Chartbeat

Real-time data for big-time publishers.

What can Chartbeat do for me?

Chartbeat is real-time data for front-line doers. We take data out of back-office analyst reports, translate it into a super-simple, super-interactive dashboard and put it directly into the hands of the people who take real action, right now.

Newsbeat is our signature service built exclusively for big-time publishers. We designed it in partnership with some of the world’s top media brands like The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera and Time.com to transform the way writers, editors, and content creators experience data. With benchmarking, pre-viral alerts, and social tracking, Newsbeat learns from your users’ normal engagement activity to highlight the data that makes the difference.

As a WordPress.com VIP, you’ll get Newsbeat real-time information right where you’re taking real-time action – in your WordPress dashboard. Keep your content creators informed and empowered.

How does Newsbeat work, you ask?

When a user visits a page on your site, the Newsbeat JavaScript triggers the loading of a beacon image, which returns a 1×1 pixel image. We reload the beacon every 15 to 240 seconds, depending on the level of user engagement.

Our code also adds a couple of event listeners for registering user engagement. The code does not add any click listeners.

Can Newsbeat handle virtual page changes?

Yes. Check out all virtual page change details here.

Will the Newsbeat code slow down my site?

No, Newsbeat code is fully asynchronous, so it will not have an affect on your site’s performance. The JavaScript installed on the page will wait for the “onload” event before fetching the main code (around 3KB gzipped).

If the Newsbeat service goes down, will it affect my site?

No, your site will not be affected if anything happens with our services because the Newsbeat code and beacon are fully asynchronous. The only effect would be the site data you would be able to see on your Newsbeat dashboard.

Can you handle my site’s traffic?
Absolutely. At any given time, we’re consistently tracking more than 5 million concurrent users with no issues. We give large site’s their own dedicated servers to handle top performance for all sites. We’re confident we can handle your traffic.

What level of technical support do you offer?

We pretty proud of how quickly we turn around our support queries. Most we answer in a few hours. Our support hours are 10a – 5p EST M-F, but we’re usually working early and late. So, just email us at support@chartbeat.com if you have questions, comments or support needs of any kind.
What processes do you have in place if a system failure occurs?

All servers are monitored using Nagios, and all development staff are alerted on critical failures. We have replicas of all data stores, and because we’re hosted in the cloud, we can replace any faulty server in a matter of minutes.

Can you describe your system architecture?

Newsbeat’s backend is built in C with MongoDB as a database – feeding to a Python layer and Google Closure Toolkit on the frontend. We run on Amazon Web Services.

Does Newsbeat use cookies?
Yes, Newsbeat uses two cookies:
1. (_chartbeat2) is used to register if a person has visited the domain before (to calculate “new vs returning” users)
2. (_SUPERFLY_nosample) is used only if you go over your plan’s traffic limit. At that point, the cookie is set and will disable the beacon from that visitor for one hour.

Which browsers do you support?

Our pinging JavaScript supports any browser that has JS and DOM support, which covers all modern browsers (and probably a few outdated ones as well). The Newsbeat dashboard supports all browsers except for Internet Explorer.

Do you support HTTPS sites?
Yes, we support HTTPS. The Newsbeat code will automatically adapt to being on an SSL website.

Overriding Settings

There are a number of filters in the plugin that let you override config values like the domain, author, and section.

  • chartbeat_config_domain
  • chartbeat_config_author
  • chartbeat_config_sections

For example, to override the domain that Chartbeat sees:

add_filter( 'chartbeat_config_domain', function( $domain ) {
    return 'wordpress.com';
} );