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As a WordPress site owner using WP Engine for hosting, you may be wondering if and when you should upgrade from standard Google Analytics to Google Analytics 360 (GA360). While GA360 offers powerful features and capabilities, it’s not always necessary for every website. This article will help you determine if it’s the right time for your WordPress site to make the switch. Coming this July 1st 2024, Google is doing away with the Universal Analytics and removing all data. Do you upgrade to the new version or upgrade to a more robust service?

  1. Traffic Volume

One of the primary reasons to consider upgrading to GA360 is when your site’s traffic exceeds the limits of standard Google Analytics. If your WordPress site hosted on WP Engine is consistently receiving more than 10 million hits per month, GA360 becomes a necessity. GA360 can handle much higher volumes of data without sampling, ensuring more accurate reporting for high-traffic sites.

  1. Data Processing and Reporting Needs

If you find that standard Google Analytics is not providing the depth of data or reporting capabilities you need, it might be time to upgrade. GA360 offers:

  • Unsampled reports
  • BigQuery integration for advanced data analysis
  • More custom dimensions and metrics
  • Faster data processing and reporting

For WordPress sites with complex structures or those requiring intricate data analysis, these features can be invaluable.

  1. Integration with Other Google Marketing Platform Products

If you’re using other Google Marketing Platform products like Google Ads, Display & Video 360, or Search Ads 360, upgrading to GA360 can provide better integration and data sharing between these tools. This is particularly useful for WordPress sites focused on advanced marketing and advertising strategies.

  1. Enhanced E-commerce Capabilities

For WordPress e-commerce sites on WP Engine, GA360’s enhanced e-commerce features can provide deeper insights into customer behavior, product performance, and conversion funnels. If your standard Google Analytics setup isn’t giving you the detailed e-commerce data you need, it might be time to upgrade.

  1. Service Level Agreement (SLA) Requirements

If your WordPress site is business-critical and you need guaranteed uptime and support, GA360’s SLA might be a compelling reason to upgrade. This is especially relevant for enterprise-level WordPress sites hosted on WP Engine’s higher-tier plans.

  1. Budget Considerations

GA360 is a significant investment, with pricing typically starting around $150,000 per year. Before upgrading, ensure that your WordPress site’s revenue or strategic importance justifies this cost. Consider if the additional insights and capabilities will provide a positive ROI for your business.

  1. Technical Resources

Implementing and fully utilizing GA360 often requires more technical expertise than standard Google Analytics. Ensure you have the necessary resources, either in-house or through partnerships, to take full advantage of GA360’s capabilities.

  1. Data Governance and Privacy Needs

If your WordPress site deals with sensitive data or operates in regions with strict data privacy laws, GA360’s enhanced data controls and security features might be necessary to ensure compliance.

Upgrading to Google Analytics 360 for your WordPress site hosted on WP Engine is a significant decision that should be based on your specific needs and circumstances. Consider factors such as traffic volume, data analysis requirements, integration needs, e-commerce complexity, and budget before making the switch.

For many WordPress sites, standard Google Analytics provides sufficient functionality. However, if you find yourself consistently bumping up against its limitations, and if the benefits of GA360 align with your business goals and can justify the cost, it may be time to upgrade.

Remember, WP Engine’s robust hosting platform can handle the demands of both standard Google Analytics and GA360, so your decision should be based on your analytics needs rather than hosting capabilities. Always consult with analytics professionals or Google representatives to fully understand the implications and benefits of upgrading to GA360 for your specific WordPress site.

Is your website ready to upgrade to Google 360?

Here’s an overview of the average costs associated with hiring a web developer to install and manage Google Analytics 360 (GA360):

  1. Initial Installation and Setup:
    • One-time cost: $2,000 – $5,000
    • This covers the basic installation, configuration, and initial setup of GA360 on your website.
  2. Ongoing Management and Optimization:
    • Monthly retainer: $1,500 – $5,000 per month
    • This includes regular maintenance, report creation, data analysis, and ongoing optimizations.
  3. Advanced Implementation and Customization:
    • Project-based: $5,000 – $20,000+
    • For complex setups, custom tracking implementations, or advanced integrations with other tools.
  4. Training and Knowledge Transfer:
    • One-time cost: $1,000 – $3,000
    • To train your internal team on using GA360 effectively.
  5. Ad-hoc Consulting:
    • Hourly rate: $100 – $300 per hour
    • For specific issues or short-term projects.

Factors affecting the price:

  • Developer’s experience and expertise with GA360
  • Complexity of your website and data requirements
  • Integration needs with other tools or platforms
  • Scope of customization and reporting needed
  • Geographic location of the developer

It’s important to note that these costs are in addition to the GA360 license fee (typically starting around $150,000 per year) paid directly to Google.

Also, keep in mind that prices can vary significantly based on the specific needs of your project and the expertise level of the developer or agency you hire. It’s always recommended to get multiple quotes and thoroughly discuss your requirements before making a decision.