A WordPress Activity Log Service With Customizable Charts, Alerts, and CSV Exports – WP Tavern

Launched by Ralph Morris and Steve Burge in June this year, Logtivity is a plugin and service that allows site owners to track everything that happens on their WordPress installs. The duo has made continual updates to the plugin since. In the past couple of months, they have added deep integration with Easy Digital Downloads. They are also planning to build around more eCommerce-related plugins.

Burge mentioned that using the Logtivity service allows site owners to track and log activity at scale. While small sites could get by with an on-site solution, it can be harder to do while growing. “This offers a strong alternative to using a plugin because you don’t need to store huge amounts of data on your own server,” he said.

The service provides graphs so that end-users can visualize their data, but they can also dive directly into the logs and look at specific actions. Users can also set up unlimited alert notifications through email or Slack and download reports as CSV files.

Site dashboard showing different chart types.

The Logitivity WordPress plugin is free to download and install, but it merely serves as a bridge to the commercial service. The pricing page has three tiers that start at $9.50/month and run to $49.50. The rates primarily differ on the number of logs generated, user access, and length of data retention. However, each tier can be used on an unlimited number of sites.

I have been running the service on WP Tavern for a couple of weeks. There are not many things I would want to track specific to this site other than posts published and commenting numbers. The short-term data has not told me much that I did not know already. However, I could see how these logs could come in handy over months or years. If we were running an eCommerce website, the information could be invaluable.

"Post Published" table of logs via the Logtivity service dashboard.Viewing a specific set of logs based on an action.

Users can create reports of specific logs and display them as either bar or line charts. These can be generated based on an action, such as “Post Published” or “Comment Created.” Users can also add a specific context, such as a post ID. For example, a user could display a chart for each product file download through the plugin’s deep integration with Easy Digital Downloads.

This is the type of thing that the team has in mind at the moment. The primary use case since launch has been logging eCommerce activity.

“People who run eCommerce sites need to track registrations, subscription changes, file downloads, license key activations, login activity, and more,” said Burge. “eCommerce site owners need this for customer support and also to deal with refund requests and chargebacks.”

Currently, each of the service’s features is handled via the Logtivity site. The team has plans to bring them into the WordPress admin interface. However, it could be late 2021 or early 2022 before the integration happens.

“We’d love to bring Logtivity data directly into WordPress,” said Burge. “And because there’s no need to worry about Logtivity slowing down your site, we have some interesting ideas for how and where user activity can be displayed in the WordPress admin area.”

How It Started and Where It Is Going

Burge serves as the marketing brains behind the project. His primary WordPress-related business is PublishPress, but his customers had asked for a project like Logitivity for several years.

“Ralph Morris started Logtivity for a customer at the web dev agency he works at,” said Burge. “The customer’s site has around 100,000 users and gets a great deal of activity every day, from new registrations and subscriptions to resources being downloaded and cancellations. They were using a WordPress plugin to track customer activity, but as the number of logs grew, this process took longer and longer and became more clunky to perform. The final straw was when they were unable to perform the CSV exports, as it would keep timing out. Ralph scratched the itch and built a little MVP. After a few weeks, he showed it to his colleagues and got permission from his boss to offer it to the client to be the first user, and a little while later, the first paying customer.”

He said the two connected thanks to Iain Poulson, who recently co-launched the acquisitions marketplace FlipWP.

“Ralph lives really close to where I grew up in Hampshire, England,” said Burge. “We got our heads together and decided on a partnership: Ralph as the developer and myself as the marketer.”

Outside of integrating more directly with the WordPress admin, the Logtivity team has a roadmap that will keep them busy for a while. Topping that list are more integrations with third-party plugins.

“Our primary use-case is eCommerce sites, so WooCommerce is central to our plans,” said Burge. “But we also plan deeper integrations with more plugins that WordPress eCommerce sites use, including LearnDash, MemberPress, Paid Memberships Pro, and more.”

Several players in the space are moving toward broad integrations across the ecosystem. Chris Lema talked about it being a vital strategy for business growth with StellarWP’s recent acquisition of LearnDash.

Burge also noted that his team plans to continue improving the service’s alert system. “In future versions of Logtivity, you’ll be able to send more flexible alerts to more channels. We also plan to provide SMS alerts for your most important notifications.”

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Justin Tadlock