How to track user activity on the WordPress site?

Running a multi-user WordPress website can be challenging, especially if a lot of users have access to it. 

To maintain full control over your website and prevent potential malicious attacks, we advise you to keep track of user activity.  

Now, if you’ve already had some security breaches, we understand your concerns. Constantly worrying about website security is exhausting. Since custom web design companies can provide more safety, you can look here to find more information on custom website design. They’ll be able to address your concerns and answer all your questions.

Even if that’s not the case, we advise you to be cautious and start tracking user activity on your WordPress website before it’s too late.

What is considered a user activity?

A user activity log or audit log is basically a chronological list where you can track all changes and activities users perform on your WordPress website. 

Now, this may sound a bit abstract. For that reason, we’ll go over some common user activities you should track to keep your website safe.

Content actions

All changes you bring to your content, such as new entries, modifications on a page, and deleted comments are considered content actions. 

For instance, when a user adds a new blog entry to the blog space, this is logged as user activity.

Tracking content actions will not only allow you to notice any unusual and unauthorized changes but also help you manage your team. If one of your team members forgets to make certain changes you’ve told them about, you’ll be able to see it and remind them.

Organization actions

Actions such as creating labels, and creating and assigning categories to an entry are also important to track, especially if your online store is running on WooCommerce. Customers rely on these quite a lot and any accidental or badly made changes in this department should be restored.

Another thing you should do is perform integrity checks. They can alarm you of potential threads early on so that you have enough time to prevent them from happening. 

When you perform integrity checks you can see any changes made in the domain name system (DNS), or if someone disables the web application firewall (WAF). You’ll also know if a website is added or deleted, or if someone adds or removes users from WordPress.

Functionality actions

WordPress offers multiple functionalities through various plugins. You can download many of them for free and even create your own plugins. But users or hackers might try to take advantage of this by installing, activating, or deactivating the plugins and even making backend changes.

If you track user activity, you’ll be able to tell who’s to blame for that.

Security actions and failed login attempts

If someone is trying to gain unauthorized access to your website, you’ll probably want to know that. It’s to prevent things like this when you’re expecting them to happen.

Quite often, hackers will first try to gain access to your website through the login page, which is something you want to be notified of. There are other suspicious activities such as profile updates or password change requests.

Why should you track it?

You’ve probably noticed that we talk about security quite a lot in terms of tracking user activity. This is because cyber security is quite a hot topic now, especially when it comes to WordPress. Hackers are likely to go after a WordPress website because of its massive user base.

Now, don’t get me wrong. WordPress’ core is frequently updated by a world-class security team to prevent any potential breaches. The plugins are the problem. 

Nearly 30% of WordPress plugins with critical security problems received no patch from their developers in 2021. But, you can’t have a WordPress website without plugins. The plugins are needed to add features, track user behavior, and even create an online store.

To keep your website from getting hacked, it’s important to do your research on the plugin before you install it. Don’t install an unpopular plugin with little to no reviews. Actually, it’s best to pick a frequently updated plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

The same goes for WordPress themes. Be careful when picking a theme and don’t just decide to use one because you like the looks of it.

Aside from security concerns, there are other reasons to track user activity as well.

Monitor team tasks

To keep a website running, you need a good team management system, and tracking user activity won’t replace that. But, it’s always good to have a backup option and now if you’re team has performed the delegated tasks, such as:

  • Responding to the comments as directed
  • Preparing blog posts for a review
  • Updating the theme and the plugins.

Even if you’re the only one with access to the website, tracking user activity will allow you to go back and check the history of changes. You know it yourself – it’s easy to forget things as time goes by.

Easily identify an issue

Having a website go down is stressful enough without having to go through the entire code trying to debug it. Once you start tracking user behavior, you’ll be able to tell what exactly happened, at what time, and who did it. 

So, if you know your website went down at 4.30 PM and there was a plugin update just one minute before that, you can safely assume the problem lies within that update. 

Restore a backup

Sometimes when certain issues arise, such as a hack or a code error, your best option is to simply restore a backup and go from there. 

Doing that is easy when you track user activity because the Activity log allows you to easily go back to a certain point and restore your website. That way, you’ll have a fully functioning website in no time.

How to track it?

WordPress itself doesn’t have a built-in tracking feature, but there are quite a lot of plugins you can choose from. Here are some of the best tools for this:

Activity Log

The Activity Log plugin has been developed by the Activity Log Team and currently has 100,000+ installations. 

As a WordPress admin, this plugin allows you to see if someone is trying to hack your site, when and who published the post, or if a theme or a plugin was activated or deactivated.

Each log includes information on: 

  • Date and exact time the activity occurred
  • Users that made the change, along with their profile and IP address
  • Description of the change. 

The full list of the activities the Activity Log can track is available in the plugin page, where you can also see some screenshots of the plugin’s interface. It’s also completely free.

WP Security Audit Log

WP Security Audit Log is another free plugin you can use to track user activity. It has been developed by the WP White Security and also has over 100,000 installations.

Like the Activity Log, it’s used to ensure user productivity and improve the users’ accountability, as well as to easily spot suspicious behavior and prevent security problems.

As soon as you notice something’s not right, you can terminate a user session and log them out of your website. 

They also offer extensions for third-party plugins, such as WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, and bbPress.

Simple history

Just as the name of the plugin says, Simple history offers a simplified view of all changes made on your websites, such as who added, updated, or deleted a post, page, attachment, and taxonomies.

You can even use this plugin to keep track of the changes via an RSS reader on your phone, tablet, or your laptop. Just like WP Security Audit Log, Simple history has extensions for third-party plugins like Jetpack, Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), and Beaver Builder.

This plugin saves the logs for 60 days, after which period they get discarded. 


Stream is yet another plugin used to track user activity on the WordPress website. Its customer base is currently a bit smaller than the previous three plugins – it counts 70,000+ installations. It’s free, but can be upgraded to a premium version that gives you bigger logs, priority support, email and push notifications for certain events, and interactive charts and reports.

It has built-in tracking integrations with Advanced Custom Fields, bbPress, Yoast SEO, BuddyPress, Jetpack, WooCommerce, and other popular plugins.

Sucuri Security

We saved the best for last – Sucuri Security is probably one of the best plugins in terms of security. It has over 800,000 installations.

Sucuri Inc. has a strong reputation in the cyber security world. Their plugin not only allows you to track user activity but also allows you to monitor file integrity and a blocklist, scan malware remotely, and undertake post-hack security actions.


Tracking user activity on WordPress is a must if you want to keep your data safe. Security breaches can damage your reputation, affect your revenue, and lead to a massive loss of trust on behalf of your customers.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to track user activity. All you need is a good plugin and you’re good to go.

By the way, do you have a favorite plugin? If so, we encourage you to share it down below.