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Why we created unfog

Looking back on why this project was started

By Jake Strassberg 02/26/22

The last large project I worked on was MechanicalKeyboardSwitches.com, an aptly named website for browsing and reviewing keyboard switches. The website was just about finished and ready to be shown off on Reddit. I started looking into the various options for web analytics tools. Like most people, I ended up using Google Analytics as it was free and I already used Google products daily.

Some time passed and I started to look over the data. Google Analytics provided a barrage of statistics that took focus away from the ones that mattered to me. I'm sure someone with a background in marketing or SEO would be able to make use of all the data provided but MechanicalKeyboardSwitches.com was a fairly basic site and the only metrics I valued were the standard ones such as visitor count, pageviews, bounce rate, etc.

I later learned that Google Analytics was a controversial tool. Google collects an excessive amount data on your visitors and uses it for their own gain. Fortunately, there are a handful of web analytics tools that are designed with visitor privacy in mind and in turn provide only the most valuable metrics. I tried a couple of them and found myself checking the statistics every day, then every week and eventually forgot stopped checking at all. The statistics were fun to look at but I didn't know how to use them to improve my website. I believe this is typical for website owners who use web analytics services. They provide enough detail to be interesting but not enough to make informed improvements to the website.

Eventually I realized what I wanted was a service that told me what to do to improve my website. We call these "Recommended Actions." The analytics would provide insight into how the website is performing while the Recommended Actions tell you what actions to take to increase visitor count, decrease bounce rate, etc. I started building unfog based on this concept and nine months later unfog is online and ready to be used.

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