Check Out Who’s Visiting your Website with Gaug.es

Knowing how many people are viewing your site can either be a fun distraction or the difference between making an appropriate amount of money from all your work and going broke. There are plenty of solutions available, some commercial and some free or integrated with another service.

Gaug.es, an analytics tool from Ordered List (the same group that created Harmony) is aiming for your business with several amazing features and a simple, intuitive interface.

Getting Started with Gauges

Gaug.es (from here on referred to without the extra period) is a paid service with several different options available. The lowest plan is $6 a month and doesn’t allow you to share your data with others, while the most expensive is $350 a month, allows you to share your data, and allows you to track more visits.

The available plans, starting at $6/month and going all the way up to $350/month

The available plans, starting at $6/month and going all the way up to $350/month

For most people I imagine that the lowest plan available will be sufficient. Unless you consistently get over 100,000 views a month, in which case it’s worth looking at the other payment tiers.

All plans come with a 7-day free trial that gives you complete access to the service.

Getting Analytics for your Site

Getting the information from your site is easy, and accomplished in one of two ways. If your website isn’t run by WordPress (or you have an aversion for extensions) you can simply copy and paste the code provided to you into the appropriate section of your website.

Getting Gaug.es started is as easy as copy and paste.

Getting Gaug.es started is as easy as copy and paste.

If you are using WordPress and you don’t hate extensions Gauges offers an easy, integrated solution that isn’t much more complicated than the above step. It shouldn’t be difficult to get your data either way; most people that would be interested in tracking the number of visitors to their site know how to copy and paste a simple piece of code.

I almost expected 'do a handstand' to show up in the middle of those instructions.

I almost expected 'do a handstand' to show up in the middle of those instructions.

Tracking: Visits, Uniques, and Real-Time

The most basic of features is the ability to see who visited your site and when. Gauges displays this information with a simple graph, as unique visitors are shown in a dark green while the number of pageviews from those visitors is a lighter green. By hovering over the graph you can get detailed information on a day-by-day basis, in case the macro view isn’t enough for your needs.

Bar graphs: haunting you since grade school.

Bar graphs: haunting you since grade school.

One feature that I really enjoyed was the ability to see what the visitors to my site were doing in real time. Not only does it provide me with a cool ‘hey, I know what you’re doing!’ feeling but also allows you to check in on how many visitors you have at any given time.

The information that Gauges presented was consistent with other tracking tools (which I’ll discuss later) so there are no complaints there.

Know Your Visitors

While real-time tracking is fun, it isn’t particularly useful beyond giving you an idea of what’s happening on your site at this very minute. Chances are that you’re more interested in finding out who is viewing your site, or how they’re viewing it.

I'll admit, seeing the screen sizes from my visitors feels a bit like magic.

I'll admit, seeing the screen sizes from my visitors feels a bit like magic.

Gauges has full support here, giving you fairly standard information, such as a visitor’s operating system and browser, as well as a view of where your visitors live.

Apparently people in the U.S. dig me. Come on, other countries, you're missing out.

Apparently people in the U.S. dig me. Come on, other countries, you're missing out.

For someone like myself this information is more interesting than useful; my life isn’t changed by the fact that someone from Japan happened to view my site (no offense, Japanese reader). For a larger company, though, this can be a good way to decide which visitors you should target, and what type of audience your product or website is bringing in.

Interface

Everything in Gauges is well-considered and looks great. I enjoyed the subtle texture of the background and the presence of colors without being overpowered–the tool feels modern without being tacky or gimmicky.

By representing data visually, whether it’s through graphs, charts, or a map, Gauges has managed to make looking at analytics fun and easy. Instead of forcing you to search through large amounts of text (though that is an option) you can learn all that you need to know at a glance.

If I did have one complaint it would be that the text size is a little small. For those times that you are looking at detailed information or exploring the app it can be difficult to read the text on a small screen or browser window. Frustrating, but hardly a deal breaker.

Competition

Analytics is an incredibly competitive space. Beyond the built-in trackers offered by the likes of WordPress.com and Squarespace, there’s also Google’s juggernaut–the aptly named Google Analytics–and the indie favorite Mint (no, not that one).

My site is hosted on Squarespace, which means analytics like this are built directly into my website and viewable from the iOS (and Android) applications or the website manager. Gauges didn’t tell me all that much that I couldn’t have found out in another way for free. I don’t have access to real time data through Squarespace, but that feels more like a novelty than a necessity.

Who is Gauges For?

Whether or not you’d be willing to pay for Gauges is up to you. While I consider the real time data a fun novelty it might be information that genuinely matters to you. Maybe you enjoy the way that the app is easy to read (excepting the barely-too-small text) or hosted with someone else that doesn’t have interest in selling your information (Google).

If you’re willing to pay for a tracking tool Gauges is a good bet. It’s easy to get setup, runs well, and presents its information–which is accurate–in a good manner. If you’re already happy with another tool you might not be persuaded to switch, but if you’re shopping around you ought to at least give Gauges a quick look.


Summary

Gaug.es is a simple but powerful web analytics tool, giving you access to the number of visitors to your site, where they come from, and how they're viewing your website.

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