Flying Analytics is a WordPress plugin that helps add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website, but while keeping performance top of mind.
It does something unique, which caused me to switch to using it, rather than let Perfmatters handle my Analytics code. Yes, just one key feature single-handedly made me change.
You can get Flying Analytics here, for free (or search in the "Add Plugin" area of your WordPress dashboard).
This review/guide is going to be a little different from the others I've created. Instead of breaking the review and guide into separate sections, this plugin is straightforward -- so everything is combined.
What I ❤️ About Flying Analytics
First, the fact the plugin is so easy to use. No bloat and no overwhelm from fussing with settings. It's fast, efficient, and can improve performance by reducing the payload send to your readers.
Simple to use
There are just three settings, and they all make sense. Here they are, and my recommendations.
- Google Analytics Tracking ID -- this is the UA-XXXXXXXX-NN tracking ID you get from your Google Analytics admin area. You can learn how to obtain it here in Google's support.
- GTtag.js -- this is the "full analytics suite." You get standard analytics tracking and also conversion tracking. It's hefty, weighing in at 66KB, this option slows your site the most.
- Analytics.js -- this is the standard analytics tracking you normally use. It's a middle-weight contender, weighing in at 44KB.
- Minimal Analytics.js -- This is a subset of analytics tracking. You lose some advanced things like page speed tracking.
- But really, who needs that? If you're going to this level to optimize, your site is fast enough.
- This option weighs just 1.4KB, a drastic reduction in size -- and still gives you realtime tracking, page views, location, etc.
- Minimal Analytics Inlined -- this is simply the same minimal analytics but instead of being a separate file, the code is "inlined" (aka embedded) in the HTML of your pages.
- Your choice here. I don't do this because I want the minimal analytics script to load from my CDN
- Disable for logged in admins [ON] -- self-explanatory, you can disable the analytics from loading if you're logged in.
- I recommend you turn this on so you don't get tracked while writing/editing/previewing your own pages.
Reduces payload size
As you saw above, choosing the Minimal Analytics option will result in a savings of up to 64KB! In other words, your reader's browser will download 64KB less, resulting in a performance benefit.
This is something I haven't seen done in other plugins (hint, Perfmatters -- you may want to consider this).
Documentation is built in
You don't have to leave your site to get help. The plugin has an FAQ tab right inside your dashboard, where you can learn about the various options.
It's well-written and concise. Something I wish more plugins would do.
And that's a wrap. In this guide, I showed off why I think Flying Analytics is a plugin you should use if you care about performance.
The minimal analytics script capability is the "killer feature" here. I didn't even know this existed until I started using Flying Analytics.
If you need extra support, check out the WP Speed Matters Facebook group, the developer is active there.