Track your blog visitors’ sessions with Clicky

If you’re still waiting for that MeasureMap invitation, don’t fret. A new service has opened that will more than make up for the time (what is it now? several months?) you spent waiting for the still unsent service invitations.

Clicky is a new service created “to complement” other website metrics tools. What Clicky does is help website owners “track individual users, to see where they came from, what they did, and how long they stuck around.” I signed up for the service two hours back and the stats I’ve been getting so far are really interesting.

Clicky dashboard CLICKY DASHBOARD. Clicky is a new website metrics tool that will help you track visitor sessions: how website visitors found your site, how long they stayed and the last page they viewed before leaving. Click on image to enlarge.

Clicky does the usual tracking of unique visitors and page views as well as browsers used and search engine and keyword referrals.

But what differentiates Clicky from other free services I frequently use is that it tracks visitor sessions. Not only would you know how a particular visitor (identified via IP address) got to your site, you can also get information on how long the visitor stayed and which pages he or she read and clicked.

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Upgrading to latest WordPress version

The WordPress team has released a new version of the popular and open source blogging software. The new version, 2.0.5, breaks the WordPress tradition of naming releases after jazz musicians. The team named the release Ronan, in honor of contributor Ryan Boren’s son, who was born earlier this month.

Matt Mullenweg said in his post in the WordPress development blog that the WordPress team suggests that “everyone upgrade as this includes security fixes” (emphasis mine). Here’s a link to the changes.

I’ve just upgraded this blog and a host of others I help maintain to the latest version. I initially thought of uploading only the changed files but later decided to upload the whole thing for good measure. If you’re interested only on the changed files, new WordPress 2.0 maintainer Mark Jaquith has compiled a list.

Upgrading WordPress to latest version

I’ve just upgraded this site and several others I oversee and help manage to WordPress 2.0.4, the latest version of the popular blogging software. Upgrading was very easy as you only need to upload the files and overwrite the existing ones in your server.

Unlike previous upgrades, however, you are not prompted with the database upgrade link after you finish uploading the files. You have to use the yourblogaddres/wp-admin/upgrade.php script. I don’t know if you need to run the script but I just did it for good measure. When I finished uploading the files, I noticed that the dashboard already indicated 2.0.4 as my WordPress version even if I did not run the upgrade script.

WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg said in the WordPress developer blog that the upgrade “contains several important security fixes, so it’s highly recommended for all users.” It also contains more than 50 bug fixes, for a listing click here.

Newsforge: A lot to like in Serendipity but nothing compelling to switch

Open source news site Newsforge has published a review of the 1.0 version of Serendipity, the blog script that I used for previous versions of the Cybercafe Experiments.

According to the article, installing Serendipity to manage your blog “is a breeze” and shouldn’t be a problem to someone who has experience installing web scripts like WordPress. What sets Serendipity apart from other blog content management system (CMS), according to the article, is that it gives you the option to use databases other than MySQL: PostgreSQL and SQLite.

Serendipity also got high marks from Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, the author of the Newsforge article, for its ability to import data from other blogging scripts. Brockmeier tried it out and he was able to import data from his blog with two years worth of posts “with no problem at all.”

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Zooomr offers free pro accounts for bloggers

Flickr competitor Zooomr is offering a free professional account for bloggers. All you have to do is open an account with their site, upload a photo to your account, use it in your blog post and then notify them.

Zooomr is an interesting Flickr alternative. I’ve just registered for it and after going through its features, it looks to me to be a better photo host for bloggers. Its free beta account gives you unlimited storage and a 50MB monthly uploading limit. Flickr, on the other hand, limits its free accounts to 20MB of monthly uploads and its photo streams to 200 images. ubuntu

Zooomr also resizes photos and gives you the links to the different image sizes. Zooomr’s pro account, which gives you a 2GB monthly upload limit, is $5 cheaper than Flickr’s at $20. TechCrunch describes Zooomr as “Flickr on steroids” in a blog article last March.

