Many years ago, there was a great analytics software called Woopra. Its unique feature, at the time, was that it provided you with real-time analytics of the traffic that was on your website at any given time.
It was great, especially on product launch days, as you could keep an eye on traffic numbers but also monitor if you see anyone running into any issues on your website. It was helpful to spot errors you didn’t anticipate or if there was a page that wasn’t working correctly.
When I published a big blog post, it was fun to watch the traffic coming flooding in and the number of live visitors going higher and higher.
Like most SaaS software at the time, they had a ‘freemium’ tier that had most features but with limits. I loved the software so much that I paid for it. But after a few years, it became clear that Woopra’s goals were no longer chasing the small business market like me; they wanted enterprise-level customers. So, they raised their prices accordingly and pivoted away from just real-time analytics (at last check, they charge $999 a month for their service).
I phased it out of my workflow when it no longer worked for me. There wasn’t a great replacement. For the longest time, Google Analytics provided real-time analytics that was good enough, and I just relied on that instead. But with the advent of GA4, I’ve moved away from using Google Analytics, in general. Going forward, I advocate for running your own analytics now using the free, open-source platform Matomo – more about this in a future blog post. However, Matomo’s real-time features are not great.
But a few months ago, I found a new company offering real-time analytics in much the same way that Woopra did in the old days. It’s called GoSquared. GoSquared provides many different features, but the core of the product is real-time analytics, and it works wonderfully. I can now watch live traffic on my website at any given time, as I did back in the old days of Woopra. The software is easy to use, provides clear data, and allows you to watch live traffic the fun way. Your data is also private. Whereas Google Analytics uses your traffic data to sell Google Advertising, GoSquared doesn’t make money from advertising, your data is yours and safe (and they’re GDPR compliant).
I’m very happy with it so far. They’re a small startup out of the UK, and while they have a free trial, you have to pay for the software. It costs $9 a month for their starter pack, which includes up to 100,000 pageviews. Which, for my small e-commerce site, is just enough to cover the monthly traffic. Eventually, I’d like to have it on my larger websites, but the economics have to justify the cost.
I really like GoSquared’s attitude towards business. They’re not chasing enterprise money, they want to be a sustainable SaaS company that makes a good product. They’ve also recently launched a new email marketing platform called Ecosend, which focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of email marketing.