HTTPS support for all of Clicky

Clicky has always had HTTPS support on the login and credit card pages (and of course for the tracking code on your site), but otherwise we weren't allowing it. You may be thinking we were trying to save on performance, but that's not the case - our load balancers have hardware HTTPS decoding so the penalty is negligible. No, the one major reason was because of Google.

The Google Maps javascript API that we were using (version 2) did not allow HTTPS without an enterprise account for the low low price of just $10,000/year. Including insecure items on a secure page isn't a big deal of course... unless you're an IE user, and 13% of our users are on IE. So it is in fact a big deal. We could always just exclude that feature for them, or only include it on the pages that require it, but those felt like cheap hacks. I wanted proper support for it.

One of the good things about working with other developers is they can tell you things you don't know! We just hired three new developers, and I've been learning all sorts of amazing things from them. For example, just today, Mike told me that Google Maps API was now on version 3, and one of the amazing new features was full HTTPS support for no cost - not to mention no more API keys! How did I not know about this?!

So, I spent the last few hours converting our code to their new API, and now we have proper HTTPS for all of Clicky. We do require a Pro or higher account for this, but if you have one, your connection to our web site is now fully encrypted!

The last 6 weeks we've spent opening an office, interviewing a bunch of people, hiring three of them, and getting everyone up to speed on how Clicky works. This has been completely overwhelming, but we're finally past all that and the future is looking bright. We went from just one developer, to four, so you can expect things to start moving a lot faster. Each one of them is already working on some great new features, all of which have been requested a million times and I can't wait to get them into your hands.

I'll write more about them and show off our new digs in a future post, but now, back to work!

Update May 19: We added a preference to disable this in your user preferences, if you don't want it or it's causing problems (e.g. firewall not allowing port 443). It's on by default for all Pro+ users otherwise, though.
13 comments |   May 11 2011 5:56pm

We're hiring

We're in the process of opening an actual office, and hiring a web developer or two to help step this bad boy up a level. This is going to take a ridiculous amount of our time so you're not going to see much excitement around here over the next month or two.

If you're an experienced web developer, proficient with PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and you're looking for a full time job... view our listing here.

18 comments |   Mar 30 2011 5:01pm

Enforcing page view limits

We've been very lax about enforcing the page view limits of whatever account you have signed up for. For the most part this hasn't been a big deal, but as we continue to grow past 300,000 monitored sites and attract bigger customers to Clicky, it has become a serious problem.

When you go to the upgrade page, it won't let you sign up for a plan that doesn't have at least as many page views as you are currently logging on average. That's all well and good, but the problem typically occurs after the upgrade. Here are the two most common patterns that we see:

  • High traffic site signs up for Clicky and pays for an upgrade almost immediately. Say this site has 300,000 daily page views, but if they've only been tracking for an hour, they probably only have 10-20,000 page views logged so far. The upgrade page would let them sign up for Pro (30,000 daily page view limit) at this point, even though they're going to be logging 10x as much traffic. We could extrapolate their traffic so far to get an estimate, but some sites have very strange traffic patterns so there's no way we could make this reliable.

  • User pays for an account and is within the limits of that account. As the years go by and their traffic grows, however, they are eventually well beyond the limits they are paying for.

Clicky is an expensive operation to run, but we still manage to have the best pricing in the industry (excluding free services of course). For example, in terms of the features offered and the mix of real time and historical data, Woopra is arguably our closest competitor. If you had a site with 30,000 daily page views, you could monitor that on Clicky with our Pro package, which costs $10/month or $60/year. With Woopra, you'd need their "Platinum" package to monitor that many page views, and the price for that is $50/month or $500/year.

With pricing this good, we can no longer allow the above scenarios to occur. So starting this week, we're going to enforce what you are paying for.

Here's how it's going to work. Clicky's pricing is based on daily page views, but we'll be doing this based on total monthly volume. If you have a Pro account, those 30,000 daily page views will be seen as 900,000 monthly. We're going to allow a 20% buffer, which means Pro will be allowed an additional 180,000 page views for the month (1,080,000 total).

For a Pro account, once you hit 900,000 for any given month, you'll get an automated email from us about exceeding your limits, and you'll see messages in the Clicky interface about this too. But once you are over the 20% buffer, tracking for your sites will be disabled until the end of the month, unless you upgrade to a plan that supports your traffic levels. You'll get an email when that happens, and you'll see messages in our interface about it too.

We hate to have to do this, but to keep our pricing as reasonable as it is, we need those of you using a lot of resources on our end to pay for what you are using. To be fair, most of you are well within your limits, and we appreciate that greatly. But for the people who are over their limits, they are generally well beyond them, in the 5-10x range. That's a problem!

Update: As of March 9, this is live.
26 comments |   Mar 07 2011 8:13am

New Apps & Plugins page. About time!

Oh man did our old "integration" help page need an overhaul. Other than adding links to some new plugins as they were brought into our knowledge, it hadn't been updated at all since 2007! And boy was it ugly. Plus, there was no mention of any of the apps that people have written for Clicky, such as ClickyTouch or ClickyChrome, anywhere on our site. (Other than blog posts announcing them, which soon disappear into the great ether.)

Unacceptable! I just spent the last four hours redoing the entire page, making it very quick and easy to find and install all of the applications and plugins that our awesome customers have developed over the years. Not a single piece of software on this page was written by us. It's all you and we love you for it! I also added a link to it in our main sidebar navigation that you see on all pages other than when viewing reports, because we want as many people as possible to know about all of this great software.

Check out the new Apps & Plugins page here. And if you know of an app or plugin that's not listed there, or one you may have written yourself, let us know about it! We will be more than happy to add it to this page.

8 comments |   Mar 01 2011 11:20pm

New preferences to disable Ajax, and force the navigation to always side or always top

We added two new much-requested features today: the ability to disable the Ajax navigation or our site, and the ability to force the navigation to always be in a sidebar or always be on top. These are account wide preferences, and you can set them by clicking the account link on your user homepage.

No Ajax

I love Ajax but it's not for everybody. And it can be slightly buggy sometimes. So if you don't like, turn it off. Just know this: Clicky has ridiculous amount of Javascript code powering it. The great thing about Ajax is that the entire page is never "reloaded", so this ginormous amount of code only ever has to be parsed by your browser one time. With Ajax turned off, every click results in an entirely new page view, which means all of that code (over 300KB of it) has to be re-parsed by your web browser. For every page view. The site feels about half as fast to me without Ajax, but luckily I realize that each one of my customers is a unique and beautiful snowflake and hence they have their own preferences.

Forced navigation

By default, our navigation is dynamically placed on either the top of your browser window, or in a sidebar, depending on how big the window is. But some of you always want it in one place or the other. And you get understandably confused when your shiny amazing computer at home hooked up to a 30" monitor shows Clicky in its full glory as it was meant to be, but your 386 at work with 5 pixels of total screen resolution that your boss got for a steal on eBay shows the navigation in a different place. Now you can fix it by setting this preference.

UPDATE: No auto-refresh

We had a user request the option to disable the auto-refreshing of reports. This happens when you're away for at least 5 minutes, as soon as we detect mouse activity we refresh the report. This new preference has been added to your account preferences page.

The power is yours!

13 comments |   Feb 28 2011 5:13pm

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