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.
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
To install The Auditor, two plugins need to be installed and activated:
The Audit Logger and The Audit Viewer
After installing both plugins, you’ll have an Audit Log option in the Dashboard Menu.
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).
The log file shows the details of the each event.
To see more detail, click on Show Details for an event.
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:
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.
This chart shows overall activity. Hovering over a point gives you specific numbers of events for that day.
This section shows you the number of logged events and the status of the logging plugin.
Event Types Chart
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
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.
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?
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