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How to install Parse.ly on a WordPress site

How to install Parse.ly on a WordPress site

You can use WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to install both the Parse.ly tracker and Parse.ly metadata in one step. Parse.ly also works with Google Tag Manager to install only the Parse.ly tracker. Refer to the table below in considering which method to choose.

ToolCostTracker InstallationMetadata InstallationAdvantageDisadvantage
Wordpress CMSFreeYesYesPlugin supplies both installations in one procedure. This is the most common method for integrating Parse.ly.Rolling back JavaScript changes can require more editing time.
Google Tag ManagerFreeYesNoChanges in new site builds can be rolled back more conveniently.Cannot be used to deploy metadata on site pages.

#WordPress Background

WordPress (wordpress.org) is the most popular open source content management system. At the time of this writing, WordPress installations account for an estimated 38% of the entire web. WordPress development is sponsored by Automattic, which also runs its fully-hosted service WordPress.com, as well as the Jetpack add-on module. Many Parse.ly customers are also customers of the WordPress Enterprise hosting and consulting service, WordPress VIP (WPVIP).

#Frequently asked questions

The following FAQ answers common questions on using WordPress CMS with Parse.ly.

How do I know if Wordpress is already running my site?

Perhaps the easiest way to check this is to view a source page for your site and then search for a meta tag with the WordPress name in it. This is often found in the meta tag that identifies the version of WordPress running on the site, such as: <meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.7.18” />. If such a tag is present on the page, then your site is running WordPress. The specific steps for doing this depend on the browser you are using. For example, in a Windows Chrome environment, you right click the web page, select View page source, and then search (Ctrl-F) for the meta tag shown above.

How do I install the Parse.ly Wordpress plugin on my site?

To install the plugin:

  1. Make sure you have an active account with Parse.ly. You can get a free trial account here.
  2. Download the Parse.ly plugin. You can do this by clicking the Download button in the upper-right of this page.
  3. Open your WordPress admin dashboard. To do this:
  • If you have a website with Automattic or WordPress.com, log in at https://wordpress.com/log-in.
  • If you have a website that is self-hosted, log in at <yourdomain.com>/wordpress/wp-amin.
  1. Click Plugins on the left side of the WordPress dashboard screen and then click the Upload Plugin button.
  2. Navigate to the plugin you downloaded and click the Upload button.
  3. Click the Install button. This should install the wp-parsely folder to your /wp-content/plugins directory.
  4. Click the Activate Plugin button.
  5. Click Plugins on the left side of the screen and find the Parse.ly plugin in the list. Click its Settings link.
  6. Follow the directions for ensuring the settings are correct.

What does the Parse.ly plugin do to my site pages?

The Parse.ly plugin does the following:

  • Installs the Parse.ly <script> tag on every page of your WordPress site in the footer section.
  • Maps various content properties from WordPress posts to appropriate fields in Parse.ly metadata. For example, the title of your post goes into the Schema.org/NewsArticle headline field, and the WordPress publication time of your post goes into the datePublished field.
  • Understands your WordPress Category and Tag system, by mapping those to section and keywords, respectively.
  • Not only sends Parse.ly's servers tracking information for your traffic, but also makes your pages/posts easily crawlable by the Parse.ly crawler.

What other advantages does the WordPress plugin have over Google Tag Manager?

In addition to automatically installing metadata on all your site pages, it is one of of our most complete, automated, and robust integration options. It is one of the most popular ways our customers integrate Parse.ly, and is by far the most popular way WordPress users integrate Parse.ly. We strongly recommend this method over other options.

My WordPress plugin asks me for a "Site ID". What's that, where do I find it?

Your Site ID most commonly looks like your domain of your website, such as parsely.com. It should never include www, http, https, :, or /.

Is there a way to validate that the Parse.ly tracker was successfully installed on my site?

Yes, you can enter your site URL in the Parse.ly Validator. You can also open your Parse.ly dashboard, or search in the JavaScript Console of your browser for PARSELY.lastRequest, or in your Network Console for pixel.parsely.com requests.

If your page contains the tracking code, a message is returned in the validator similar to the example shown below:

How%20to%20install%20Parse%20ly%20on%20a%20WordPress%20site%201d8af189647c4eb7b02d24f9e076f3b6/validator_result.png

Is there a way to validate that the Parse.ly plugin put good metadata on my site pages?

Yes. You can enter your page URL in the Parse.ly Validator. For example, if you enter arstechnica.com, you will see the following response for metadata regarding that URL:

metadata results

You can also enter your site URL in the Google Rich Results Test. This test specifically informs you if all the structured data on the page can generate rich results, as a consequence of the metadata structuring by the Parse.ly plugin, as shown:

How%20to%20install%20Parse%20ly%20on%20a%20WordPress%20site%201d8af189647c4eb7b02d24f9e076f3b6/rich_results.png

What should I do if I'm running WordPress as a "headless CMS backend?"

If you are using a different framework for your front end, such as WordPress APIs, GraphQL, or a static rendering tool, the Parse.ly plugin likely will not work. The plugin works with the WordPress rendering process into HTML for all pages and because a different tool is performing that rendering, the plugin cannot be included. However, you can still integrate Parse.ly with your front end at the framework layer for such tools as GatsbyJS, React, or Next.js. This also might be useful if you run Single Page Aplications (SPAs).

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