WordPress Followers, Likes and Stats

Every blogger wants more followers, likes and shares. Attracting readers to your site the first time is only half the battle. Return visitors are important to the success of your blog and that’s why comment baiting and blog centered community building are critical. WordPress.com Staff have made it easy to easy for visitors to follow your blog and to “like” and share your posts. Your followers do not need to be registered with WordPress.com, and there are several different ways that readers can become followers.  But numbers may be be deceiving and you can’t take them with you when you go.

A close look at follower numbers

Your followers are the number of readers following your blog posts and post comments. Follower stats show you all the users that have active email subscriptions to your blog posts using the built-in email notification system on WordPress.com. They don’t include users that subscribed using a third-party subscription service or using RSS. — WordPress.com: Who Follows Who?

But wait, there’s more … your blog followers is the sum of the following:

  1. WordPress.com blog followers
  2. Any followers from connected Publicize services (Facebook, Twitter, Messenger Connect, Yahoo!, or LinkedIn), which you can enable in Settings -> Sharing

My Stats show no visits but I have several “likes” so that’s not right

WordPress.com stats are page view stats. Unless the person actually clicks into your post there is no stat created.

Anyone with a WordPress.com username account can become a follower and/or click the “like” button without visiting your blog and creating a page view stat.

  • A follower can click the “like” and/or “reblog” button when viewing your posts in the Readomatic reader on the home page of WordPress.com.
  • A follower can click the “like” and/or “reblog” button when viewing your posts on the WordPress.com Topics pages.
  • A follower can click the “like” and/or “reblog” button when viewing your posts when using an app.
  • An email subscriber can click the “like” and/or “reblog” button in the email they receive of your new posts without visiting your blog.
  • Visitors using a mobile can read posts and/or click the “like” and/or “reblog” button  without creating a page view stat.

Note 1: To compel readers to click into my blog to read the full post thereby creating a page view stat, I have set my RSS Feed for posts to “summary” on this page > Settings > Reading

Note 2:  re: unique visitor stats and page views
Since the publication of the post above WordPress.com has provided unique visitors stats as well as page view stats. The two main units of traffic measurement are views and unique visitors now.

Moving Followers, Likes and Stats from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

If you move to self-hosting a WordPress.com install your site will no longer be part of the WordPress.com community and you can’t take your  “likes” with when you go.  But you can have WordPress.com Staff  transfer your followers from your WordPress.com blog to your WordPress.org site for you. To do that install and activate the JetPack plugin, contact WordPress.com Staff and provide the URLs for both blogs.

Moving to self hosting a WordPress.org install is a whole new learning curve.  To retain as many readers as possible, you need to encourage them to continue to follow you blog when you leave.

Updated:  January 31, 2013

128 thoughts on “WordPress Followers, Likes and Stats

  1. Thanks for the advice. I also have a blog but nobody visits it because it is a mommy blog without that doesn’t have all of those eye catching images and background like those famous mommy-bloggers.

    • It takes time to create relationships and the primary means of increasing your traffic is to comment on other “mommy bloggers” blogs.

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  3. hey all – since moving from the free wordpress to the paid .ORG version, there is now STATS on my home dashboard… I cannot see how many people read etc, how do I get this info plz? Very important!

  4. Hey, great info you got here. I’m not sure whether this has been adressed here but I knew I had about 26 people who’d subscribed to my blog and are getting email alerts but yesterday I found ‘Join 2,525 other followers’ and wondered why I had not received any email notifications of all of these people following my blog.

  5. Hi, thank you kindly for the information. I would like to ask if you may be able to assist me in my efforts to move the Like, I can’t seem to find the code that will allow me to reposition it.
    Thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide.

  6. Thank you for this, I was wondering how come I got eight followers a total of 13 likes on two posts but no visitor stats, this post really helped me. Thanks again.

  7. Nicely concise explanation. You seem to know what’s what so I will refer another question to you: I had figured out the views/unique viewer thing but am a bit mystified by whatever seismic shift occurred around the end of January. I was consistently getting close to 200 views a day on my blog for much of the past year but a few weeks ago the views subsided significantly. I still see about the same number of search terms per day (my blog is a bit of a random mix between the joys of raising poultry, literary and cultural potpourri, restaurant reviews and a family chronology) but the number of views just dropped off a cliff. Did something change within WordPress that would explain this?

  8. Timethief, I have two questions:
    1. Why don’t you write about the exact facts about identity theft, you mentioned in one of your earliest posts. You can keep identities or factual details, private but that can be helpful to people. Further with a background of law, I am more curious than others. Personally I have a serious problem in dealing with pseudo-names. This site is one of few exceptions.

    2. WordPress and every one advice to go to other bloggers site comment there. People flog at my site and push like (I have disabled like for general public) on a page I wonder if they even read it. It is more like you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. My question is: What is the benefit of footfall generated through this artificial method? Does unique visitors record not matter in ‘views’ statistics? May be you can write a new page about it. Thanks in anticipation.

