Want to see your traffic so far today?
Or maybe you want to look at yesterday’s traffic by hour so you can find the performance of a timed email or social media campaign.
Or better yet, maybe you just need to find your peak hours so you know when you should take your site offline for routine maintenance.
There are numerous ways hourly traffic data can help you better understand your site and improve its performance.
And this data can also be easy to find! Here’s how…
Where to find website traffic by hour
If you’re using Google Analytics, there are a few different ways to get hourly data. You can adjust the chart view or follow the steps here to create a custom table report that includes hourly traffic data.
If you want a simpler solution, consider a GDPR-friendly Google Analytics alternative, like Independent Analytics.
It’s a free plugin we developed that installs in seconds, records all your traffic, and presents your data in a simple and easy-to-understand format.
It adds a complete analytics dashboard in the WordPress admin, where you can find stats like your visitors, bounce rate, session duration, and more.
The chart displays your traffic per day by default, but it’s easy to switch it to an hourly view.
First, you likely don’t want to view hourly traffic for the last 30 days, so start by selecting a shorter date range.
The date picker has convenient buttons you can click to easily select today or yesterday for analysis.
If you choose a single day in the date picker, the chart will automatically adjust to show hourly data instead of daily data.
As you can see, hovering your cursor over any data point reveals the precise number of views and visitors over that hour.
Unlike GA, the data in Independent Analytics updates in real-time, so you can check your traffic throughout the day to monitor the impact of social and email promotions you might have running.
If you choose a longer date range and you don’t see hourly data right away, you can use the interval select to manually switch to hourly data points.
Viewing your traffic by month and week is just as easy. Just select a longer date range and change the interval if it doesn’t already update on its own.
How to find your peak traffic hours
Checking your hourly traffic makes it easier to see the impact of timed marketing promotions. However, it’s also great for evaluating the natural ebb and flow of traffic to your website.
If you need to take your site down for maintenance, you might want to find your peak hours so you can avoid them during your updates.
Take a look at his example chart of hourly traffic:
As you can see, the traffic for this example website is fairly consistent throughout the day, even late into the evening.
However, there is a clear drop-off between 2am-8am, so that would be the best time to do any maintenance that might disrupt normal visitors.
How to monitor traffic in real-time
As mentioned earlier, Independent Analytics tracks in real-time, so you can see your visitors for today whenever you visit the analytics.
If you want to take things to the next level with a dedicated real-time analytics dashboard, that’s available in the Independent Analytics Pro version.
Independent Analytics Pro includes a real-time analytics dashboard that updates every ten seconds and displays the number of visitors currently on your website.
You can leave this dashboard open to monitor spikes in traffic as marketing promotions go live or to keep an eye on your traffic while your site is in maintenance mode.
The “Active Visitors” count works the same way that Google’s Universal Analytics used to; it includes anyone who has been active on your site within the past five minutes.
You can also see the pages currently being viewed, the referrers that sent you Active Visitors, the countries they came from, and there is now also a list of device types being used (more on device data here).
If you want down-to-the-second monitoring of your website, real-time analytics can be an excellent supplement to the hourly traffic data found in the other dashboards.
Start tracking your hourly traffic
Most analytics tools have a way to view hourly traffic, but if your current analytics tool of choice doesn’t include this data or makes it difficult to access, consider switching to a simpler solution.
You can find cookieless analytics solutions here to choose from, and if you’re using WordPress, check out our plugin:
Thanks for reading this guide on hourly website traffic, and feel free to post any comments you have below.