Plugin Review: Google Site Kit

Google Site Kit, is a tool built by Google that allows for simple and straightforward integration of the key (free) tools that they offer for web admins – Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Page Speed Insights, Google AdSense, Google Search Console, and Google Optimize (just in case that sentence didn’t mention Google enough).

If you’ve worked with WordPress before, you’ll be aware that there’s no native integration of Analytics into your site. You have to either be willing to edit a theme or plugin code or install a plugin to link it. Platforms like Squarespace have some support directly integrated. There’s also varied support with themes allowing for header or footer code injection.

WordPress plugins spouting their support for integrating Google Analytics varies. Sometimes plugins will even rely on third parties to provide reporting integration to your site’s dashboard. I believe that where possible, your data should be kept as close to the source as possible. This is particularly important with the personal nature of browsing data.

I first heard of the Site Kit plugin via the Google Analytics products Showcase page on LinkedIn towards the end of 2020 when it was first announced. I began using it early in the year as we launched new sites with Threesides.

You come to expect good design and user experience from software developed by the likes of Google, and I was pleased to see how they approached this in the plugin. O-Auth and secure login experiences are patchy at the best of times – however, it has been handled well.


Site Kit is available from the WordPress Plugin Library and is installed just like any other plugin.

Set up Site Kit welcome screen prompting the user to sign in with Google to get started.
Plugin Welcome screen following install.

As you’d expect – the first step is to get signed in with Google. Whilst it doesn’t mention it at this stage, the following screens provide a clear explanation of what each feature does, and what steps will happen during the process.

Screen showing Google Site Kit's process of verifying Search Console
Search Console Verification Process

The first tool Google will automatically verify is Search Console, providing organic ranking information for your site. I appreciate the explanation and outline of the steps that happen during this, especially when jumping between authorising the various scopes that it needs access to.

Step-by-step actions are shown

Separating the process into at least three stages per tool can take longer to set up. However, this provides transparency around what is happening and the permissions being granted.

Google Analytics

What stands out to me most is the consideration around tools that may already be set up on the website, or what can be implied from data within the tool. This is seen when connecting Google Analytics. Once you’ve authorised access, you’re prompted to select the relevant Account, Property and View.

Your Google Analytics property will automatically be selected.

If you’ve set up your site URL in Analytics, this will be set as the default. This is particularly helpful if you’ve got access to a large number of Analytics accounts.

One draw-back here is that GA4 is somewhat forcefully included. You need to have the appropriate permissions to create this property otherwise you are unable to continue the setup.

A nice touch is that if Analytics is already installed you will be notified and prompted to remove your other tracking code or just use the reporting aspects.

Tag Manager

Similar to the prompt for double Analytics tracking, there are some nice prompts that appear when connecting Tag Manager.

The first will show if you attempt to add a container with different tracking to the property you’ve selected when linking Analytics. This is helpful if you’re connecting the same profile. If you need to connect a Tag Manager with a different profile, you will need to install it manually outside of Site Kit.

The second shows when you select a container with the same Analytics profile you’ve previously selected. This will just show your reporting integration and use your Analytics configuration in Tag Manager,

Tools I use

Programs and Tooling

These are the programs that I’m using day-to-day

VS Code

Developer friendly, popular – and the integrated terminal and Git management help to streamline processes.

Windows 10 + WSL

Within the corporate Windows environment, most things are possible – however, I’ll jump into Ubuntu or a Docker container when needed.

Git, NPM

Keeping track of code and developing across devices is made easy with Git. NPM’s where I’m getting my JS packages from.

Languages and Frameworks

The Gutenberg editor uses blocks to create all types of content, replacing a half-dozen ways of customizing WordPress.


WordPress has come along way from it’s blogging platform days – and it’s a great base for all users to manage their content.

By developing Gutenberg blocks and using custom themes we’re not missing out on the latest performance opportunities.


Vue provides a straight-forward front-end layer to make the magic happen.

Templating components that work with WP backend is a breeze.


When a more custom solution is required, Laravel provides the structure and foundations for building custom apps.


Taking the hassle out of CSS, Tailwind provides the perfect utility to implement custom styling without introducing whole frameworks.

The Threesides Approach to Domain, Web and Email Hosting

This article provides some information about how we approach web, email and domain hosting at Threesides. It also helps to explain some of the terms that get thrown around a lot and answer frequently asked questions.

Fundamentally, your system configuration should reflect (and be responsive to) the needs of your business. The contents of this article is a reflection of our experience working across a range of clients, hosting providers and technical ability.

At the end of the day – we all want your website to be quick, manageable and attracting customers.


