Help test Stats 1.5 beta

At first we thought it was a good idea to use iframes to display reports in the Stats plugin. We’ve seen since then a lot of problems with browsers and cookies. To help resolve these issues, and in anticipation of future features, I am updating the plugin and the WordPress.com stats reporting system to remove the iframes. I just posted 1.5 beta 1. If you host your own WordPress 2.7+ blog and you use the Stats plugin, why not contribute to its development by installing this testing version? Anyone can download the beta but I don’t recommend it unless you are able to cope with potentially unstable software.

  • What are the risks of using this beta?
    You won’t lose any stats. If something goes horribly wrong it’s probably a bad download; just reinstall the latest version of Stats.
  • How does it work?
    The plugin connects to WordPress.com to get the stats reports when you request them. It uses the API key to authenticate.
  • Aside from fixing cookie problems, how is this better?
    Now it’s possible for anyone who can publish posts on your blog to see blog stats. They don’t have to be logged into a WordPress.com account. They only need the publish_posts capability (Author role) to view stats reports.
  • Where did the dropdown blog switcher go?
    Because the plugin uses a single API key to authenticate, the service doesn’t know whether the visitor is the owner of that key or some other user. So it doesn’t make much sense to show the list of blogs belonging to the API key owner. You can still use the switcher if you view your stats on any WordPress.com dashboard.
  • Where did the Stats Access panel go?
    This is also related to single API key authentication. Maybe in future we will bring administrative access back to the plugin. But until then, we have left the Stats Access panel intact on WordPress.com dashboards. You might want to bookmark dashboard.wordpress.com if you need these features on a regular basis.
  • Will this be a required upgrade?
    You mean will older version of stats be broken? Not by 1.5. Later versions may break compatibility but for now you can keep using earlier versions of Stats if you like.
  • What if I install this and still see iframes?
    This happens because your server is unable to connect to WordPress.com. I set it up to use SSL (https) in the hopes that most hosts support this. If yours does not work, I’d like to hear from you and do some testing on your host.

Published by

Andy Skelton

Code Wrangler @ Automattic youtube.com/AndySkelton

7 thoughts on “Help test Stats 1.5 beta”

  1. I think this is great…but unless I’m misunderstanding something…doesn’t this mean that anyone can see your blog’s stats just by knowing (or guessing) your API key and plugging it into their wordpress install’s stats plugin?

    1. Yes, but that has been true for a long time. We have a stats reporting API that requires an API key for authentication. You are supposed to keep your API key secret like a password. However, we do not accept an API key for most blog operations. You can not publish a post with only an API key, for example.

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