How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress Without a Plugin

Add Google Analytics to WordPress WITHOUT a Plugin (2024)

Looking for a way to add Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress without a plugin?

Setting up Google Analytics on WordPress helps you track your website traffic and provides valuable insights about your visitors.

Let’s take a look at how to add your Analytics tracking code to WordPress without a plugin.

Table of Contents

  1. Video Walkthrough
  2. Why You Might Want to Add Google Analytics Without a Plugin
  3. Drawbacks of Adding Google Analytics Without a Plugin
  4. Recommended Method for Adding Analytics to WordPress (2 Steps)
  5. Add Google Analytics to WordPress Without a Plugin

Video Walkthrough

MonsterInsights is the best WordPress Analytics plugin. Get it for free!

Why Add Google Analytics Tracking Code to WordPress Without a Plugin?

Google Analytics

There are a few reasons why WordPress website owners might think they want to add Google Analytics to WordPress without using a plugin.

First of all, they might be concerned that they’re using too many plugins. Too many plugins that aren’t optimized well can slow down your WordPress site (although properly optimized plugins shouldn’t slow it down).

Second, they might also be concerned about the price of using a Google Analytics plugin. Although there are definitely benefits to paying for a Pro version, a free version can help you get Google Analytics installed and running well, too.

Third, they might know how to install the Google Analytics code, so they feel like they don’t need a plugin to get set up. Even if you know how to install Google Analytics, though, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from extra features in Google Analytics plugins.

Drawbacks of Adding Google Analytics Without a Plugin

If you’re planning on adding Google Analytics without a plugin, then here’s why it may not be the best choice for your site.

1. It’s Not as Easy as It Seems

Adding Google Analytics to your site without a plugin is not as easy as with a plugin. That’s because you’ll have to paste the tracking code in the header of your website. This means editing code, which can be a challenge for beginners.

Any mistake you make while adding the tracking snippet can mess up your analytics or even bring down your entire website.

Plus, if you want to enable additional tracking reports such as file download tracking or eCommerce tracking, again you’ll have to manually tweak your theme’s template. With a plugin, on the other hand, enabling such reports is a breeze.

2. You May Lose the Tracking Code

If you decide to switch your website themes or upgrade your existing one, you will have to add the Analytics tracking code again to your new theme.

More often than not, website owners forget to preserve the code while upgrading their theme.

This will leave gaps in the data and lead to inaccurate reporting. And you could be missing out on important user insights while the tracking code wasn’t present on your site.

3. You Miss Powerful Analytics Features

Adding Google Analytics without a plugin means you’ll miss powerful features like media tracking, custom dimensions, file download tracking, affiliate tracking, form conversions, outbound link clicks, and more.

Without a plugin, it’s very time-consuming to set up these features on your WordPress site.

Plus, if you have an online store or sell a product on your site, you’ll also miss out on eCommerce tracking (unless you go through a complicated setup via Google Tag Manager), meaning you won’t get to track your revenue or which products customers buy the most.

MonsterInsights eCommerce Report - GA4

So, what’s the best way to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site?

The easiest method for adding Google Analytics to WordPress is through a plugin like MonsterInsights. It’s the best WordPress analytics plugin out there.

It makes it incredibly easy to set up tracking, and with MonsterInsights, you don’t have to worry about all the drawbacks of implementing Analytics without using a plugin.

Plus, MonsterInsights lets you set up advanced tracking features with just a few clicks, such as:

To start, just follow these simple steps to add Analytics to your website.

Step 1: Sign Up for Google Analytics

First, you will need to sign up for Google Analytics. You can use an existing Google account to sign up for Analytics or create a new one.

sign up for analytics

Step 2: Connect Analytics to WordPress with MonsterInsights

Next, you can install and activate MonsterInsights on your WordPress website.

Get started at the best license level for your site, or start with the free version of MonsterInsights.

Once the plugin is up and running, all you have to do is use its setup wizard to add Google Analytics to WordPress without editing code.

You can read how to properly set up Google Analytics in WordPress with MonsterInsights.

After you’ve added Google Analytics, MonsterInsights will bring all your important data inside your WordPress admin area. You can then use its dashboard reports to see how your site performs and uncover insights about your visitors.

MonsterInsights Overview Report

Now, if you’d rather set up Google Analytics without a plugin, follow the step-by-step guide below.

Add Google Analytics to WordPress Without a Plugin: Tutorial

Before we get started, make sure to back up your WordPress theme, so that in case something goes wrong, you can easily revert it.

You’ll be directly editing the code that outputs your site, so a mistake as small as a misplaced comma could bring down your whole site. Be sure to make a backup just in case.

Step 1: Get Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

Log into your Google Analytics account and select the website for which you need the tracking code.

GA4 select account property

Click on the Admin Cog in the left taskbar.

GA4 admin cog select

Click Data Streams, then choose the one you need.

GA4 Data Streams admin screen

Head to Tagging Instructions » Global Site Tag to copy your Google Analytics script.

GA4 gtag code

Step 2: Where to Add Google Analytics Tracking Code in WordPress

There are two options for where to add Google Analytics code in WordPress: header.php and functions.php.

