When was the last time you looked at your Google Analytics? It’s not exactly user friendly is it! It’s often a struggle to see through the fake clicks and spam to get a clear view of the true numbers - this wasn’t something we wanted to subject to our hosting clients! We believe that website analytics should be easy to use, clear and accessible to anyone - so we set out to make our own!
Most of our hosting clients are small to medium sized businesses, restaurants, hotels, solicitors. They wanted to know how many users their website was attracting, how many and which pages they viewed and if they were referred, who by. Using these four simple sets of data - visitors, page views, content and referrals, and comparing these over time - we can easily gauge the effectiveness of any new website content, online or offline promotions and advertising.
So with the what sorted, onto the how. We had been using an alternative to Google Analytics called Gauges for a while, we loved the simplicity and with a lot of our current hosting customers already added to the Gauges system, it would be good to keep the existing data onboard. Gauges offers an API (application programming interface), which is handy! and would essentially allow our server to talk to theirs, make requests and then take the returned data and output this into a front end framework.
So, we were all set! onto the fun part, the design and development of the front end dashboard. We wanted to keep the layout simple, the design following our own style guide and above all - keep the metrics easy to understand. To enable these goals we split the numbers up into four sections based on time:
• Today to give a snapshot of recent visitors, content and referrers.
• This week which displays the visitors and page views for the last six days.
• This month which gives a longer term view of visitors, content and referrers.
• Finally, the last six months which displays the visitors and page views, for the last six months.
A preview of our finished dashboard (some content is removed for privacy).
Our new website analytics dashboard has been live now for a few months and we’ve received 100% positive feedback from our hosting clients! We are however, continuing to refine and improve the platform and will be sure to keep this article up to date.