Devalytics - DIY detailed Dev.to Analytics

If you want to jump right in and see my detailed daily stats breakdown - check https://devalytics.terabytetiger.com/! 📈

Note: At the time of writing, once the page loads you'll need to click the "Update" button to see the Daily Summary Chart populate.

I'm a huge math nerd and love creating dashboard/data visualization pages whenever I have the chance. Recently I had some time to work on a personal creative project and decided to tackle one that's been on my "it'd be cool to do this eventually" list - create a daily breakdown dashboard for Dev.to stats!

  • Launch Early - Something I know I'm not particularly good at is sharing early and not getting caught in the "Not quite perfect yet" status until I move on to another project.
  • Use Dark Colors - I'm not going to say the site is a pure Dark Theme, but I very intentionally wanted to use some darker colors in my design.
  • Minimize Cost - This is both monetary cost and mental cost. I want this to hopefully be a viable option for anyone to spin up on their own and not require too many hoops to jump through.

    • Note: Heroku and Firebase could require payments if you had enough posts or checked your stats enough on a given day, but I think the break point is high enough that most people won't hit it unless you have many people potentially visiting your site - so unless you share it publicly like I just did, you should be in the clear!

  • Heroku with Node.js for grabbing Dev's API data each morning and pushing the data to Firebase
  • Firebase for storing the data

The reasoning for all of these choices are familiarity and personal preference

  1. Sign up for/Log in to Firebase
  2. Create a new project (Name it however you'd like!)
  3. Set up a Service Account. This is located on your Project's Settings > Service Accounts > Create one for Node.js and save the .json file for reference later (For the Environment variables on Heroku).
  4. Configure a Firestore Database under Cloud Firestore > Create Database
  • I started in Production mode and set the location as the default.
  1. Set your Firestore rules as:
rules_version = '2';
service cloud.firestore {
  match /databases/{database}/documents {
    match /{document=**} {
      allow read;
      allow write: if false;
    }
  }
}

  1. Sign up for/Log in to a Heroku Account
  2. Create a new Heroku app (You can name it whatever you want)
  3. Fork the Devalytics GitHub Repo
  4. Connect the fork to your Heroku app in your app's dashboard under Deploy > Deployment Method
  5. Add Environment variables for Firebase & Service Account (Variable names listed below)
  6. Add the "Heroku Scheduler" add-on to your project and set it to run npm run daily once a day at whatever time you desire.

Your Dev.to API Key

  • DEV_API_KEY

Your Firebase Information (This is presented as a JSON object by firebase - var firebaseConfig)

  • FIREBASE_APP_ID
  • FIREBASE_AUTH_DOMAIN
  • FIREBASE_DB_URL
  • FIREBASE_KEY
  • FIREBASE_MESSAGING_SENDER_ID
  • FIREBASE_PROJECT_ID
  • FIREBASE_STORAGE_BUCKET

The following Service Account Variables:

  • SA_auth_provider_x509_cert_url
  • SA_auth_uri
  • SA_client_email
  • SA_client_id
  • SA_client_x509_cert_url
  • SA_private_key
  • SA_private_key_id
  • SA_project_id
  • SA_token_uri
  • SA_type

  1. Fork the front end repository
  2. Sign up for/Log in to a Netlify Account
  3. Create a new Netlify Site
  4. Link the new site to your fork of the Frontend repository
  • Build Command: yarn build
  • Publish Directory: dist
  1. Add Environment variables for Firebase (The same variables as the Firebase section from Heroku above):
  • This is located under Settings > Build & Deploy > Environment
  • FIREBASE_APP_ID
  • FIREBASE_AUTH_DOMAIN
  • FIREBASE_DB_URL
  • FIREBASE_KEY
  • FIREBASE_MESSAGING_SENDER_ID
  • FIREBASE_PROJECT_ID
  • FIREBASE_STORAGE_BUCKET

One of the unfortunate parts of Devalytics is the inability to backdate data - and if there's ever a day the Heroku script doesn't run for any reason, that day will be lost to the void. Because of that, I wanted to start collecting data as soon as I could, so that as I build more analytics into the site, it will be easier to verify everything is working properly since data will exist for more than 3 (low-activity) days.

Some additions I already know I'd like to add:

  • Date Filters
  • Article specific data views
  • Tag breakdowns
  • Don't require clicking "Update" for the Daily Summary chart

If you are planning to roll out your own Devalytics instance or have data you'd like to see added - let me know in a comment below! 👇