Opt-in Usage Tracking in Gutenberg

Starting in last Friday’s version 0.7.0, the Gutenberg plugin contains a mechanism to count how often specific actions occur over time.  Before anything is tracked, each WordPress user on each site must opt in to the tracking via an opt-in screen shown when loading the new version of the plugin.  Here is what that screen looks like:

Whether a user clicks “Yes” or “No”, this preference is remembered as a user option.

If the user has previously clicked “Yes” on this screen, and an event occurs that has an associated bumpStat call in the Gutenberg code, then this event is sent to WordPress.com servers by loading a special “pixel” image.  The following data is stored for future analysis:

  • The “group” and “name” sent with the bumpStat call (short strings of text)
  • The time the event was recorded.

We’ll use this data to look at usage patterns and make the editor experience better over time.

As Gutenberg is an open-source community project, we view this data as belonging to the WordPress community, so we also plan to make this data available via a public dashboard.  In the meantime, here is a preview of the number and type of blocks added to posts in the editor over the few days since the 0.7.0 release:

Finally, for more details about the technical implementation of this feature, see the GitHub pull requests where it was developed:  2140, 2205, and 2217.