phpBB is one of the popular bulletin board software for creating forums and community based websites. The easy to use and open source package make it easy for anyone to create forum in minutes. On other hand tracking the traffic data of dynamic forum sites is also important for optimization and monitoring the performance. Ultimately Google Analytics tracking is the best option for any types of site on the planet. In this article let us discuss on how to install Google Analytics in phpBB forum sites.
Getting Google Analytics Tracking Code
In our previous article, we have explained in detail about getting the tracking code of Google Analytics. Follow the same steps and create a Analytics account for your forum site. If you have a forum installed on the subdomain or subdirectory then we would recommend to get the tracking code as a property of the main account.
In this way you can both track the forum’s performance and also the combined site’s performance as a one Analytics account.
Downloading Official Google Analytics Extension for phpBB
Once you have the Google Analytics global site tag code ready then go to the phpBB extensions site. phpBB forum package does not offer a default way to add analytics code. But they do offer an official extension (like plugin in WordPress) to make this possible.
So, navigate to the Google Analytics for phpBB extension page and download the package to your local computer.
The extension is available for the latest phpBB 3.2.1 version. The download will be a zip file, extract the zip file and keep it ready for the next step. Remember, you should use the unzipped file for the next step and not the downloaded zip file as it is like WordPress.
Uploading Extension Using FTP
The unfortunate part is unlike WordPress, phpBB does not have frontend interface to upload the extension. You should have FTP account to access the root of your forum installation. We recommend to use reliable FTP software like FileZilla. If you have no FTP account then ask for one from your hosting company. You can also easily create FTP account on your own on Bluehost or any other hosting company on main domain, subdomain or on subdirectory level.
Use this beginners guide to FileZilla and setup the remote access to your site using FTP account. Login to your FTP account and navigate to the forum root installation. Open the folder named “ext” and upload the unzipped Google Analytics extension files.
As you can see in the above screenshot, we have uploaded the unzipped folder “googleanalytics” under “forum-root/ext/phpbb” folder.
- Upload the “googleanalytics” folder under “ext” on default phpBB forum installations.
- On some hosts like SiteGround, there will be additional phpBB folder, in this case, upload the content under “ext/phpBB” folder.
All official extensions should work with either one of the above way of uploading. Don’t worry, you can find out whether you have uploaded correctly in the next step.
Activating the Extension
Now login to your phpBB forum and navigate to Administrator Control Panel (ACP). Navigate to “Customize” tab and then to “Manage extensions” under “Extension Management” section.
If you have uploaded the extension files correctly then you will see “Google Analytics” will be showing as an extension. In case if you can’t see the extension then go back to previous step and upload the “googleanalytics” folder into the correct directory.
Click on the “Enable” link and activate the extension on your forum site.
Installing Tracking Code
Now that you have installed and activated the Google Analytics extension. The next step is to add the global site tag tracking code from your Analytics account. Remember, you don’t need the complete tracking code, copy only the UA tracking ID for your account.
Go to phpBB Administer Control Panel and navigate to “General” tab and then to “Board settings” option.
Scroll down the right panel and go to “Google Analytics” section. Enter your tracking ID in the input text box and save your changes.
You have successfully installed Google Analytics in phpBB forum site.
Verifying Tracking Code
The last step is to verify whether your installation is working properly. Go to Google Analytics account and navigate to your property setting to see the tracking ID. Click on the “Send test traffic” button to open your site in a new browser window.
You should see the active user counter as 1 indicating that is from the test traffic. Also under the status section the information should show “Receiving traffic in past 48 hours”.
This is the confirmation of correct installation and Google Analytics can get traffic data from your phpBB forum.