I was in search for the perfect alternative for the GADWP plugin, because a couple of days ago the well known plugin „GADWP“ [Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics (formerly GADWP)] had a major update and now faces many uproar, issues and dismal.
If you don’t want to read any further: Check out this perfect alternative to GADWP: GAinWP Google Analytics Integration for WordPress. It is a fork of the free GADWP version that once existed. Though you need to set up your options again, it provides the exact same functionality that you were used to.
First of all it is totally ok for a publisher to monetize on their work. That is totally fine and many free plugins do offer an enhanced pro version. This is the current state the whole WordPress ecosystem works and what many developers depend on. It is the „HOW“ that makes the difference. Here is what happened and what you can do about it if you are affected but the recent changes.
Why GADWP was the #1 choice for many of us
GADWP was simple. It provided an easy interface to integrate the tracking code adjust the settings and mostly to quickly get insights into statistics and usage. Actually most pof this functionality could be easily achieved differently as well, but GADWP made it easy and was just a handy non-obtrusive popular plugin. No bulk no ads no nothing, just straight forward functionality.
Nonetheless a successful free plugin always bears the option to be monetized on. So ExactMetrics acquired the plugin and decided to change it and offer the paid PRO version. But in this process they did not just change the plugin and thought about new features that would attract customers to the PRO version.
Don’t monetize on trust!
The major problem with this update simply was that they decided to lock the former free functionality and offer this as the paid version. Furthermore, they changed the whole look and feel. The interface now is a bulky blue abyss of craziness and one of the worst design decisions ever made.
The trust that was earned from millions of happy users was monetized upon. Which never is a godo move. The uporoar in the community is huge. The 1 Star reviews are floating in bug time and I am sure some people at ExactMetrics might doubt the decision. But Also I feel that it is too late
GAinWP is the perfect alternative to GADWP
So if you are like me you might a have a lot of work ahead. Because I need to replace the plugin on all the sites I manage. Luckily the interface in the GAinWP version is the same as in the free version of GADWP because it is an official form. But this move still means a lot of work because you need to sr up everything again and grant all the authorization for Google Analytics for this new plugin. Still this is the best solution for me and the best way to currently go.
As of today GAinWP just has 5K downloads (February 20th 2020), I am sure this number will rise significantly within a couple of days. i will keep you posted. Are you affected as well? Do you have any other alternatives? Give me a shout out in the comments.