Favorite sites

For those of you with multiple sites in your account, chances are there are a few sites that are lot more important to you than the rest. Now you can make sure these sites are always at the top of your user homepage for quick access, on both the desktop and mobile versions of Clicky.

Flagging a site as a favorite works just like the other reports. Click the star and presto, it's a favorite. Click it again and it's no longer a favorite. If you need a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, please take it.

On the desktop there are options to sort your sites by something other than alphabetically, such as visitors or bounce rate. When you use favorites, the same sorting rules will still apply, but divided into the favorite and non-favorite sites. In these screenshots that sorting is default (alphabetical), so you can see that the favorites are at the top sorted by name, then the rest are below them also sorted by name.




4 comments |   Oct 21 2014 6:18pm

New global user preferences for trends, graphing, and more

Preferences for trends, graphing, and a few other things have always been site-specific, but most customers want them to be the exact same for all of their sites. There's also the (large number of) people who have sub-user accounts who are at the mercy of the master account as to how these preferences are set.

We've gutted this mess and moved these preferences into the global user preferences page. Now every user has control over exactly how they want all of these settings to work. A screenshot of the new page is below.

The site preferences area is now all related to tracking preferences, which makes more sense. The dashboard preferences are now just for the layout of the modules, and the settings of each one (e.g. which tab is the default).

We also added a few new features that have been requested fairly often: A site preference to allow the logging of all bot activity, and a user preference for hiding the current hour in hourly graphs, to avoid panic when seeing a 'cliff' near the beginning of the hour. These are covered in more detail in this post.

Also released today were some new on-demand features for graphs, so be sure to check those out too and let us know what you think!

Here is what the new user preferences page looks like:


3 comments |   Oct 14 2014 10:53pm

New preferences: Log bots, and hide the current hour in hourly graphs

As part of our massive preferences overhaul, we added two new preferences that have been requested fairly often.

Bot logging

This is a new site (tracking) preference. We highly recommend leaving this OFF - log analyzers are the best way to look at bot activity on your site - but there are specific use cases where this may be useful. For example, if Clicky is logging significantly less traffic than another tracker you are using, bots are a likely cause so enabling this will let you see if that's the case or not.

Here's where to enable this new option: (Again, we highly recommend leaving it OFF...)



It's important to note that this is no guarantee that all bots will get logged. We'll only log bot activity if they interact with Javascript (a lot of them do these days) or load our 'noscript' backup tracking method.

We'll try our best to identify Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo bots, which you'll see under the new 'Robot' section of the web browsers and operating systems reports. All other robots will just be labeled 'Robot'. Bots will also be logged as normal visitors if this is on, so you will see them in your visitors report and you can filter visitors with the new robot user agents.




Hide current hour in hourly graphs

Near the beginning of the hour, the number for that hour (visitors, actions, whatever) might be quite small compared to a full hour. If you view your reports near the beginning of the hour, you will see this as a 'cliff' and perhaps panic that your traffic suddenly died.

We highly suggest checking the current time before panicking in such situations, but we get it that some people would prefer never to be in that situation. So now there's a new user preference to always hide the current hour.




Also released today were some new on-demand features for graphs, so be sure to check those out too and let us know what you think!
3 comments |   Oct 14 2014 10:51pm

New graphing features

Part of our massive preferences overhaul included chipping away some nasty cruft. One of those things was the option to allow simple HTML bar graphs to be the default graphing method. This was used by very few people so we removed it as an option to be the default graphing option.

But have no fear, we know this method is still useful even for people who never set it as their default, so we changed it to be an on-demand option that you can see in the top right corner of every graph. Whatever date range you're viewing in a graph, clicking the bar graph will show the same data, with one exception: no hourly data. Bar graphs never supported hourly data since they were created (and deprecated) well before we added support for hourly data. So they still don't do that. When viewing hourly data, if you view a bar graph it will just show the last 28 days instead.




We've also added the ability to export the raw data you see in any graph straight from the API, straight to CSV or the other formats our exporting of normal (non-graph) reports has always supported. Unlike bar graphs, this method does support hourly data, so that's good. It will honor whatever date range you are viewing in the graph.

The new-ish 'Download' menu we added for graphs has been changed to an icon indicating you can "save the graph", in there are the old options to save it in various image formats, and new options below to export the raw data itself.




Also released today were a few new features that have been requested fairly often: A site preference to allow the logging of all bot activity, and a user preference for hiding the current hour in hourly graphs, to avoid panic when seeing a 'cliff' near the beginning of the hour.

These are covered in more detail in this post, so be sure to check those out too and let us know what you think!
1 comment |   Oct 14 2014 10:47pm

Yup, we're still alive. Here's what we've been up to the last 5 months.

It's been 5 months since our last blog post. Normally we are known for our constant updates and posts, so when people started asking us recently if we were still alive, that was understandable.

I am here to assure you, we are in fact still here and things are just fine! We did try to enjoy life a little this summer so things were definitely a bit slower, but we still pushed out plenty of updates. Not many of them warranted their own post, but we figured with people wondering our status, we'd let you know what's been happening since our last post in May.

More real time!

Clicky processes data in batches, which makes things much more efficient than processing every single action as it streams in. Since the beginning (2006!) the batches have been done once a minute (excluding Spy, which is a separate system and does in fact show data live as it streams in). After nearly 8 years, we decided it was time to up the game. We started with halving the interval down to 30 seconds, and then 20. It's still at 20 right now, but the hope is we can get it down to once every 10 seconds. More testing is needed though.

