Track Visitors to Your Blog Easily With Clicky

Clicky is a visitor tracking service that has been designed for use with blogs but works on any website. While they do not claim to replace a statistics and monitoring service like Google Analytics or SiteMeter it is said to be a complimentary service to augment your current tools for observing your traffic. While services such as those mentioned give you a “big picture, Clicky gives you a macro version of individual users. Lets you know how individuals visitors are interacting with your site.

Individual users are grouped into sessions, information includes:

  • IP Address
  • Web Browser of choice
  • The page and URL that they are viewing
  • Date and time
  • Referrer
  • If they came via a search engine, which one and what search string they used

If a particular visitor has Java Script disabled, no problem; it still works. Although the information gathered is limited and such things as the referrer can not be accessed. (So much for “No Script” Firefox Extension…) . Every click that is made on your site is logged and sent to your account with Clicky for you to view when you log in. I am not sure what you think about this but it does make me feel a bit creepy and makes me wonder what is going to be done with the information once it is sent to Clicky. They do however give this reassurance:

“We are not out to get you. We have no reason to secretly look at your visitor traffic. We may randomly use some of our customer’s traffic data for bug fixing or feature development, but other than that, your traffic data is yours and we will respect your privacy.”

That may be the case now but I wonder how much money it would take for them to change their minds? However this is not a warning off the service, rather something to keep in mind if you are considering using it.

I guess that you figured that you have to cut and paste some code to your web page, you guessed right. They claim that it works on any web page. There are instructions for use with Blogger and even WordPress.com. Only the Blogger code is shown on the information page. I am no code monkey but it looks like there is a script in the code shown. As all WordPress.com users know all code containing script is stripped when you try to put it on a page or a sidebar widget. So unless the code is different for WordPress.com blogs then I can not see how it would work. Feel free to comment on this if you know for sure or why I might be wrong.

The service offers a variety of ways to view the information gathered:

  • Dashboard: or quick summary and overview
  • Click Log: This is the raw data with no groupings or data processing
  • Sessions: A log of an entire visitors click “history” while they were on your site
  • Filters: To drill down into your data and make what sense of it you want to

At this time the service is in beta and free. Once it launches they plan to charge a “reasonable” fee (no hints). It is worth noting that there are other sites that track individual users. Such as Crazy Egg that uses a “heat map” to display the “hot spots” or frequently clicked parts of your site. This type of tracking is a fine line, I have to admit I would have reservations about using it. It does feel a bit intrusive. But that is just me, what do you think?

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2 Responses to “Track Visitors to Your Blog Easily With Clicky”

  1. Sean Says:

    Hi – I’m the lead developer of Clicky 🙂 Thanks for the review. Just a few things…

    Seriously, we’re not out to get anyone! There’s no way for us to track this kind of information and display it for you without us having access to it as well. We’re not going to do anything with your traffic data other than for testing as stated. I understand how some people would have a problem this no matter what, that’s fine – but there’s really nothing that can be done for those people. We seriously just wanted to create a tool that gave people a new look at their traffic, because it’s a lot of fun. We also have a short and sweet privacy policy available on our terms of service page – “The Company values the privacy of its users. The Company will not provide any information about its users to any third party company for any purpose, unless required to do so by law.” We’re good people, really!

    Also I’d like more info about your wordpress comment, and having scripts in the sidebar… are you sure about that? We already have a number of people with xxx.wordpress.com addresses and their accounts appear to be working just fine. I found this article on wordpress.com also –

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/77239

    The last comment in that thread says: “If you install widgets, you can add a text widget (already available with the basic install) and put your javascript in there. It’s that easy.” Which is how we understand it works.

    So please send us more details about why you think this is the case because it’s definitely a concern for us! My personal email is attached to this comment, or go to the clicky contact page for our company email.

    Thanks!

  2. Stephanie Peaster Says:

    I am probably just showinh how computer illiterate I am now but how do you get this thingy to work on your blog page?


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