    • Sandeep,
      Re: identity theft
      I’m not inclined to share what happened and how it happened as doing that online may provide information to all the wrong people. I think this covers the whole identity theft topic remarkably well http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/id-theft-vol-eng.htm. It’s a Canadian reference but aside form reference to legal statutes the information is useful to anyone and everyone who is online.

      re: like button use
      I agree that like button use can become a meaningless ‘click my button and I’ll click yours’ exchange. In fact I think in many cases I’m convinced that’s exactly what’s happening. Since the advent of the like button comments have been reduced and we now have like button spammers who have bots out there button clicking for them. Note that we bloggers cannot remove “likes” others place on our posts. Even if we disable the like button and it’s removed from out posts, those who are logged in can still click the like button on their Admin bars.

      I believe this is how how the thinking behind providing these buttons goes. Everyone wants more likes and followers so we provide these buttons for the use of everyone, who is a member regardless of what device they use and where they read your posts.

      Well we bloggers are surely not dull of wit now are we? I think we are capable of comprehending that as WordPress.com runs advertising on our blogs it is in the company’s best interest to have as many clicks generating as many page views as possible because that’s where the advertising income comes from.

      re: unique visitor stats and page views
      Since the publication of the post above WordPress.com has provided unique visitors stats as well as page view stats. The two main units of traffic measurement are views and unique visitors now. See here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/stats/#views-and-visitors

      • Thanks for reply but I think I did not ask right question. My question was how this reciprocal visits on the back of “like me, I like yours” helps advertisement revenue as such visits are not genuine and view counter is running artificially. I hope my query is less vague now.

  9. Although I have linked up my blog (a dotcom not dotorg blog) with my Linked In account and the posts automatically appear on the Linked In account, the number of connections and statistics do not appear as the followers in the same way as my twitter followers do. The publicize tools seems to suggest they should. Am I doing something wrong?

  10. “To compel readers to click into my blog to read the full post thereby creating a page view stat, I have set my RSS Feed for posts to “summary” on this page > Settings > Reading”

    …Thank you. I was wondering why after 2 weeks on wordpress I had no visits from anyone other than my home country even though I have several likes and a few followers from “overseas”. I’ve made this change as you suggested.

  11. Good explanation. I’m curious, do you know why it is set up so that someone can like a post without visiting it? Is there a way for a blog to not allow the like button to show up in the reader and still have the post show up in the reader and allow readers to like a post if they actually view it?

  12. Thank you so much for this information! My followers and likes are both increasing but my page views are going down. Because I was having a hard time finding answers to this issue, I was frustrated and feeling a little bit crazy! Thanks for the advice on the RSS feed as well. Steph

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  14. Hi there,

    I am diggin your blog..look- & content- wise. I was trying to comment on your “WordPress dotcom vs. dotorg” blog, but there was no comment box. It may be my browser…it acts up from time to time. Anywhoo, I started a new business on Etsy.com selling handmade crochet accessories and want to expand my audience by blogging on WordPress. I also have a free year of web hosting with Intuit.com through Google which is @ domain name crochessories.com (not yet published). Is there any way I can use that as a domain name for WordPress? I would probably prefer keeping the dotcom version and using CSS to make my blog nice since the free wp versions, well, for lack of a better word…suck.


    Jessi P,
    Crochessories Designs

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  16. Great article and timely for me. I just started out and made sure summary was checked on my settings. Thanks, your tips are excellent!

  17. hi,i found the top commenters,but im sure aim missing a few steps,because it still does not dlisplay,if a try-can you post me again all the things todo?thanks

  18. hello-i have a wp.com blog-I have the community widgets displayed,but I was wondering if you could give me a smart top commenters widget like the one on the dashboard.thanks

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  20. hi timethief, I was in your pingback posts, but comments are closed, so I’ll ask here. I’m confused about when I get notification that there’s a pingback and it asks for my approval. It’s usually a blog that I’m not familiar with. Sometimes I’ll go there and check it out and if it seems okay, I click approve. Sometimes they just seem to be blogs that have huge numbers of other blog posts in them. So, my question is, when it’s hard to tell, or if it’s a site that I might find unaligned with how I like to view life (being kind there)…. If, I approve it seems to show on my linked blog post, which sometimes I don’t want it there. (especially if that link doesn’t seem sincerely motivated)
    IF I don’t approve, does that person’s ping back or link back to my blog still work? I vacillate between being kind, confused, unsure. I think I even got confused asking this question.
    And since I’m asking questions, do some people just sign up for subscriptions or click “like” to get traffic to their own blogs? I’m noticing and wondering…it almost seems like that, sometimes. I can’t figure out why they’d do that on a blog like mine that has an appeal to a limited range of people, most of whom are sincere and spiritual. I guess I might be a bit naive?

  21. Thanks for always providing such excellent tips and techniques. After blogging for over 2 years, I still struggle to get Likes, but my subscribers are slowly increasing. Many come to read my blog, but not many “Like” the blog..
    Your advice is always valuable. Thank you!

