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

New features. Some of them might seem broken, and here's why!

Our new release is out. It's been in the works for almost 30 days. There is metric happy ton of new stuff in here, especially if you use goals. But... it's been a LONG 48 hours preparing for some big database changes behind the scenes, so the last thing I want to do right now is write the nice, detailed blog post this release deserves. I'll do that after some sleep! Plus, that will give the database servers a chance to process some of the new data we're tracking, so I can show you screenshots of the new features with real data from Clicky's traffic.

If you have no idea what's new, please see this post from a few weeks ago, where we announced what was coming soon. There's a lot more to this release than in that post, but it covers most of the major points.

There are a few features I want to discuss right now, because if I don't, you're going to think they're broken. That's because they rely on a core feature that we just added for unique visitors, where we now track how many times each unique person has visited your site, and the session ID of their first visit.

Previous to today, we were not storing this information in an optimized way. Part of this update changes that, and hence we can use this information in a couple of interesting ways (with more to come in the future). So, now we have the ability to store it, but that doesn't mean it's magically there already. There are scripts running in the background that are parsing through data all the way back to April 16 2010, which is the date we started tracking "true" unique visitors. Based on the speed these scripts are running, we estimate it will take most database servers between 1 and 2 weeks to complete. So until that at least 2 weeks have passed, if you see some strange numbers - this is why.

Here are the ways we are using this data right now:

Visitor details: Link to first visit, and total visits




When viewing visitor details, previously we only showed the date and time of their first visit. But now, we'll also give you a link directly to that first session. This allows you to quickly see what this visitor did the first time they visited your site. Quite interesting, if I do say so myself! But, until we have gone through the last 10 months of data and "discovered" their true first visit, the link probably won't be right. It will just be a link to their oldest session as we have thus far determined. You may notice we're also displaying the total numbers of time this person has visited. This also won't be accurate until this 10 month chunk of data has been fully processed.


Goals: Time to goal, and visits to goal



When a visitor completes a goal, we now check out how many total visits they've had and how long ago they first visited as of that point in time, and store that calculation in the database. When viewing your goal report, we'll show you the average of these two values for all visitors who have completed that goal for whatever date range you are viewing. This gives you a great way to gauge how quickly your visitors convert on average. (Also, we'll only use a visitor's data in this calculation the first time they complete a goal, so the numbers don't get skewed by people who complete the same goal multiple times. However, this aspect of your historical data is not being post-processed. So if you have goals that can be completed more than once, until most of your repeat customers have completed the goal at least one more time, these numbers may be wacky).

The screenshot above is one of the goals we track, new user registration, as of about 30 minutes past midnight on this wonderful Friday morning. We have 13 new users, with the average user taking 2 visits and 1 day, 12 hours from the time of their first visit to when they finally registered. (I think there's a huge outlier here, when I viewed it about 5 minutes before snapping this screenshot, the average time was 3m 30s. I'm also noticing a bug now - the "visits" number is supposed to be rounded to the nearest tenth of a number, not to a whole number - I'll fix that tomorrow!)

Since we were already tracking the time of their first visit, the "time to goal" value should be mostly correct (excluding your repeat customers for now), but the "visits to goal" will not be, until we have gone through this 10 month period of data for all of your visitors.

-----

This post was much longer than I expected, and I only covered 2 out of maybe 10 major new items. I will write a nice post tomorrow detailing everything that's new. I just wanted to clarify a few things tonight so you don't think these particular new features are broken - they just won't be accurate until a few weeks have passed.
10 comments |   Feb 11 2011 12:50am

Quick downtime Saturday ~6pm PST

Our network host is requiring all customers to move their servers into a new server room they built last year. We've been putting this off for as long as possible, but the moment of truth has arrived.

We will try our hardest so there's no time when our network is actually 100% offline, because that affects your web sites. The plan is to move one of the paired load balancers and one of the tracking servers into the new room, then take the other stuff offline and let the already-moved LB and tracking server take over tracking temporarily. When the other servers are moved and come back online, everything will magically pair back together. This way there won't be more than a 5-10 second blip, and no tracking data will be lost.

The site will be in maintenance mode during the move, which we expect to take about an hour. When the database servers come back online, they will be behind real time by about an hour, so they will take a little bit to catch back up.

We've had our servers in the same set of racks in the same physical room for more than 4 years, so we don't expect to have to do this ever again.
6 comments |   Feb 04 2011 7:26pm

Next Page »




Copyright © 2017, Roxr Software Ltd     Blog home   |   Clicky home   |   RSS