If you had Google Analytics by Yoast installed on your WordPress website, you were probably surprised last week (mid-April 2016) to see a new icon in its place in the admin menu in the back end of your site.
I know I was surprised, as were many other people, to see the name change from Google Analytics by Yoast to MonsterInsights.
So what happened?
Yoast is one of those brands that has a solid reputation in the WordPress space, as their main plugin, Yoast SEO for WordPress is one of most installed plugins in the ecosystem.
Until a few days ago, they also had a premium extension for Google Analytics.
So seeing their plug and disappear and seeing a new plugin appear in its place had a lot of people scratching their head. Or worse, believing that their site had been hacked and that’s where the new plugin had come from.
What really happened was Yoast had decided to focus on a narrower set of objectives, and sold the plugin to another well-known person within the WordPress space, Syed Balkhi.
How Could This Transition Have Been Handled Better?
It’s not uncommon for business assets to get acquired and change hands. But when the change is abrupt, it can be disorienting to people, especially when it affects something on their business website.
At least one person on the WordPress forums said that they uninstalled Yoast, in an attempt to get rid of the new, unfamiliar plugin.
One of the plugin developers also pointed out that they got rid of the green monster icon, and put the plugin back in the same menu position it was in before. (The roll-out on the first day had a vivid green icon that was at the top of the menu, instead of near the bottom of the left hand menu).
Since then, the name in the admin menu has also been shorted to just Insights, instead of MonsterInsights.
In the WordPress forums, one of the plugin authors also mentioned the MonsterInsights name tied in with the branding in rest of their product line (OptinMonster), so perhaps the reasoning was: it would be a familiar brand to consumers.
Except the problem was that it wasn’t familiar, and entirely unexpected.
My sentiment is when you’re expecting to see one brand name and icon (Yoast), and then all of a sudden you see another name and brand icon (MosnterInsightss), the experience is very jarring.
So one thing that perhaps could have happened was a more gradual transition, for the sake of consumers and their peace of mind. The change logs for the plugin can be a good place to document ownership change. Another suggestion from the forums was to temporarily add the tagline (Formerly by Yoast) to the plugin name or title screens.
So in case you were wondering what happened in the back end of your WordPress site, if you were running the Yoast Google Analytics plugin, that’s the story.
You can read about the official announcement from Yoast on their website.
Here’s the post from MonsterInsights announcing their acquisition of Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast, and their plans for the future.