  22. I have always been a bit concerned about changing to summary as I thought that people may not bother clicking on the post and then miss out on reading what I have to say.
    Does that mean I am not confident that I have anything interesting to say? Maybe.
    I also thought that if I do that I might upset my readers.
    And one last thing I have had the same style for almost 2 years and I would feel it was a bit weird to change now.
    But I am aware that changing to summary could improve my stats. I would love to hear your comments.

    • @sleepinghorse
      Years ago when I first began to blog bloggers took the position that they had to provide their full posts in their RSS Feed for posts. The wisdom of the day was that one ought to display only one full post on the front page of a blog. I wasn’t particularly convinced that was true because I subscribed to some very popular blogs that offered only excerpts in subscriptions and on their blog’s front page, and because two blogs I followed had comments closed but still had lots of traffic.

      Dealing with content thieves immediately after I published became a chore and a burden that put me in a bad mood. When I changed my RSS Feed to summary there was an immediate reduction in content theft. Granted, I had 4 subscribers who unsubscribed. But none had ever commented. Perhaps they were content thieves or perhaps not.

      Years ago when I first began to blog bloggers took the position that changing themes or refreshing one’s blog would upset readers and send them packing. Their position was that readers were adverse to change. Well, that hasn’t been my experience at all. I have changed themes several times. I continually refresh header images and I’ve never lost a reader over these changes.

      As far as stats go it’s true that one has to click twice to read full article but that wasn’t what motivated me to offer excerpts only on my front page. My motivation was to be able to display more front page article choices for readers.

  23. Great info, I always knew you were a water lily person, and I’m smiling because I just learned a cool new word for a low-down dirty dog: splogger… : )

    • Hi Mark
      Yes I’m a lotus lover and I live in what Canadians refer to as Lotus Land. :)
      “In Buddhism, a lotus flower is symbolized as an awakening of the spiritual self and to Japanese Buddhists the lotus flower symbolizes Buddha’s life. Blooming in mid summer the lotus symbolizes perfection, truth and immortality. A lotus flower emerges from mud, slowly grows toward the surface of water and finally when it reaches the surface, it blooms.” http://thistimethisspace.com/2012/04/03/flowers-impermanence-and-the-grief-cycle/

      I no longer have to devote any time to chasing sploggers. Setting my RSS Feeds to summary and using copyscape are what I do now. http://www.copyscape.com/

  24. As you know I was looking into this a bit a few posts ago when I passed 100 followers, but you have put lots more meat on the bone for me, thanks


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  26. Really great information here – I link to it from a WordPress post I just did, and am considering making the leap to self-hosted. One thing I will definitely miss is the “like” button. It’s so handy just to say “nice job” with that simple acknowledgement. And I’m now following you, too!

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  28. Hi, really great post, thanks! I wanted to contact Staff about taking my email subscribers with me, but apparently they can’t be contacted directly: I could only post to the Forum?

  29. Love the new look! Soft blue-greens are my favorite.

    Glad you mentioned setting the RSS to summary. I’ve always thought it was very important to make my readers come to my blog to read the entire post (and add to my hit count), rather than letting them read it all in their feed or email. Furthermore, I don’t want to make things easy for sploggers by sending out complete posts in my RSS. I figured out that’s how I got scraped a couple of years ago.

    • Maybe I’ll just hang around for a while and enjoy the ambiance here ….
      Hmm, I could do a background image like this with my theme …

      • PiedType
        You’ve got to be kidding. Your blog is clean and beautiful. The last thing it needs is a background image — oops! I said that rather strongly, didn’t I?

        • Thank you. Coming from you, that’s high praise. I’m using a very subtle background right now, and tweak it occasionally. I can’t help it. The blog is my sandbox; I must play.

    • PiedType,
      You nailed it! I noticed within seconds of publishing my posts were being sucked up and splogged. When I got sick and tired of the time and energy I devoted to sending DMCA complaints to web hosts to get my stolen content off of splogs, I changed my RSS settings to “summary”. As I was using the Inuit Types theme at the time and it’s coded to display only excerpts on the front page I didn’t have to insert “the more tag” into my posts. Since then when I change themes I do insert “the more tag”. There’s no way I will ever offer full posts in my RSS feed.

  30. Oh boy, I didn’t know it isn’t easy to take followers with you wherever you go. I will be self-hosting soon so i better tell my readers to be email subscriber.

    • Hello there,
      If you are planning a future move to a WordpPess.org install then knowing what’s in this post is important. Thanks so much for the compliment on the new look. :)

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    • Hi David,
      This post is a result of answering many forum questions of followers and stats and how to take them with you when you go. Bloggers who do plan to move to self-hosted WordPress.org sites need to give their followers advance warning of their move.

  32. First, I love your new look here and second, thank you for this information. I have one question about the difference between Followers from Blog and Followers from Comments. Are the comment followers part of the Blog follower list?
    Just slightly confused…as usual. Thank you again!

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