Hosting (be it web, domain, or email) refers to services that make your website or email accessible on the internet.

Hosting providers range in the services they offer, some host multiple types, and others specialise in one type. You may even have all your hosting managed by a marketing agency or your IT service provider.


Website Hosting, VPS hosting, or Managed Hosting providers give your website a place to live.

Different hosting packages allocate resources to your website. Typically, higher subscription costs provide greater performance and a variety of add-on services.

Some hosting (often Managed Hosting) includes software updates and security patches; others do not, and you must manage this yourself. Running out-of-date or vulnerable software can lead to lower performance, crashes, or security risks. Information on website maintenance is available here.

VPS or a dedicated server can be expensive and is often over-specced for standard websites and comes with limited customer support.

Many large hosting providers, such as GoDaddy, HostPappa, etc. provide cPanel (control panel) hosting. This combines email, web and DNS hosting together, and can make it difficult to migrate or move your hosting service if required.


Email Hosting provides your domain with email addresses and processes the sending and receiving of emails. Common dedicated email providers are Office365 and Google Apps.

Your website hosting might also come with ‘free email accounts.’ This often refers to emails that are tied in with your website hosting and are not separately managed. In this case, moving website hosts may interrupt your email service.


Domain registrars register and manage URLs and this often includes DNS hosting. DNS hosting refers to translating the URLs (like to their location on the internet (in the form of an IP address like

Sometimes your DNS hosting is not attached to your domain registrar. Often this is because an agency or your IT provider is managing it on your behalf. You might also be using a service like Cloudflare for security and performance.

Some hosts like CrazyDomains or require a ‘Premium DNS hosting’ to manage DNS records – this is charged at a monthly or annual fee.

If your DNS is hosted within a different hosting provider, in cPanel, or with an agency, migrating to a different hosting provider can be more complex. In this instance your DNS records will need to be migrated to a separate service if you wish to change web hosts.


We build websites that are designed to perform well using the latest software – delivering high-performance websites and a great user experience. We believe that you should own, have access to, and be able to update, any aspect of your hosting.

This means that Threesides does not provide hosting, instead, we use and recommend dedicated providers to use. Dedicated providers separate ongoing concerns and can make it easier to update or change providers if required.

We will work with you to set up the required accounts with these service providers and can provide the technical requirements to your existing providers if required. Migrating DNS or changing hosts can take time, and we will provide a quote for this work.


Threesides builds and designs websites, and we choose to host these websites with WP Engine. WP Engine is a managed WordPress host – this means hosting has been designed to work the best with WordPress websites. As a managed host, they also manage server management and updates, overall WordPress security and updates, and technical support.

Included in the WP Engine web hosting plan is free SSL certificates, access to their support team and CDN. WP Engine provides Australian hosting servers through Google Cloud’s data centres in Sydney.

If you’re signing up – here’s our referral link to WP Engine.


We recommend using an email address represented by your domain, rather than via a free provider such as,, etc. This reinforces your brand and means your emails are less likely to end up in the Junk folder.

Threesides recommends either Microsoft365 (aka Office365) or Google Workplace (formerly known as G-Suite and Google Apps) depending on your business needs. If you’ve used Gmail before, Google Apps provides a very similar interface using your own domain. If you’re licensing Microsoft apps for your staff, you likely already have access to Microsoft365. 


There are many domain registrars that we use, in particular, we look for registrars that provide a free DNS hosting option with domain registration. This allows you to make as many changes to the records as required – such as pointing to web hosting, verifying email systems or other web tools. In some instances, we recommend setting up a free Cloudflare account to provide simple DNS management.


TypicalThreesides Recommended
ConfigurationDomain registration with Australian provider such as NetRegistry.
cPanel hosting through large host such as GoDaddy, or re-sold through web agency
DNS hosting moved into cPanel
cPanel IMAP emails setup to forward to a general [email protected] account
Domain registration with an Australian provider such as NetRegistry
DNS hosting with the domain registrar, or through dedicated DNS such as Cloudflare
Web Hosting with WP Engine
Email Hosting with Microsoft365 as part of managed IT services
AdvantagesLower startup complexity as they are all managed through one or two providers.Service providers specialise in their particular field – providing better performance and features.
You’re not locked into using one provider for all services.
Systems can be added, removed or changed as required to meet new business needs.
DisadvantagesLimited options to change one aspect of the services – eg. web hosting, if relying on cPanel for DNS and email.Need to manage multiple service accounts.
Setup can be more complex.

A comparison of hosting approaches

A flowchart outlining the difference between using separate service providers compared to cPanel hosting.
cPanel hosting can make it difficult to modify aspects of your hosting

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