The Auditor – The Bird’s Eye View on Your WordPress Website

If you have clients updating their own WordPress sites, no doubt you’ve had to ‘fix’ a broken site. The client may have changed a setting or made an easy update, or installed a plugin..and suddenly the site is broken. Where do you start troubleshooting? Enter. The Auditor.

The Auditor, a WordPress plugin that was just recently released, logs events and activities of a WordPress website and provides a detailed audit trail.

Overview image of the auditor plugin

The Auditor is for power users and administrators. It comes in two parts: an event logger and a viewer. The event logger tracks key options and content changes. The viewer lets you see what’s happening on your site.

Here’s what The Auditor can do for you:

  • track productivity
  • improve support
  • diagnose problems
  • bolster security

The Plugins

To install The Auditor, two plugins need to be installed and activated:

The Audit Logger and The Audit Viewer

The Auditor Menu for Dashboard

 After installing both plugins, you’ll have an Audit Log option in the Dashboard Menu.

Auditor Settings

Settings Options for The Auditor plugin

The settings tells Auditor what to track.

Plugins & Core – This will note all changes pertaining to updates, installs, removals, etc.

User Events – This will track  adds/edits/deletes to users and user meta information.

Multisite Events – Track multisite events

Post Events – This options tracks any published/updated/edited post and status changes.

Options – Tracks changes to the settings of WordPress options. This option records a lot of events. May want to deselect this option.

Terms – Any changes to categories, tags and taxonomy terms and assignments are noted.

Emails – Tracks any emails sent to users (lost password).

Auditor Log

Preview the log file for The Auditor

The log file shows the details of the each event.

To see more detail, click on Show Details for an event.

Deatils of log file entry for The Auditor plugin

Overview

This is where it gets very interesting. In fact, when troubleshooting a problem, Overview is where to start. From these graphs and charts you get a general idea of what has happened recently.

Most charts can be previewed for different time frames:

Timeframe options for The Auditor plugin

You an also preview charts based on user activity. It defaults to showing all user activity. It’s easy to narrow it down to a specific user by selecting a user in the drop down.

Select User Activity in The Auditor plugin

Activity Chart

Activity chart for The Auditor plugin for WordPress

This chart shows overall activity. Hovering over a point gives you specific numbers of events for that day.

Statistics Section

Stats for The Auditor plugin for WordPress

This section shows you the number of logged events and the status of the logging plugin.

Event Types Chart

Events Pie Chart from The Auditor Plugin

This is a pie chart that gives you a quick visual of the types of events that have occurred within the selected timeframe.

Published Post Counts Chart

Published Post Count from The Auditor plugin

This chart shows the various types of published content and the number of posts for each type. It includes post types added through installed plugins.

Logins Chart

Chart for logins/logouts from The Auditor plugin

This chart shows the number of login over the specified period. As in all the charts, hovering over one of the dots gives you the exact count for that day.

The Auditor is a very handy plugin. It’s ability to give you a very quick overview of what has happened recently or anytime in the past, for that matter, can prove incredibly beneficial. There is just one minor bug I noticed that had to do with the date. Whenever I selected Today or Yesterday for the Activity Chart, the date at the bottom of the chart always went to 1970/1/1.

This plugin isn’t cheap. In fact, it might easily be the most expensive WordPress plugin available. A developer’s license is $249. This gives you use on unlimited clients’ sites, a lifetime account on their Support Forums and free updates.

Is it worth it?  There are several scenarios where this plug may prove beneficial.

If you support numerous WordPress site with clients constantly updating their own sites, being able to resolve an issue in 5 minutes versus an hour or more of your time will quickly pay for the plugin.

Or, maybe it’s just one WordPress site you oversee, but there are numerous users. This plugin helps monitor who’s doing what when, saving you time and potential frustration. Or, if you are in the government arena, where it’s necessary to track changes and updates for auditing purposes, this may be exactly what you need – especially since this type of tool hasn’t been readily available before.

Purchase The Auditor

What do you think? Do you see a place for this plugin in the WordPress arena?
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to subscribe to WP Mayor’s RSS feed.

About Carma Leichty

Carma Leichty is a trainer in WordPress and web design. A converted Dreamweaver user, she is crazy about WordPress. She's done websites for the past upteen years and most enjoys helping others promote their Creative Work.

Related Articles

8 Responses

  1. Peter
    Peter October 24, 2012 at 16:10 | | Reply

    Thanks Carma for this review, it looks like a great plugin. Are you by any chance familiar with the ThreeWP Activity Monitor plugin that’s free in the WordPress repository? It does something very similar which logs in all of the activities on your site but it doesn’t give you all of the charts and graphs. Would you happen to know if The Auditor can log more acitivities than ThreeWP?

  2. Taeke
    Taeke December 30, 2012 at 18:35 | | Reply

    Any idea how it impacts performance? For a large blog, where you would like to monitor things, i can imagine it does have an effect with numerous logged in users

  3. Pär Thernström
    Pär Thernström May 8, 2013 at 16:42 | | Reply

    Looks nice, but also a bit pricy. Alternatives has been presented, and here is another one: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-history/. It’s my plugin, it’s free, and depending on what you need it may be sufficient for your needs.

Leave a Reply