How to Monitor User Activity in WordPress with Simple History


Running a multi-author blog comes with its own unique challenges such as stopping spam registrations, managing editorial workflow, etc. One solution that most admins of a multi-user WordPress site seek out is the ability to easily monitor user activity on their websites. In this article, we will show you how to monitor user activity in WordPress. This allows you to put a check and balance system in place so when things go out of control, you can figure out what went wrong, who did it, and how to fix it.

Why Log and Monitor User Activities in WordPress

Obviously you trust users that is why you have given them access to do certain things on your website. However, people make mistakes all the time. If you knew who made a mistake and what they did wrong, then you can quickly correct it and also teach the user how to avoid this mistake in the future. For example, if a moderator approved a comment that doesn’t fit your comment guidelines, then you can quickly correct their mistake, notify them and it will save you time in the future.

It also allows you to get a better editorial control of your website. You can see which articles are under progress and which posts/articles are waiting to be reviewed. Which users accessed the website and the tasks they performed upon arrival.

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Setting up Simple History in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Simple History plugin. After activating the plugin go to Settings » Simple History to configure the settings.

Simple history settings page

On the settings page you can choose whether you want the history to appear on dashboard or on its own page. You can enable both options if you want. You can also use a secret RSS Feed to monitor the history. This will allow you hide history page from other users like those with editor user roles.

The plugin will clean all history data older than 60 days from database, but you can also delete history by clicking on Clear it now link on the settings page.

By default Simple History comes with a pre-defined sets of actions. This includes login, logout, wrong password, post/page editing, media upload, plugin, widget, user profile changes, etc. For a full list see plugin page. It also has support for bbPress forums which allows you to see the forum and topic activities on your website.

History page showing latest user activity on a WordPress website

Simple History also allows you to add your own custom events. If you have development experience and want to add your own custom event, then you’re in luck. See the details on this page.

We hope that this article helped you set up and monitor user activity in WordPress using Simple History. Let us know what tools you are using to efficiently run your multi-user WordPress site?

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