Asynchronous tracking code, take 2

Kindly ignore yesterday's post about asynchronous tracking code. After further research it was determined that we didn't entirely know the full details of how this works with other services like Google Analytics. The code we released was simply waiting for "onload" to fire and then creating the script element that would trigger tracking. While this sort of achieves the same effect (it doesn't interfere with your site's loading), it definitely decreases accuracy, which is why we warned about that.

Well, forget all that, k? We just released an updated version that is truly asynchronous, and it should be more accurate, not less. Why? What we didn't know yesterday was that if you inject a script element into the DOM, all modern browsers by default will download that script asynchronously, which means in parallel with anything else that is already downloading to a visitor's browser. I'm embarrassed I didn't know about this trick, but it's true.

Taking this a step further, we modified the actual tracking code that you link to from your site so that the beacon it sends back to log data is also based on an injected script element, which means it now is asynchronous as well. Previously, we were using an image, which does not get this benefit.

We've been testing this new stuff most of the day for the tracking of getclicky.com, and it's working very nicely.

So, if you do absolutely nothing, you will still automatically get the benefit of the asynchronous logging of data. You may still see "waiting for in.getclicky.com..." in your browser's status bar, but it is not interfering with the downloading of other items from your web site.

But, if you want full asynchronicity, then go grab a fresh copy of the code from your tracking code page. This new code that you paste onto your site will also inject the tracking code script into your site's HTML, which will give you the full benefit of this functionality.

On yesterday's post, someone asked why we still recommended pasting it into the bottom of your site, rather than the head like Google Analytics suggests. The way the code from yesterday was designed, there was no benefit to placing it higher. But today, things are different. However, from what we have read, Google's recommendation is incorrect. They recommend you place the async code inside your site's "head" tag, but this code then manipulates the "head" object directly before the browser has fully parsed it. Everything I have read says you should not do that, as it can cause serious browser malfunction. If you want to place this code higher up, we recommend doing so at the very top of your body element, rather than the bottom. But we really don't think it will make much of a difference either way.

Ok, go enjoy!
15 comments |   Mar 25 2010 5:30pm

Asynchronous tracking code

Update: Kindly ignore this post. Please read this one instead.

By popular demand, we are releasing asynchronous tracking code. This means tracking your site with Clicky will have literally zero impact on the loading speed of your site, because the code won't be downloaded and executed by the end user until your page has fully loaded. Although our tracking code is on a CDN and should load very quickly already, there has been demand for this, so we are offering it.

Grab a copy of it in your site preferences area.

We are not making this the default tracking code because there are a few gotchas:
- Stats will probably be slightly less accurate (this problem affects every analytics service that offers async support - but we want to be up front about it)
- clicky.log() events that your page fires in the first 500-1000ms probably won't be logged

These are explained in further detail on the tracking code page, so please read the whole thing before deploying this code!
7 comments |   Mar 23 2010 12:37pm

Content Distribution Network Map

Our custom built CDN is running very smoothly and, thanks to VPS.net, quite affordably as well. We thought you might like to see a map of where our CDN servers are currently located, and where we plan to expand to in the future.


getclicky.com content distribution network



For Tokyo, we're awaiting VPS.net's deployment into Japan, which is supposedly coming relatively soon. For Melbourne and Sao Paulo (sorry, lame blog software doesn't let us input squiggly a's), we're waiting for Dyn (our new DNS provider) to add their own servers in these areas so we can send targeted traffic to them. We're expecting all of this to happen within the next 6 months.

Until then, the majority of our users are in the US, Europe, SE Asia, and Australia, so with the exception of Australia, you are all being serviced very well - and the ping times from Australia to Malaysia aren't that bad.

Also, our CDN isn't currently compatible with our white label service, but that's about to change, so stay tuned.
14 comments |   Mar 22 2010 2:25pm

A much improved upgrade experience

We've made a couple of much needed updates to the experience of upgrading your account.

First, affiliate commissions are now automatically applied to your upgrade, so if you have any, you will automatically get a discount. We've also integrated automatic pro-rating for when you're upgrading from one account level to another (e.g. Blogger to Pro - a common path that many users take). If you are eligible for either of these discounts, you will see this notice on the upgrade page:






And second, we've always had the ability for you to create a custom plan, but it was hidden behind a random link on the upgrade page that no one seemed to notice. Now, the custom plan creation is integrated right into the plan selection page. Select how many sites and how many daily page views you need (up to 1,000 and 500,000 respectively) and the price will immediately update to show you the cost, which you can then click on to proceed with the upgrade:





Probably not the most exciting blog post, but you'll thank us if/when it applies to you. The part we're looking forward to most is no longer having to manually process refunds for people upgrading from one level to another. The amount of time we have been spending on that recently was getting ridiculous.
3 comments |   Mar 18 2010 11:55pm

BREAKING: Receipts on demand

Much requested, way too long coming, you can finally print out a receipt for any previous payment you have made to Clicky. To access this, click the "View payments" link in the top right corner of your user homepage, and then click the "print receipt" link next to any payment at the bottom of the page.

You've always received receipts via email for any payment made. But for many of you, this is not sufficient, particular in Europe where you need your VAT# on pretty much everything. With this new receipt on demand method, there is a single large form field for you to fill out all of the billing information that you need displayed on the receipt. Then click print, boom, you're done.
2 comments |   Mar 17 2010 9:29pm

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