visitors online to a web site

Discussion in 'HTML' started by paul, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. paul

    paul Guest

    How could I know how many visitors are visiting in the same time (connected)
    in my website?
    Thanks
    Paul
     
    paul, Oct 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. Good morning,

    paul wrote:

    > How could I know how many visitors are visiting in the same time
    > (connected) in my website?


    You can't. A visitor will download a document once (and then 'disconnect')
    and this is all you could read from your server logs. Some users click away
    quickly, some leave it open without looking at it, while others read it
    word for word. With JS you could log when the document is closed, but this
    cannot differ between case 2 and 3.

    What you often see on websites (this seems to be a standard feature of
    bulletin board, not sure if other kinds of sites are infected, too) is a
    very rough and inaccurate approximation: the number of sessions with
    activity in the last X minutes (X about 5).

    HTH

    --
    Benjamin Niemann
    Email: pink at odahoda dot de
    WWW: http://pink.odahoda.de/
     
    Benjamin Niemann, Oct 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. paul

    carolyn Guest

    paul wrote:

    > How could I know how many visitors are visiting in the same time
    > (connected) in my website?
    > Thanks
    > Paul


    You can set up a log-in/logout system, but there are no guarantees that they
    will log out and not just browse away. You may also scare people away,
    when they have to log into your site. Helps if you can justify it.

    You may be able to write a script to scan the logs and determine the number
    of visitors within the last 30 seconds to give an estimated number of users
    that are still on site. Not a true reading, but a rough estimate.

    Carolyn
    --
    Carolyn Marenger
     
    carolyn, Oct 12, 2006
    #3
  4. paul

    Andy Dingley Guest

    paul wrote:

    > How could I know how many visitors are visiting in the same time (connected)
    > in my website?


    Decide what you'd like as the answer, then choose a counting method
    that gives you that answer. There are any number of ways of measuring
    this, and they give a variety of "right" answers (and an even bigger
    range of wrong answers).

    What does "connected" mean? Downloaded the homepage within the last
    minute?
    Started a "session" that hasn't expired yet ? What does "user" mean?
    Same IP address? Same browser/cookie? Same login credentials?

    It's also not a very useful metric to measure. Why do you want it? To
    count "customers" ? -- then count the number of checkouts, or the
    number of viewed products. To measure server performance? - Then
    measure HTTP traffic and don't worry if it's one or multiple users.

    There are lots of ways to measure this (just web search) but when
    comparing methods, it's important to keep a very clear idea about just
    what each will measure, and whether that's a useful thing for you.

    It's also pointless to measure something when you don't do anything
    with the answer. If the "number of sessions" isn't causing someone in
    marketing to redirect an ad budget, then why collect it at all? It's
    hard and expensive to do, if it's not going to have a downstream
    effect, then why bother at all?
     
    Andy Dingley, Oct 12, 2006
    #4
  5. paul

    mbstevens Guest

    paul wrote:
    > How could I know how many visitors are visiting in the same time (connected)
    > in my website?
    > Thanks
    > Paul
    >
    >

    You can do it if all of your pages are server-side generated, since the
    program that generates the pages will have various methods for
    maintaining state. This could be expanded to test for visitors from
    unique addresses and keeping a count. Errors could still be made, for
    instance if you had several visitors coming in from behind the same
    firewall, but I imagine the count would be within reason for some uses.

    I occasionally visit sites that tell me how many visitors are on line.
    My impression is that the administrators are patting themselves on the
    back, but I suppose the information might also be useful if one wanted
    to know if a forum had enough people present for a useful conversation
    to ensue.
     
    mbstevens, Oct 12, 2006
    #5
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