@TomJNowell well I was researching for a way to show post views on single.php through a widget, like SE does
Ive contemplated using Google's analytic API to back feed into a site, but im currently looking for a solution other than a plugin to learn the implementation they used to get an idea of how they did it.
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@Darth_Vader, SE can afford a server that will handle stats, you probably can't. If you don't have much traffic just filtering known search engines and writting to the DB on every page hit can be enough, but for any non trivial site this will just not work
As I said, the most simple is GA and wordpress.com. If you want DIY you better creat a different process that you don't care much if it fails, but it will not bring down the site itself. his is why second server is ideal
then just like GA you load some empty image/css/js from that server.
From your WP you can access the other DB when you need the info
on the stats server you can either store access in a DB or use logs and aggregate them every hour