Option 1 – header.php

The first place you can add your tracking code to your website is in your header file.

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance » Theme Editor. Now click the Theme Header (header.php) file on the right-hand side below the Theme Files section.


Paste the tracking code you just copied from your Analytics profile before the closing </head> tag.

Then click Update File.

Option 2: functions.php

Your other option for adding Google Analytics code to your site without a plugin is by inserting some code in your functions.php file:

add_action('wp_footer', 'add_googleanalytics');
function add_googleanalytics() { ?>
// Paste your Google Analytics code here
<?php }

Note: If you decide you could use a lightweight plugin for this step, check out WPCode, the most popular code snippets plugin for WordPress.

That’s it!

You’ve just learned how to add Google Analytics to WordPress without a plugin.

But if you’re looking for a simpler method, then MonsterInsights is the best solution. It’s one of the most popular Google Analytics WordPress plugins and makes it super simple to connect your site with Analytics.

Get Started with MonsterInsights Today!

If you’re still wondering whether it’s a good idea to install Google Analytics without a plugin, you should check out our post on whether MonsterInsights is worth it.

After installing Google Analytics, you might also want to learn How to Track Link Clicks in Google Analytics and WordPress. And if you want, you can also check out our amazing guide on How to See the Google Analytics Keywords for Your Website.

For more tutorials like this, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Want to Try MonsterInsights for Free?

Enter the URL of Your WordPress website to install MonsterInsights Lite.


    1. Sunil,
      You just need to follow the tutorial. It will add the Analytics tracking code to the entire site.

  1. This is completely true. Monster Insights will not slow down your site at all. We have done extensive testing and every-time this plug in comes out on top with no speed loss.
    We even testing no cache on a site with Google page speed installed on the Apache server and only used Yoast and Monster insights. Still no speed loss at all.
    So it is 100% true what Monster Insights tells you here, it’s the coding of the plugin that matters most. Quit using junk plugins.

    1. Can I also follow the traffic though Google Analytics when I install your plugin or can I only track in through your plug in?

      1. Hi Scott, you can track your traffic through Google Analytics 🙂

        MonsterInsights brings important stats inside your dashboard, so you can view your site’s performance at a glance.

  2. I don’t have a header.php section in my theme. It is a child theme so maybe that is why. I have no idea, but really have no idea where to put this code.

    1. Hey Stacy! Thanks for stopping by the blog. Yes, if you’re using a child theme that doesn’t have a header.php, that means it’s using the header.php from the parent theme.

    1. I think tracking code option that you have shown on your article has been changed…. google anylatic now dont have tracking code…instead of tracking code they have property id….. Kindly update the latest process.

      1. Hi Vikash,

        Thanks for reaching out!

        We’re really excited to launch support for Google Analytics 4 soon. At this time, we’re waiting for Google to release some APIs for the public to use.

        For now, we currently support Universal Analytics properties which we recommend users stay with until we’re ready to launch. When this happens, we’ll be reaching out to users with a simple, seamless upgrade.

        For your Google Analytics property to work with MonsterInsights, please enable the option “Create a Universal Property only”, found under the advanced options when creating a new property. Here’s our step by step guide on how to do this:

        I hope that helps! Let me know if I can answer any other questions 🙂

        Thank you!

  3. If I have synced my google analytics with the MonsterInsights plugin, does this mean my iOS google analytics app will get the same data?

    or will I still need to insert the global tag in my header.php to get the google analytics app to display the correct info?

  4. Hey MonsterInsights – I need some advice.

    I have developed a new website, an upgrade from an existing website which has very strong SEO and Google Analytics History (and is a 55 page website).

    I will be making the new website go live on the existing Domain Name by just switching the A record for it some time very soon.

    If I implement MonsterInsights on the new site with the existing GA tracking code, will it push that tracking code across the whole new website/pages and at the same time, will the GA history be kept on GA?

    1. Hey Sami, thanks for reaching out!

      Yes, if you use the same tracking code from the same Google Analytics property, you’ll keep your data.

      A quick tip when launching a new site: Especially if your page URLs are changing, it can be really helpful to create a new View in Google Analytics on go-live day. That way, you can easily see your new website data apart from the old stuff. Of course, data will still populate in the old views too 🙂 Just can be helpful to be able to see the new data on its own. Here’s a guide on creating a new view:

  5. Hi,
    I have installed the free version of Monster Insight and grants some access of Anlaytics Account, now I delete the plugin. How I can stop the granted access of Analytics to Monster Insights?


  6. Hi, If I install Analytics through a plugin like yours, this will be created in Google Console? What happens if I delete the plugin, will the code still be valid? like, i could go in my Google console and copy/paste the code? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ian,
      We’re guessing you mean Google Analytics, not Google Console? If you uninstall MonsterInsights down the road, you can still install your Google Analytics code manually. If we misunderstood your question or you have others, don’t hesitate to reach out!

  7. Whenever I try to add the code to my header in the code editor, it shows up as a clickable URL on my website. How do I get it embedded? My wordpress looks different from the screenshots used here… I dont think they’re up to date

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