Jetpack Stats is No Longer Free – Now What?

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

April 16, 2024

Has anyone else noticed that Jetpack Stats is no longer free?

I noticed on Sunday, and a client brought it to my attention on Monday. Basically what happened is that Automattic is now checking to see if you use your site for business, and if so they want you to pay $8 a month for the service (or more).

The change was announced on the Jetpack blog on the previous Wednesday, but like most people I only found out when I visited a client’s Stats page on their site.

The next question you probably have is: Should we pay for Jetpack Stats?

My vote is no.

Jetpack Stats is a nice minimal function traffic stats service. It doesn’t do much, but that was okay when it was free. There are a lot of sites which only need basic traffic stats, and Jetpack Stats filled that need.

EDIT: Another reason not to pay for Jetpack Stats is that you can still get the old-style Jetpack Stats for free. If you go into the Jetpack Settings menu and click on the “Traffic” tab, there is a hidden option for “Enable a new Jetpack Stats experience”, If you de-toggle that option you will get the old stats back. (I tried it and it worked.)

But now that Automattic wants us to pay for Jetpack Stats, it is readily obvious that the service is not worth paying for. There are competing services such as Google Analytics and Statcounter.com which are both free and more comprehensive than Jetpack Stats.

Really, the only thing that Jetpack has going for it now is that it is GDPR-proof. It doesn’t require tracking cookies, which means that it works whether or not the visitor grants permission. Both GA and Statcounter use tracking code, and under the GDPR that code requires permission from visitors.

If I needed traffic stats, I would switch to either GA or Statcounter. In fact, if a client asks me about this, I’ll probably tell them to let me install Google Analytics. It is relatively easy for me to set up GA on a client’s site and then grant them access to the traffic data (it’s not so easy to do this with Statcounter).

One downside of GA is that it collects so much data that it can be hard to understand what you are seeing (this is why I liked the simplicity of Jetpack Stats).  But GA is free, which is important given that most of the sites I support can’t justify the expense of paying for traffic stats.

Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

My blog has everything you need to know about websites and online services. Don’t see what you need. or want personalized help? Reach out.

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  1. Helder Archer

    Hi, what would you recomend to an alternative to Jetpack Photon?


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