If you want to get a free pro account, here’s the instruction from the Zooomr blog:

“All we ask is that you host at least one of your images from Zooomr at your blog. This is easy. Sign up for an account. Upload an image. And then simply cut and paste the html code with the magnifying glass above your image and you’re all set. Once you’ve blogged one of your images paste the url into the comment section of this post and we’ll upgrade you to Pro.”

Personalize your free blog, website URL

If you’re using a free web or blog service like MySpace or Friendster, you’d have a long domain name like username. blogs. /your blog name or www. username and some number.

This is fine when you’re just interacting in the Web, when all users have to do is click on a link to get to your blog. But when someone asks you for your blog address, can you just say it to him or her or do you have to write it down? Chances are, you’d need to write it down because of the length of the URL.

You can shorten your free blog or website URL by using redirection services. I’ve tried several redirection services in the past, when I was still using free website hosting. The problem with these services was that they’d put pop-up or pop-under ads or even a landing page. Enter URLdoctor.

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Upgrading to WordPress version 2.0.3

I’ve just upgraded this blog and a host of others that I help manage to the latest stable version in the WordPress 2.0 release: WordPress 2.0.3. The new release is both a bug fix and a security release. I would have procrastinated on the upgrading if not for the notice that it is a security release.

WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg wrote in the blogging engine’s development blog that the 2.0.3 release is “recommended for all WordPress users.”

In previous upgrades, I used to deactivate all the plugins then delete all the files before uploading the new ones and then running the upgrade script. But Matt said in his post that: “Upgrading is fairly simple, just overwrite your old files with the latest from the download. When you go to your admin it will give you a link to update your database.”

I did just that and upgrading took less than five minutes, including the uploading of the files.

Anti-spam plugin Akismet updated

Akismet, the anti-spam plugin created by WordPress founding developer Matthew Mullenweg, has been updated to version 1.15. The new version now tells you, via a tooltip, on which blog article or page a suspected spam comment or trackback has been posted.

When your mouse cursor hovers over the View Post link in the Akismet moderation panel, a tool tip will appear with the title of the post.

Ive been waiting for the download link to be updated until early this morning. Hours after the blog article announcing the 1.15 update was posted, the download link still pointed to version 1.14.

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Get a WordPress admin bar for your blog

If you use the hosted blog service at, you would be familiar with the admin toolbar that appears on top of your blog whenever you are logged into the service. The admin bar is a user-friendly tool that I’ve long wanted to deploy in my blog and WordPress sites I help manage.

What’s great about the admin bar is that this is only visible when your are logged into the blog. Regular users don’t see this bar. (Click on photos to view larger images)

It’s not available out-of-the-box if you install WordPress in your own web server but Easy Admin Access, a recently released WordPress plugin, allows you to put up a WordPress admin toolbar in your blogs. admin toolbar

The plugin, however, isn’t just a copy of the admin toolbar, it improves on it by providing even more links to functions you need to run and administer your blog. would do well to copy the plugin written by blogger Jonic Linley

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Site overlay available in Google Analytics

I did not spot this feature in Google Analytics before but you can check which areas of your site or blog are being clicked by readers by using the service’s Site Overlay feature. I never dug deeper into the statistics of Google Analytics before and most of the time I just view the executive summary (click here to view screenshot).

I don’t know when Google Analytics started offering this feature since its announcement does not have a date of publication but the screenshot linked above, which I took on March 19, already displays a link to Site Overlay.

Google Analytics Site OverlayAs I was viewing my stats the other day while adding a new site profile, I got curious on what Site Overlay was and clicked on it. The feature, it turned out, tracks which parts of your site your readers are clicking on (click on photo to view larger image).

I had been solely using Crazy Egg to monitor my blog’s interface elements and the data it gathered were the bases for my decision to use this theme and take out the clutter from my blog design. Knowing where your readers click is very helpful in making design decisions. It tells you which elements or menu items aren’t working.

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