugin keeps history of user activities on a multi-user blog. Developers and power users can add tracking for custom events quite easily with this plugin. You can also configure this plugin to store all the activity logs perpetually. It's an open source plugin that can be extended by developers to meet their requirements. Its interface is simple without any complexities. Fortunately, this plugin is translated in several popular languages. Following excellent features makes it one of my favorite audit trail plugins.
  • bbPress & Gravity Forms events - If you're using bbPress forum or Gravity Forms on your WordPress site, this plugin can log events associated with these two popular extensions.
  • Private RSS event feed - You can easily generate a private RSS feed of event log to analyze it in your favorite RSS reader.
  • Custom events tracking - As I mentioned before, power users can easily add logging of custom events for customized reports.
  • Persistent event history - You can instruct this plugin to never delete any event log records and keep it archived in the database.

ARYO activity log audit trail plugin
ARYO Activity Log - The plugin author claims this plugin is like a black box for your WordPress site. The features included in this plugin support the claim. Dozens of events related to different activities are logged by this plugin in a centralized database. Like other popular audit trail plugins, this one also supports event logging for multisite WordPress network. Users can also view their own log records, if configured by the administrator. Administrators can filter the activity log on the basis of different criteria. Check out some of the unique features supported by this plugin.
  • Works out-of-the-box - Unlike several plugins which require several configuration steps before they start logging the activities, this one works instantly upon activation.
  • WooCommerce event logging - If you're using WooCommerce on your WordPress site, this plugin can easily log the events associated with it.
  • Simple and clean interface - With a clean and simplified interface, viewing event log records is obtrusive and easy.
  • Optimized code - The plugin itself is blazing fast and leaves almost no footprint on the server.

The Auditor - Audit trail plugin for WordPress
The Auditor - This premium plugin is ideal for designers and developers who build and maintain WordPress sites for their clients. The interface is top notch with impressive interactive graphs to visualize vital data easily. This plugin has detailed documentation and also includes an active support forum to leverage its capabilities to the fullest. This plugin not only logs events happening on the site but is also capable of identifying abnormal events that needs your attention. Through custom event logging, you can also debug complex site issues via detailed log reports.
  • Developer friendly - This plugin offers loads of customization options for developers to fine tune the logging activity and associated tasks.
  • Slick interface - This plugin's interface is extremely good and that makes it stand apart from all of its competitors.
  • Interactive charts - Its flexible interactive charts helps you mine out important trends and information hidden in your event log archives.
  • Detailed event logging - It supports logging of tons of WordPress events to provide you with heaps of useful information related to the user activities on your WordPress site.

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About Rajeev Edmonds

FreshTechTips author - Rajeev EdmondsRajeev Edmonds is a technical editor who loves to explore and test new gadgets and apps. He loves to develop applications both for desktops and web. He also enjoys writing tutorials for new media tools and services. The other two niche blogs that he maintains are MintBlogger and Taste Defined.

He has been developing custom skins for WordPress blogs since 2010. He also shares practical tips to get more out of your electronic gadgets. Read more →

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