I installed WP Statistics plugin in the three CP migrations I’ve done. I’ve checked the support forum, but did not see anything about this, so here goes. (I’m aware this is probably not a strictly CP question.)
On one site I have these stats:
Today: 23 visitors, 479 visits.
Something is obviously going on here. Are these bots, or something more sinister?
I would not worry on the specific origin of these 23 visitors (they could be legit visitors, bad bots and bad people or search engine crawlers indexing your site).
What I do to keep the site safe from bad bots/bad actors: I install shield plugin in addition to the stats plugin of my choice. It blocks all bad bots and spammers from damaging the site while allowing good crawlers and normal people to visit it without problems.
That means I do not have to keep an eye on the threats directly myself, I can focus on the site performance stats instead that tell me how my visitors are liking my content and where I can improve.
Moreover shield plugin can give you a breakdown of the all the threats that attempt to attack your site (it is able to block the majority of them if not all of them) and this can help you greatly in managing your site’s security.
(I mention shield because it is what I use, and because it directly supports ClassicPress. There are other plugins that do the same job but I find some of them to be difficult to set-up and cryptic so I tend to not recommend them)
Very likely it’s bots. Some might be probing for vulnerabilities, but most are search bots, marketing tools bots (such as semrush), etc.
Even if you installed Google Analytics, I’ve seen anywhere from 30-40% of traffic being bots. You can try blocking them, but there’s always more.
Shield Security should help block some bots. Shield Security is good for security, but if you’re still unhappy with bot traffic, you can also consider BBQ plugin. It does block a lot of the bad bots. It’s compatible with CP. Make sure you don’t use both simultaneously, as that can cause problems.