It's always nice to display some blog stats, such as page view count, to give readers an sense how popular some site/posts are. Unfortunately, there is (or should I say 'was'?) no such plugin that does this job nicely for Octopress, so I decided to write one myself. And here comes the plugin called octopress-page-view.

I use Google Analytics to track my blog. And there is an Octopress plugin called jekyll-ga, which can sort blog posts by certain metrics of Google Analytics. For me, chronological order works just fine. So I just grab the part that fetch data from Google Analytics.

I haven't done any decent ruby coding before, so bear with me if I wrote some silly ruby code. But it works.

How To Use

Get the plugin

  • Install required gems
sudo gem install chronic google-api-client
  • Clone the repository
cd /tmp
git clone
cd octopress-page-view

The structure of the directory will look like this

|-- _config.yml
|-- plugins
|   `-- page_view.rb
`-- source
    `-- _include
        `-- custom
            `-- asides
                `-- pageview.html
  • Copy plugins/page_view.rb to your plugins directory, and copy source/_include/custom/asides/pageview.html to your custom asides directory.

  • In your _config.yml, add pageview.html to your asides array.

Setup and Configuration

The README file of the jekyll-ga project gives an very detailed description about how to set up a service account for Google data API, which I'm not going to repeat here.

After you've set up the service account, you'll need to add some configurations to your _config.yml file. Here is a sample configuration.

# octopress-page-view
  service_account_email:    #
  key_file: privatekey.p12  # service account private key file
  key_secret: notasecret    # service account private key's password
  profileID:                # ga:XXXXXXXX
  start: 3 years ago        # Beginning of report
  end: now                  # End of report
  metric: ga:pageviews      # Metric code
  segment: gaid::-1         # All visits
  filters:                  # optional

How It Works

This plugin provides an Jekyll Generator, called GoogleAnalytics, to fetech data from Google, and a Jekyll Liquid Tag to actually generate the formated page view count.

Fetch Analytics Data

This part is adapted from jekyll-ga. Basically, we will create an Google API client, and after proper authorization, making request to Google.

pv = site.config['page-view']

# need to provide application_name and application_version, otherwise, APIClient
# will warn ...
client =
        :application_name => 'octopress-page-view',
        :application_version => '1.0',

# Load our credentials for the service account
key = Google::APIClient::KeyUtils.load_from_pkcs12(pv['key_file'], pv['key_secret'])
client.authorization =
        :token_credential_uri => '',
        :audience => '',
        :scope => '',
        :issuer => pv['service_account_email'],
        :signing_key => key)

# Request a token for our service account
analytics = client.discovered_api('analytics','v3')

# prepare parameters
params = {
    'ids' => pv['profileID'],
    'start-date' => Chronic.parse(pv['start']).strftime("%Y-%m-%d"),
    'end-date' => Chronic.parse(pv['end']).strftime("%Y-%m-%d"),
    'dimensions' => "ga:pagePath",
    'metrics' => pv['metric'],
    'max-results' => 100000,

if pv['segment']
    params['segment'] = pv['segment']
if pv['filters']
    params['filters'] = pv['filters']

response = client.execute(:api_method =>, :parameters => params)
results = Hash[]

So now we have a hash about query results.

Calculate Page View

For each blog post, we want to display just the page view of that blog. However, in blog index pages, we want to display the total page view of this site. So we process post and page slightly differently.

Also, we'll set our generator's priority to high, in case other plugins also want to use the _pv information.

# total page view of this site
tot = 0

# display per post page view
site.posts.each { |post|
    url = (site.config['baseurl'] || '') + post.url + 'index.html'
    hits = (results[url])? results[url].to_i : 0!("_pv" => hits)
    tot += hits

# calculate total page view
site.pages.each { |page|
    url = (site.config['baseurl'] || '') + page.url
    hits = (results[url])? results[url].to_i : 0
    tot += hits

# display total page view in page
site.pages.each { |page|!("_pv" => tot)

So now each post or page contains one ore field, called _pv, which is the page view count of that post, or total PV for page.

Display Page View

This is done using a Liquid Tag called PageViewTag. In the render method, we just output an nicely formatted page view count.

site = context.environments.first['site']
if !site['page-view']
    return ''

post = context.environments.first['post']
if post == nil
    post = context.environments.first['page']
    if post == nil
        return ''

pv = post['_pv']
if pv == nil
    return ''

html = pv.to_s.reverse.gsub(/...(?=.)/,'\&,').reverse + ' hits'
return html