Adding Google Analytics to Sphinx Docs

This is just a reminder for myself later, or people looking on Google. Also note, that this method is useful for putting any Javascript content into your sphinx docs, but Analytics tracking is a common use case.

Step 1: Where to put my files?

Check your on your Sphinx docs. You need to make sure your templates_path variable is pointed to a directory that exists. It is relative to your current directory. I use _templates, which I believe is the default. This is where you can override Sphinx templates. They use Jinja2, which is a relative of Django templates, so it should be pretty simple if you’re used to Django templates.

Step 2: Override the default template

In your _templates directory, add a file called layout.html. The Sphinx Docs are pretty good in this area, containing a full listing of all the template that you can override. The Sphinx Source layout.html is also really nice, so you can see what it is by default.

Analytics says that you should put your analytics code “Right before the </body> tag” on your site. This means at the bottom of the footer. Google should have given you a piece of Javascript code to paste in your site, copy that below. So in your new layout.html, put in the following code:

{% extends "!layout.html" %}

{% block footer %}
{{ super() }}
<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
<script type="text/javascript">
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("YOUR_GOOGLE_CODE_HERE");
} catch(err) {}</script>
{% endblock %}

Take note of the {{ super() }} call. This means that you are calling the inherited template’s code, which pulls in the default Copyright notice into the footer. Then you can put in your custom code after that.

Let me know if there are any other neat Sphinx tricks and tips that you have. I’m in love with the software and learning more about it daily.

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!