Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Monitor User Activity from WordPress Dashboard

updated on May 05, 2017
How to Monitor User Activity from WordPress Dashboard You may be searching for a method to monitor user activity from WordPress dashboard if you want to know what exactly each user has done on your WordPress site. This article mainly answers two questions: is it necessary to monitor user activity and how to know what changes have been made to your WordPress site? To some extent, you will spare many troubles which are brought by a lack of detailed information on the user activity.

Is It Necessary to Monitor User Activity?

If you run a multi-user WordPress site, the answer is definitely "Yes" because there may be some potential dangers that threaten the security of your WordPress site, such as, the password of a user account is changed, someone installs a malicious WordPress plugin without your permission, and many more. That's the main reason why a great number of WordPress owners are careful about controlling the user permissions.

It is necessary for you to monitor what changes happen to your WordPress site if you have to allow user registrations to achieve the division of work. By monitoring user activity, you can check and fix problems in time to prevent the problems from becoming more and more serious. Furthermore, you are able to easily find who is responsible for the impact and teach him or her how to avoid it in the future. If someone wants to break the balance of your WordPress site, you can also identify typical malicious activity before your WordPress website is hacked and sustains further damage.

How to Monitor User Activity with a Simple History?

At present, you must have a clear idea why you should keep track of the user activity and be willing to learn more about how to reach your goal. As far as we know, the easiest way for you to monitor user activity is to take advantage of the Simple History plugin which has been tested by our editors. The plugin will record all the changes which occur on your WordPress site.

In order to complete the installation of Simple History, you need to enter your WordPress admin area, hit Plugins > Add New on the left side of the menu, input "Simple History" in the plugin directory, and then click "Install Now" which is displayed in the below screenshot.

Simple History

Upon activation, the plugin will automatically show recent changes which will help you check who or what may have caused a change or mess up your site. For more customized options, you need to make some changes to the Settings page of Simple History. On the result screen, you are free to decide where you want to view the user activity: on your dashboard or on a separate page. And we advise you to select both options for your convenience.

Show History

Next, you can decide how many items are presented on the log page and on the dashboard. Though the drop-down allows you to choose from 5 to 100 according to your need, we advise you to set the number as 20 and 5 respectively in our experience.

Page Number

If necessary, you can click the Clear Log Now button to remove the previous history to save your space. It does not matter if you do not develop the habit because Simple History will automatically help you erase the items in the database after 60 days, that is to say, the plugin only monitors the activity of admin users in the recent 60 days.

Clear Log

In the below screenshot, there is an option available for you to enable or disable RSS feed. You may have a question in your mind that whether you should select it. If you do not want your admin users to know that you are monitoring their activity, you need to enable RSS feed to hide some sensitive or confidential information from your users.

Enable RSS

In general, the plugin will be able to track the most important events which take place on your WordPress site. However, what user activities Simple History will take a record of? In detail, the plugin will report the changes on posts, user logins, failed user logins, widgets, plugins, attachments, comments, menu edits, and so on.

There are some instances when you want Simple History to meet your higher requirement. It is possible for you to add your own things into the Simple History plugin if your knowledge allows you to achieve that. To be precise, you need to be experienced in the development of theme and plugins. This feature distinguishes Simple History from other monitoring tools.

Conclusion

Some of our readers may feel it is improper to monitor the activities of users who you trust. However, this article shows you that it is necessary for you to do that to keep your WordPress site secure. Moreover, you can use the Simple History plugin which can monitor the activity without users' knowledge. For the better effect, we also make some suggestions in the settings. We believe that you should have benefited a lot from this article.