iframe tracking, copying dashboards, Google search encoding, etc

It's new feature Tuesday!

Better iframe support

A common problem we have is that people can only install the tracking code inside an iframe, but they want to track the parent document, not the iframe. But unfortunately this only tracks the iframe itself. Now I know there are plenty of people who want to track the iframe specifically, but there are way more people in the other camp. So now, by default, our tracking code will detect if it's in an iframe and use the parent documents URL and title instead of the iframe's. This is already what most other services do by default.

There is a way to override it though if you are actually wanting to track the iframe on purpose, via the new clicky_custom.iframe property.

[Nov 3 update: This change may have caused general tracking problems for some sites. We tested it, as we always do, against all major browsers before deployment and it worked fine, but something with it is causing problems for some of you, so the change has been reverted. We will look to add it back in the future.]

Copying dashboards between sites

If you have a bunch of sites, you may have created the most awesome amazing customized dashboard ever. And then you have to recreate it for every site in your account. So fun!

Well, now when you go to your customize dashboard page, there will also be a list of all the dashboards you've created for your other sites. One click and bam, that dashboard is now copied into the new site. After it's copied you can edit it if you want, or just leave as is.

Google search encoding

Some change Google made to their URL structure is resulting in double URL encoding, and you might be seeing searches+like+this instead of searches like this. It's not just affecting us either, I checked my Google Analytics account (gasp!) and was seeing the same thing. As of today, we now just double URL decode all searches before storing them, so this problem is history. I imagine Google will fix it on their end eventually but patience is not one of my virtues.

Black nav bar

We know some of you don't like this but we feel it's important to have these links highly visible and easy to find. If you stick something in a footer, no one clicks the links because no one sees them. Two designs ago, when we actually had a footer, as soon as we moved a bunch of those links into the sidebar we added, the number of clicks each one was getting skyrocketed. I'm talking 10-20x as much activity. That's a good thing.

But anyways, today, I reduced the padding so it takes up a bit less space, and also removed the position:fixed style rule so it's not always on the screen, instead it's only visible when the page is scrolled up all the way. I hope that appeases some of you to a small degree at the very least.
6 comments |   Nov 01 2011 1:05pm

More ways to view hourly data... and more!

We just deployed a bunch of changes to hourly data, amongst other things:

  • Goals and Revenue now support hourly data, so you can more easily see your best converting and most profitable times of day. However, we just started doing this today, so earlier dates will not have hourly data.

    Anytime we add hourly support for something, it essentially require 24x as much storage space, which is why we only do it for a few types of data (currently: visitors, actions, tweets, clicky.me short URLs, goals, and revenue). If you saw how big our databases were already, you'd cry and then realize why this is necessary.

  • Hourly averages - there are three new options in the drop down menu for hourly graphs:
    • Same day of week average - example, this Monday vs the average of the last 4 Mondays
    • Weekday average - Today vs the average of all weekdays (Monday-Friday) from the last 4 weeks
    • Weekend average - Same as Weekday average but for Saturday/Sunday only

    These are all insanely useful, particularly the first one!

  • You can set "same day of week average" as your default trend comparison in your dashboard preferences, in which case your hourly graphs will also default to displaying this mode. We initially coded in support for weekday/weekend stuff too, but they generated WAY too many queries; there were up to 20 extra pieces of data that needed to be pulled from the database for each item in any given report, and it couldn't be optimized since there are "holes" in the date ranges.

  • Daily graphs default to 28 days instead of 30 days, to more cleanly fit week boundaries. We think you will find this especially useful when comparing vs "previous period". An example is shown on the right.

  • Compare menu fixes/additions - When viewing daily graphs, the "Compare..." menu has been broken for a while now. Not sure when it happened but we finally got it fixed. We also added some more options to it that were much needed (revenue, goals, campaigns, pages, and tweets, to name a few).

14 comments |   Oct 27 2011 4:46pm

24-hour time formatting and smarter defaults for new sites

We have finally added a 24 hour time formatting option, so you'll see e.g. "15:30" instead of "3:30pm". This change should affect everywhere you see time within a site's reports, but if we missed something, let us know. You can change this setting in your site preferences.

The defaults when registering a new site also just got a lot smarter. Those of you with lots of sites probably get annoyed with how many preferences you have to change every time you register a new site - particularly if you are not on the west coast of the US. Now, any time you register a new site, we'll grab the following preferences from the last site you registered and make them the default for the new one (which you can of course change if desired):

  • Time format (12/24 hour)
  • Time zone
  • Daylight savings
  • Anonymous IP logging
  • Hide hostnames in visitors list
  • Hide ISPs

    :D
    3 comments |   Oct 21 2011 2:42pm
  • utm_custom: a new URL parameter to attach custom data to visitors

    One feature that gets requested a lot is to be able to set a variable in the URL that could then be attached to the visitor as custom data. This would be particularly useful for things like email newsletters, so when someone clicks through, they can be identified automatically.

    The variable name needed to be generic because of our white label program, and since we pictured this being used with "campaign activity" more than anything else, we decided to call the variable utm_custom (related to Google/Urchin's utm_campaign etc variables).

    You can see full documentation here. Because custom data requires a Pro or higher account (upgrade), this variable will also only be processed if you have a Pro or higher account.

    utm_custom is an associative array so you can set multiple key/value pairs on a single page. (It must be an array with at least one key/value pair, or it will be ignored). For example, if you sent a visitor to this page:

    http://yoursite.com/landing/page?utm_custom[username]=Bob+Jones&utm_custom[email]=bob@jones.com
    &utm_campaign=Email+blast&utm_content=Oct+20+2011


    You would see this in your visitor's list:




    And this when viewing visitor/session details:




    We've had requests for this countless times over the years so we know many of you will find it quite useful :D
    3 comments |   Oct 20 2011 7:41pm

    SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.


    Hmm... did anyone actually read the announcement that Google made today? This isn't "real time Google Analytics", this is a single report in GA that is real time. The rest of GA remains the same. This is more akin to Chartbeat, to be used as a real time compliment to a standard analytics package, rather than a full standalone real time service like Clicky is. But I guarantee you Chartbeat will be just fine, as will everyone else. We've all had, and continue to have, plenty of advantages over GA other than real time data.

    If anything, I'm glad Google has done this, as it will bring more awareness to the concept of "real time web analytics" in general. This will inevitably lead to more people searching about it, and we just so happen to have the #1 organic result for this search on both Google and Bing (and hence Yahoo). Everything is going to be just fine!
    32 comments |   Sep 29 2011 1:59pm

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