We've also been testing a version of Spy that uses web sockets so data is pushed to your browser, making it truly "live" data, instead of the current "pull once every few seconds" method. Testing and debugging has taken a lot longer than expected, but we're getting there and hope to have this in production fairly soon.

First/third party cookie synchronization

We use a combination of first and third party cookies to track unique visitors to your site. Third party cookies always took precedence though, which is particularly useful for those of you tracking multiple domains (including sub-domains) under the same site ID. The problem was that if you wanted to query our API live based on their unique (cookie) ID, the cookie that your site would see for that visitor would not necessarily match the cookie we were using on our end, since your site would only see the first party cookie. We've updated the tracking so when a hit comes in, we always update the first party cookie to be the same value as the third party cookie if they don't match. This change allows you to reliably use the first party cookie ("_jsuid") value now to query our API.

PushState navigation

4-5 years ago, hashbang navigation was all the rage for making your site feel like an "app". There was simply no alternative. Then browser vendors added support for the new History API, which offers the same benefits as hashbangs, and none of the drawbacks. One day I had had enough and decided to update Clicky to this new method. It only took about a day and we couldn't be happier with the change.

Not to mention the pleasant side effect of fixing a serious bug that was nearly 4 years old that I had never been able to figure out until I was rewriting all of this code. The bug was rare but it was a really nasty one, and the moment I figured out the root of the issue was cause for celebration.

Weekly/monthly data accuracy

Clicky stores weekly and monthly data in their own tables to make querying a lot faster over large date ranges. The problem was that these tables were only updated once a day at around 4am PST (GMT -8). So data for the current week and month would always be off because they would never include "today". We updated the code to take this into account so these values should always be accurate now.

Multiple values for single custom data keys

Clicky has always logged every piece of custom visitor data you've thrown at it, but for any given key, we've always only shown the last value logged for any specific visitor. We will now show all of the values logged, both in the web UI and in API exports.

Code generator

Not everyone's a programmer. So we added a new code generator page to help you set up some of the custom tracking options, video/audio analytics, and dynamic campaigns (utm_campaign etc).

Google tag manager

Google tag manager has really taken off, and we get requests for how to use it with Clicky all the time. So we added these detailed instructions to our apps and plugins page.

More exporting options

Any line graph you see can now be exported to a variety of image formats with the new "Download" menu you will see in the top right corner of every graph in every report.



You can now also export data in "The Basics" module from our UI. This has been a sore spot for the longest time, almost every report can be exported to a variety of formats by clicking the disk icon in the top right corner, but when you're on the dashboard the only option was PDF. Now we've added a new option in the export menu, "The Basics...", when you're on the dashboard. Click that to be taken to a new page that gives you options for exporting all of that data.

Pagination and totals

At the bottom of every report we now give you options to jump to any and every page, as well as show you the total sum for the current page and all pages.



Auto-play looping HTML5 video/audio files no longer auto-tracked

Our code tries to detect all HTML5 video and audio tags and track interactions automatically, but when we added this feature we didn't take into account that sometimes those videos might auto-play and loop (big problem with background videos for those fancy sites you see sometimes). This could lead to an explosion of tens or even hundreds of thousands of actions logged for a single visitor session. Ouch.

Heatmaps on sites with multiple tracking codes

Many customers use multiple tracking codes on a single site. The problem is that when the heatmap viewing process is initiated, the code always just used the first site ID in your HTML to grab the data. That's fine if initiating from the on-site analytics widget, but if you were initiating it by clicking a heatmap link from the content report on Clicky, that wouldn't always be the same site ID, which could really break things if for example trying to view a session heatmap. Now when you click on these links, the site ID is included in the URL so it should always work.

There's been another issue with heatmaps when used with Firefox 29+, that issue being heatmaps don't work at all. We're not sure what they changed that broke this, but the good news is the developer of the heatmap javascript library we use has fixed the issue with the most recent release of his library. But it's a major-version upgrade, so compatibility issues may exist. It's near the top of our list to investigate so hopefully we'll get this upgraded soon and heatmaps will start working again in Firefox.

Graphs in PDF exports

A change we made to javascript caused a fatal error with WKHTMLtoPDF, causing the graphs to be completely broken for a few months in PDF exports. We send thousands of these things every day in automated email reports but surprisingly no one emailed us about this issue until it had already existed for about 2 months. But it's fixed now.


Coming soon

We're currently working on a major overhaul to site/user prefs, one of those things being to make the trend and graphing preferences be user preferences rather than dashboard preferences. The dashboard options will still be there but a user will be able to specify whether or not they want they want their own settings to override them.

While we're at it, we're adding two new preferences. One will be a site preference to allow bots to be logged to your stats. Most people don't want to see bot traffic so we (try to) filter it all out by default, but we do get requests to let them get logged. So that will be an option soon, disabled by default though of course. The other will be a preference to hide the current hour in hourly graphs, to avoid the "cliff" effect you see when it's near the beginning of the hour.

In addition to some other new features we'd like to add, we've also been contemplating a major UI overhaul to make our reporting prettier and more dynamic, not to mention letting Clicky take full advantage of the high-resolution screens that just about everyone has these days.
7 comments |   Oct 07 2014 2:23pm

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