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So we are in the process of redesigning our website, it's a radical redesign from what is currently out there. We have been using GA on it since we started.

My question to you all and this isn't a typical correct/incorrect answer as I'm looking to see pros and cons of both ways as I'm not a GA expert.

Would it be better to

  1. Create the new site and use the existing analytics code on it and just base reports off of dates.

  2. Create a new profile under the GA account and place that on the new site so it is tracked separately from the old design.

My gut tells me to create a new profile but are there any downfalls to this?

Also to note: The original profile when setup had a lot of filters applied to it so we have no previous unfiltered data, everything we have has gone through filters. This is one of the reasons why I'm leaning towards the new profile.

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1 Answer 1

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I would emphatically recommend NOT creating a new profile if the website domain is not changing. The biggest downfall to creating a new GA profile for the same website is that you would essentially lose all ability to compare historical data.

Now for example if the URLs are radically changing you may think this doesn't matter, but there are all kinds of data that will still be comparable, such as whether your visitors are coming from direct or referral or search and what kinds of browsers they are using. A year from now you may want to compare how your bounce rates or average time on site has changed since the update. This is incredibly easy if the site is in the same profile and incredibly difficult if it is not.

All reporting in Google Analytics is date-based already, although you may have to wait a month for the 30-day default time window to reflect stats from only the new site design. But I think that is a small inconvenience for retaining your valuable historical data. I would create an annotation for the date of the switch to help you remember when the switch occurred (GA will display a note icon at the bottom of the charts for that date when the date is inside the current date range).

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My other main concern is due to filtering, the person who initially set up the account had some strict filters set up and we don't have unfiltered data. Knowing this would you still emphatically recommend not creating a new profile? –  projectxmatt Feb 24 '12 at 20:25
    
@projectxmatt While fine here for getting Joshua to expand on his response, that sounds like the kind of thing that should really be in the original question. You might want to edit that in. –  Su' Feb 24 '12 at 21:20
    
@Su' thanks for pointing this out, OP has been edited to include this information. –  projectxmatt Feb 24 '12 at 21:23
    
@projectxmatt Unfortunately I don't really have experience with filtered data in GA. If it is possible I would probably try to figure out how to remove the filters and go forward since you might still have some interesting comparable data. If that is not possible or too difficult then I would probably start afresh. –  joshuahedlund Feb 24 '12 at 22:17

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