Still Using Gauges

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was still using Feedbin as my goto RSS Reader. Well it seems that's not the only product I'm still using after three years.

Gauges is my choice of analytics tool since moving away from Google. It might not be as feature rich as Google Analytics has but it definitely suits my needs and is probably a better fit for most people that want to measure traffic on their sites.

Why the move to Gauges?

When I wanted to go Google-free I tried to find feasible alternatives to all the Google products I was using. At the time I needed an analytics tool to replace Google Analytics. To be honest I only used it for the pageview count for my blog. I had no interest in using the search, e-commerce or other advanced features. I just wanted to track page views and visitors. One service that caught my eye was Github's Gauges service.

What has changed since moving?

I've been using Gauges ever since that day. Gauges itself has changed hands and is now owned by Expected Behaviour, but the service itself still remains fault-less and reliable. I don't think Gauges received any updates during its time owned by Github but since changing hands, the service has received a steady stream of improvements. The latest being the mobile and tablet support. The is a stand out feature for me. I like having apps on my phone but for things that I check on a less than frequent basis when I'm away from my desk I'd rather use the browser.

Another plus for me is the Gauges API. When I used Jekyll for blogging, I used a script and Gauges API to pull the top content for the month and add it to my blog during the generation process. The API is easy to use and well documented. Even though Gauges has a limited set of data for views and visitors across different time periods in their web client, you can quickly get the API to return the data you need.

I'm also using a Slack bot that can fetch the stats for my websites. I had been using the Gauges daily summary email for this but I've been trying to curb the amount of email I get on a daily basis and instead I'm funnelling content like this through a private Slack channel. I just put the Gauges bot command in and the bot returns the views and visitors for each of my sites for today or yesterday. Handy for when I want a basic overview of the past day's activity.

Would I recommend Gauges? Definitely.

Not only do I get all the essentials like page views, visitors and referring links but there's also development tools that allow you to analyse what percentage of browsers using your site support different features.

Sure Gauges doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Google Analytics has, but for me Gauges has just the right amount of feature for tracking visitors to my websites without making it too difficult. Right now I'm running four websites with Gauges, two blogs and two products, and it more than covers all my needs.