Awesome Site Stats – Get Clicky

If you have a website it is only natural that you would like to know the people who visit your site. Where are they from? How did they get there? Where did they go? The solution is far easier then you might think.

There are so many free web analytical options available, you may wonder which is the right one for you. If you really want to know the thick information about your visitors you might want to check out the ever popular Google Analytics. Observant readers might notice that I didn’t link you to Google, instead I’m going to suggest you try something new, refreshing and cool.

I want you to Get Clicky and start having fun! Go try out their demo and be astonished at how awesome they are. I have never had so much fun, or thought I could learn so much about the visitors to my simple blog. Clicky has a damn awesome interface that I am sure you will love. So what are you waiting for?

If you are smart enough to give it a shot you can be hooked up in a few minutes. Add the 1-2 lines of javascript into your website’s footer and in under minutes the stats will start showing.

I can’t stress enough that Clicky has a beautiful graphical dashboard that is highly intuitive. If your like me and you had fun just playing with the demo then you will have even more fun when the stats are on your own website. Currently Clicky monitors three of my websites and I may soon add a 4th.

Interested in some of the really neat features that Clicky offers? Well here you go:

  1. See every click by every visitor
  2. Track outbound links
  3. Spy – a live view of your web site (I might be watching right now!)
  4. Google Maps integration
  5. Detailed visitor geography (Way more then just Google Maps)
  6. Get your stats via RSS feeds

Put to use some of those free tools available online. Most importantly, have fun using them! Clicky is constantly updating their site and I have seen numerous improvements and extra features suddenly appear. I am more than pleased, and I hope you like them as much as I have.

Renderize Design – First Look

I have always wanted to really design a website from scratch for myself. That is exactly what I decided to do last weekend. I mapped out a design in my head (and a little on paper) and started to work. In just two days I produced the front page design. I am beyond happy with the results, and before I open the website as my own, it can be seen here.

For those that are interested I’ll give a quick explanation of how I created the end result. It will not be a tutorial on design, but more of a story that leads up to the final product.

If you are familiar with any of my other websites, they all originated from open source designs. The layout was there and I would put my own twist of styles and customizations onto the original design. For my family website I completely translated the strict table design to a more flexible design, then added numerous tweaks and additions. The Powers Farm Market website was another open source design. I made plenty of changes and additions but the overall layout was so excellent that the core design remained for the most part unchanged. To both of these I have placed a full framework with extensive admin privileges each more powerful then the last.

To say the least I was comfortable with designing, but my creative was often lacking. However, inspiration is never far. Websites like CSS Remix, CSS Tux, and the numerous other showcase websites gave me ideas. I knew I had the skills with markup and CSS to reproduce any design I wanted, especially when using a tool as remarkable as Firefox. My biggest fear was creating the graphics to infuse in the design.

I took the plunge, I came up with an idea that challenged me and I worked for hours in photoshop following tutorials and getting myself familiar with the program. Of the final 5 graphics, I made 4 and got help with 2. To say the least I am proud of them. The tab design, although not original, was a huge leap. The CSS/XHTML worked perfectly with the exception of a single flaw in IE that was eventually fixed by adding a single line to the CSS.

With the header and tab menu all set, the rest was just trying out different ideas. I decided to throw in some more new stuff and add sIFR headlines. Essentially, sIFR replaces specified text headlines with flash versions, using any font I wish. It degrades very gracefully, displaying the original text versions if the visitor does not happen to have the required technologies. Therefore I have rich, beautiful fonts that the visitor does not even need to have installed on their computer.

I am in the process of building a framework for the website. I already have the databases setup, most of the templates, and what some would call a small API. I will spend some more time improving the admin interface so that I can customize the website without directly modifying the database tables. For the most part it is coming along nicely. I feel this is my best work yet, I raised the bar for myself and I am going to continue push the barrier and work on implementing even more new features.

I hope you like the design. Feel free to offer advice but be sure to at least leave a comment. Thank you.

A Unique Unix Tutorial

Thats right. You’ve all read tutorials. They range all over the place: boring, brief, detailed, useless, inspiring, the list goes on. There are those that are too technical, that you don’t understand until you look back at them at a later date. In the case of Unix and Linux the majority of the tutorials are like that. They are just reworded man pages. Many people turn away from *nix because of this gap in technical familiarity. My Unix tutorial aims to change this.

I have read a number of tutorials and I find the best are the ones that include you, the reader, in them. You are participating in the tutorial. Often there is a story, or some creative aspect that brings you into the tutorial. You are learning in an entertaining way. For first timers this can make all the difference.

My tutorial also gives tips and tricks for using the terminal. They are the kind of tricks that make using the console much easier, but they are the tricks that you often don’t know unless someone shows you. I hope that my tutorial at least gives insight to newer Unix/Linux users as they take the leap into a new realm.

Please take a look and offer your feedback to help me improve the tutorial. I now present my Unix Tutorial.

I would like to point out that the tutorial happened to be a college project that I recently decided to turn into a reality. I have been and will be refurnishing the tutorial with improvements (sIFR), more rich content, while still maintaining my original goals and objectives.

Inspiration: A rather stimulating Ruby tutorial that wraps you inside a rather creative story, with “synergy and cartoon foxes.”

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