This article was published 2 years ago, therefore the contents of this post may be out of date.

If you run your own website, you need to know exactly what’s going on. When something happens, you are the one who did it and you will know what, when and why.

  • But what happens when the website grows?
  • When did you start working with writers and editors?
  • What if you start accepting user contributions?

So who keeps track of things?

This is where having a WordPress Activity Log Plugin comes into play. They provide a chronological audit trail of what changes were made, when and by whom.

If you can’t monitor everything that’s happening on your website, these plugins can help. That’s today’s WordPress Wednesday post is all about.

What is the activity log?

The activity log is also known as the audit log, security log, or activity log. They are records of all changes that occur on the website.

WordPress is a database-driven content management system, so all changes are recorded in this database so you can track what’s happening. This means that everything that happens on the website is recorded at all times.

The log contains a unique event ID, date and time, user and role, and modification details. Depending on the log type, it may also include details about the user’s girlfriend’s IP address, event type labels (blog post update, image change, etc.), page, post etc.

The biggest challenge is accessing these logs, as the default WordPress logging tool is not the easiest to use. But, this is where having a WordPress Activity Log plugin comes into play.

But, why do I need a WordPress Activity Log plugin?

A WordPress activity log plugin can help if you run a membership site, are constantly under attack by hackers, or if your site keeps getting errors and you don’t know why.

You don’t necessarily need the WP Security Audit Logs plugin if you’re the only one with access to your website.

If you want other users to be able to access your site, please do so. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family member, employee, freelancer, or someone you trust. You need to know what’s going on on your website.

Especially when it comes to allowing the general public to change user input, account profiles, and other things.

Log Files and Troubleshooting

Log files are invaluable when encountering WordPress, theme or plugin errors. It is used throughout the IT industry to identify and fix errors.

WordPress has many themes and plugins which are reliable, but mistakes can happen. Bugs can be introduced, various plugins can cause compatibility issues, and changes made to these products can cause all sorts of problems. Log files are invaluable when trying to identify and fix. Log files can literally save hours, if not days, of troubleshooting and resetting.

WordPress Log Files

WordPress has a built-in log tracker called Debug Mode. Not enabled by default and it’s not user friendly. It provides a wide range of logs specifically for monitoring WordPress core and provides amazing insight into how your installation is performing.

However, it doesn’t track users, content, media, plugins, WooCommerce, or any other website activity.
So I wouldn’t recommend using it.

Why You Should Keep Tracking User Activity

Here are some reasons why you should use an Activity Log plugin.

Improving Website Security

The WordPress activity log shows failed login attempts, system changes, system setting changes, all changes made by plugins, and user account changes. All can contribute to the overall security of your website.

Failed login attempts are especially useful if they cannot be tracked by existing security solutions. You can detect normal login attempts and blacklist IP addresses or take other actions.

Changes to system settings, plugins or backend changes can also be tracked and fixed quickly.

Ensuring Accountability

Users who are aware of website log changes should know that they are accountable and should act accordingly. Prevention is always better than cure!

Most WordPress activity logs show the user, time, modification, and unique identifier. All of this helps create an audit trail of who changed what and when.

Finding Debugging Problems

Many website problems are the result of some kind of change. Take a look and find out what was changed, when and why.

These are an essential part of any kind of troubleshooting and can save you hours of research trying to figure out what’s wrong.

Monitor published post activity

Content changes are monitored to see if content schedules are being met, contributors are delivering on time, or meeting KPIs.

You can also check when the content was last updated in order to perform the update.

Easy Reporting for Admins and Clients

If you’re managing a website on behalf of a client or company, the WordPress activity log tells you that the work is done, done as promised, and and your task has done its duty.

The data is difficult to argue with and if these logs are part of the report there is evidence to support the claim.

Maintaining Regulatory Standards

If you work in a regulated industry or work with information related to a regulated industry, log files can provide an audit trail to help you maintain regulatory compliance.

Detect Malware Quickly

The Security Log Tool helps you track and detect if malware has infiltrated your website or application. It helps you take quick precautions to keep things in order.

These security logs are also useful for tracking down website vulnerabilities that have introduced malware by identifying which systems were triggered and when.

I would recommend using logging in conjunction with a malware removal security plugin to identify and remove malware.

Strengthen login page security.

Each user is responsible for tracking logins to the site. This log can help you trace the source in case of problems such as: Data breach, data loss, or system failure resulting from user actions.

1. Stream


Stream will proactively alert you through real-time notifications and third-party connectors if there are any issues with your WordPress site. From plugin activation to deletion after deletion, login attempts, and new user creation, you can see what, who and when changed.

In stream logs, the plugin logs WordPress user and system actions. All actions performed by a logged-in user are represented in an activity stream that can be filtered by user, role, context, action, or IP address. Admins can use stream logs to highlight entries such as suspicious user behaviour and analyse what’s happening in real time.

Stream also lets you set up email notifications and web-hooks for your Slack and IFTTT connections to alert you and your team when something goes wrong

Price: Free

2. WP Activity Log

Wp Activity Log

WP Activity Log is a complete monitoring log plugin. It’s also the only WordPress activity log plugin that tracks all file changes across WordPress websites and multisite networks. The plugin tracks when files are added, updated, or deleted on your WordPress website. The WordPress File Integrity Checker can also be customised to your liking.

Comes with its own trigger builder, allowing you to build even the most complex triggers. You can set up your own email notification triggers to be notified by email when certain events or changes occur on your WordPress website.

The plugin also includes various filters to help you fine-tune your search results. With hundreds of thousands of events logged in the WordPress activity log of a busy website, you need a text search feature to find what you’re looking for. Especially if you’re troubleshooting a specific WordPress issue or doing forensic work.

Price: Free

3. Simple History

Simple History User Activity Log, Audit Tool

Simple History is an activity log plugin that adds a tab to your WordPress dashboard where you can see all content updates, comments, widgets, users, user profiles, login failures, menu changes and much more.

Other plugins like Jetpack, Advanced Custom Fields, Enable Media Replace, Beaver Builder can be tracked in Simple History.

Price: Free

4. Activity Log

Aryo Activity Log

Another good choice for a logging plugin for WordPress is this Activity Log. You can see what’s happening on your website right from your WordPress dashboard.It’s also super easy to set up and use right out of the box.

Posts, plugins, potential hacks, suspicious admin activity, theme changes, etc. are all recorded in the activity log. So, track everything from posts to pages, custom post types, comments, users, plugins and shop options.

You can configure the plugin to send email notifications on certain events. This plugin also allows you to easily save his activity records as a CSV file to your computer.

Price: Free

5. User Activity Log

User Activity Log

The User Activity Log is a simple tool for recording and tracking website activity. Easily track changes to site content, users, media, and settings.

Easy Digital Download, Advance Custom Field, Gravity Forms, User Switching, WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, and other popular plugins are now supported in the User Activity Log.

You can upgrade to a Pro membership which get you access to hook settings, sorting options, password security, export logs, deleted logs, custom event logs and more.

Price: Free and Pro at $99.00


WordPress Wednesday – 5 Activity Log Plugins for WordPress