Getting Rid of the Smiley Face (Thanks Stats!)


(Update: Since this post was written, the Automattic crew has added some optional styles you can add to your theme to hide the smiley face. See David’s comment below.)

Earlier this week I posted a tentative review of Automattic’s new Stats plugin available for all WordPress blogs. Now, as a follow-up, I offer a guide to ridding one’s blog of the Smiley Face (read: frustration and, somewhat, freaked-out-edness).

The Story

My friend Cory and I were throwing ideas back and forth on a WordPress theme when he directed my attention to the footer of the page.

“Did you put a smiley face down there?” asked Cory.

“Um. No.” said I.

“Are you sure?”

“Um. Yes.”

“Well there’s definitely a smiley face down there.”

“Yeah. Looks like it.”

“That’s pretty freaky man.”

The Explanation

First I checked the theme’s footer.php. Nothing in the source. Then I checked the HTML via a View Source of the page. No go. There wasn’t a single sign of the little bugger anywhere.

I changed themes. It was still there.

Then it hit me. Plugins. What plugins had I installed that could bring about something so…so…evil. Stats!

Now, to be fair, it’s understandable that they would need to drop in a gif to track the stats on a blog. I get that. And I suppose it was also my fault for not checking the README before installing or playing with the plugin…but…um…uh…

Where was I going with this again?

The “So What”

Check the README for information on how exactly to get rid of that smiley face. Don’t set the image display to none, as that will hurt the stat tracking. The exact CSS to use is in the documentation for the plugin.

Of course, I would still suggest ditching the plugin because it isn’t locally hosted. If you’re going to branch out for stats anyway, check out how to use Google Analytics on your WordPress blog. Trust me, it’s better.

25 thoughts on “Getting Rid of the Smiley Face (Thanks Stats!)

  1. Pingback: Pimpajoentje Punt Bee Ee » Blog » Blog Archive » Het Wordpress smiley mysterie

  2. This little guy has been following me around, I first noticed him on my site, then most of the blogs I have been to recently. I thought he was some kind of smiley stalker.

    Thanks for working it out and posting.

  3. Really bothered me for a while this little fella. I had drawn the same conclusions that it was a plugin causing it, after checking the theme code and source. Just glad it’s nothing malicious!

  4. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Just a small smiley

  5. Wait just a sec. I’m sure I’m missing something here. The README for getting rid of the smiley is located where exactly? Excuse my noobness.

  6. The smiley added by WordPress Stats was a stupid lame move on their part. It goes against all the rules of good design to force that on people’s blogs with no easy way to remove it. Instead, people like me just refuse to use that plugin at all.

  7. thanks so much for the tip! i wouldn’t have thought something like an official stats plugin would do something so stupid.

  8. Pingback: Stats Smiley Remover Plugin :: Christopher Ross

  9. It’s the first time I commented here and I must say you share us genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where did you find it?

  10. Pingback: Theme Playground Getting Rid of the Smiley Face Thanks | Best Eye Cream

  11. Why wouldn’t they use a little 1×1 blank gif? I don’t understand why they’d impose an image on everyone’s website like that. Very annoying.

  12. love it. absolutely hideous little smiley face. was shocked and disgusted when I accidentally noticed it on my site- something you only see when logged too! shonkey donkeys. In any case, I use both- the quick view of wp stats is simple and basic, i like it for the quick-reference traffic report, but use google’s superior tracking for content effectiveness. thanks for the post.

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