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

Chat with your visitors from Spy!

We get a lot of requests to implement a visitor chat feature. We also have a lot of users who have Olark installed on their web site, which is a visitor chat service. Rather than write our own chat service, which is not really something we wanted to do, we decided to implement Olark chat right into Spy.

We wanted to make the implementation as easy as possible, so good news: if you already have Olark installed on your site, you don't need to do a gosh darn thing. Our code detects their code and vice versa, and anything that needs to happen between our services happens automatically. Nice eh?

Ideally, a new browser window or tab would open when you click the "chat" link, but Olark doesn't have a web chat feature on the operator end (operator = you). They say they may add that in the future, and if they do we will switch to that. For now, they support operating chat via Jabber and Google Talk (standalone, or within Gmail). When you click the "chat" link for a visitor in Spy, you will get a new IM immediately, telling you that you have initiated a chat from Clicky Spy. Just start typing in that box to start chatting with the visitor.

Olark works on a freemium model, but the free service isn't lacking any features. The only limit on the free account is how many chats you can do per month. The free plan allows up to 15 chats per month, which is completely reasonable. Unless you want to spend all day chatting with your visitors, we doubt many people will go over this limit. Sign up for an Olark account here.

You may notice some visitors won't have a chat link, at least initially. Here are a few reasons why that might happen:
  • Since our entire site is Ajax-based now, you might need to refresh the entire page to make your browser load a new copy of our Spy Javascript, without which there will be no chat links.
  • We just updated the tracking code today with the new Olark integration, so it will be up to one week before all of your visitors are "guaranteed" to have the latest tracking code loaded in their browsers.
  • You can only chat with online visitors. If you have a lowish traffic site, the last 40 actions displayed might not all be from visitors who are online right now. Chatting with visitors who are no longer online makes no sense, so those visitors will not have a chat link next to them.
  • If you are self-hosting the tracking code (which is no longer supported!), you will need to grab a fresh copy.
  • The visitor may be blocking Olark's code in their browser. This is highly unlikely, but possible.
  • There might be some weird bug in our code. If a week has gone by and for some reason a lot of your visitors still don't have a chat link, send us an email.
13 comments |   Feb 21 2011 8:13pm

Split testing, new features for goals, and better visitor history

Alrighty, yesterday I went over a few new features after they were released, but that was just so you didn't think they were broken :) If you haven't read that post yet, please read it here, so you understand a few limitations of the new features until some historical post processing has been completed.

Split testing

We now have built in support for split testing. We're planning on using this extensively on getclicky.com itself, but we wanted to get it out as soon as possible so we haven't created any tests yet. But I wanted to have a screenshot for you, so I created a fake split test on our user registration page. There was no actual difference between what the visitors saw, we were just telling Clicky tracking that there was. Here's what it looks like:

As should be evident, to make your split tests valid, you need a good sample size. There was absolutely no difference between what these visitors saw, yet the conversion rates are 49% vs 37%. I'll let this run indefinitely, at least until we get two different registration pages to actually test, to see what the differences end up being. They should converge with time.

More details on setting up split tests are included on the main goals setup page. When you create a split test, you can choose what specific goals you want to track conversions for (as we did here, we're just tracking our "new user" goal instead of all goals), or you can let it default to tracking conversions for all goals. Both options have their ups and downs so it depends on what you're doing.

If you want to use a GUI interface to design your split tests, we have partnered with Visual Website Optimizer to provide that for you. More details on that are also on the goal setup page.

Better visitor history

Previously we were tracking the time of someone's first visit to your site, but now how many times they visited. Nor did we keep track of their first session ID. That's all fixed now! When viewing any visitor's details, you'll see how many total times they have visited your site, and the time of their first visit is now a link directly to that session, so you can see what they did on your site and how they got there (search etc) the first time they showed up.

Dynamic goals

Goals no longer need to be pre-defined. They still can be of course, but you now have the option to define them on the fly within Javascript. Dynamic goals have no limits, so that's the a huge benefit. Downside is you can't customize them (e.g. choose an icon) or use them with funnels.

New goal report

We've updated the main goal report to include a few new pieces of information. Tracking conversions is great, but wouldn't it also be nice to know how long it takes the average visitor to convert? That's exactly what we've added! Here's a snippet of our goal report, showing two goals that are very important to us - how many new people are registering, and how many people are upgrading. We offer a 21 day trial when new people register, but on average people are upgrading after only 14 days. That's fantastic! And for new users, it looks like the average person registers on their second visit after a 4 day lull from their first visit. Interesting! Of course, this is only about 12 hours of data, so it doesn't tell the whole story. A bigger sample size will give us a more accurate picture of how you use Clicky.

Better goal integration in all reports

When viewing any report, previously we had an extra column for conversions and conversion rate for each segment. However, the way we were calculating this wasn't taking into account which specific goals that segment was completing. It was just keeping an overall tally, and when you clicked the conversion number, it would filter your visitors down to those who had completed "any goal" for whatever segment you were viewing.

Now we'll show way more up front. As you can see int he screenshot below, we've added inline revenue to the reports, and when you click on the conversion number, it pops up a menu showing you all the individual goals that segment has completed, ordered most to least. You can click on any of those goals to immediately filter your visitors down to just that segment+goal, or click the "all visitors" link at the bottom to view visitors from that segment who have completed ANY goal.

Cookie domain

You can now specify the domain for the tracking cookie we set, instead of just ".yoursite.com" by default. It's a bit complicated and you should really only do this if you know what you're doing, but we've had requests for it so here it is. See docs here

That's all the major stuff. There's a few other little goodies here and there. e.g. all split testing data is available via the API, and has been added to the iPhone web app too. Hope you enjoy!
11 comments |   Feb 11 2011 2:35pm

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