Tracking server upgrades this weekend

The last few months we've been growing faster than we want to. That's a nice problem to have but it has its consequences. We've been getting a surge of high traffic sites using our service, so our tracking servers are really struggling right now. You may have noticed a bit of lag when our tracking code tries to log data to our home servers - that is a result of this. Of course, that data is logged asynchronously, which means it shouldn't interfere with anything on your site, but it's still annoying.

As we've grown there have always been software tweaks we could make to boost performance, but we're out of options now, these things are as optimized as they're going to get.

We apologize for this lag recently, but of course it's going to get fixed. This weekend, we'll be adding an additional 2 tracking servers into the mix (currently, there are 3). These 2 servers are much higher end than the existing ones, so it will be 150-200% capacity boost instead of just 67%. This will give us a lot of breathing room, which we could really use.

What's next?

The last 3 weeks we've been working on a massive overhaul to the entire web site. It started as just an overhaul to the stats interface, but we decided the entire web site could use an update. This update is awesome but it's also a lot of work. We hope to have a beta available late next week for you to play around with, as we expect there to be some bugs (particularly with older browsers), so we'll need as many people to test it as possible. We'll be announcing it here and on Twitter as soon as it's available!
21 comments |   Sep 01 2010 1:07pm

Why Clicky validates your traffic

A couple users in our forums were just talking about how their Google Analytics reports are unreliable because people have copied their GA tracking code (for reasons unknown) onto their web sites, and now the traffic from these other sites is being reported in GA alongside the "real" traffic that should only be getting logged in the first place.

We had no idea GA allowed this to happen and frankly, we were surprised to hear it. If I was a griefer, and I owned a high traffic, off-color web site, I might get my lulz by regularly including the GA code from other random sites in my own web site's HTML. Hypothetically, of course :)

This is one of the reasons we chose to validate your traffic against your registered domain name before logging it. And this was one of the very, very first things we ever did when we were designing Clicky. We're talking October 2006, before Clicky was even available to the public. This has caused headaches for some users over the years, e.g. if they mistype their domain when registering, or their domain changes but they don't update it on Clicky, then no traffic gets logged. But for the most part it's worked well for everyone, and to make it flexible we have offered (also from day 1) a "mirrors" option to add additional domains that are authorized to log traffic for a certain site ID.

We don't know if other analytics services do any validation, but if not, maybe we should add another bullet point to ye olde matrix. I imagine Google may do this for support reasons, so they get as few questions about "why aren't my stats working" as possible, but we still don't agree with it. We get support questions about this maybe once a week, but we have no problem helping people out with it.

What do you think?
17 comments |   Aug 11 2010 5:43pm

Viddler rolls out Clicky integration

When we announced our new video analytics a few weeks ago, one of the things we mentioned is that Viddler was integrating Clicky directly into their flash player - except it wasn't quite ready at the time. This is really wonderful because tracking video interactions is not quite as easy as we'd like it to be. You have to embed videos with their Javascript API enabled, which is not the default for any service, and then you have to add a bit of extra code so that their API talks to our API... etc.

Viddler, on the other hand, was already using Clicky for their own site and started talking to us a few months back about making Viddler tracking fully automatic. This is actually what motivated us to make this feature in the first place. We knew all these services had APIs but we didn't really want to deal with them. Of course, we ended up writing libraries for two of the top services (Youtube and Vimeo) as well as a library for tracking HTML5 videos anyways, because that's how we roll.

Well, the wait is finally over. Viddler has just announced that their integration with Clicky has gone live. Any of you who have at least a Pro account and have Viddler videos embedded on your web site, you should start seeing data automatically in your Content > Video report, without having to do a gosh darn thing.

We're really excited about this because not only are we one of a small handful of analytics companies to offer video analytics, but as of now, I believe we are the only analytics service to have fully automatic integration with a large third party video provider.
4 comments |   Aug 10 2010 11:53am

When did visitor XYZ first visit my site?




We've only been tracking this data since mid-April, with this release. So for loyal visitors, you may a see a lot of dates around mid-April. That's a bummer, but it's also part of the reason we've been waiting to release this feature - we wanted to have at least a few months of data. We now have almost 4 months so we feel it's good to go.

This feature will be particularly useful to those of you who use our goal system. We use goals to track when people upgrade to our premium service so we can see it right in our stats. (Of course, we have an admin area to see all of this data too, but it's more fun when it's in your stats). As you can see in this screenshot, taken from a visitor today (with all identifying info removed), this person first visited in... well, mid-April. The point is, we immediately know how long this person has been coming to our site before upgrading, and we can see it right in their session details. Fun!
9 comments |   Aug 06 2010 2:03pm

HTML5 video tracking

We've just added a new library for tracking HTML5 videos. The best part is that since HTML5 videos are native browser elements with a common API across all browsers, all you have to do track these videos with Clicky is to add one line of code to include this library on your site - and that's it. It will automatically find all HTML5 video elements on any page it's installed on, and interface with our video API to track people playing these videos.

HTML5 video is still in its infancy, but it is the future of online video and we are happy to provide great support for tracking it. Have at it!
5 comments |   Aug 02 2010 11:40pm

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