How to track user's navigation (or footprints) path through a website

2 replies
  • SEO
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So we plan to track a user's activity within our website which are in PHP. What we want to know is track a unique session for a user from the time he first visits a page in our site, the pages he visited next, and visited last.

Some kind of tracking his footprint through our site. We actually have identified 2 methods:
  • using a custom PHP code
  • analytics.js.

We find analytics.js too much for this (and my take more time to setup including time for our Internal Team to familiarize/learn the tool). Considering what we need is just getting the timelogs of the user's session.

So we'll most likely be going with a custom code added to each of the pages that need tracking. This script will do the following:
  • we will be pasting code snippets to pages that need tracking
  • generate a unique session ID once he lands on any of the tracked pages
  • records the activity on a database
  • create an admin dashboard to visualize each of the user's activity, just a simple UI to showing the timelogs and pages visited

That's our plan so just wondering:

  • Is the above method acceptable?
  • Are there any other alternatives that what was described above?

Thanks in advance Warrior Forum community!
#footprints #navigation #path #track #user #website
  • Profile picture of the author counter2015
    Having too many JS files will make your site slower to load, try if you can merge it another JS file. If you use a 3rd party analytics for tracking like GA or gostats they offer a snippet of code a few lines which can be easily added to the header or footer and doesnt effect the speed.
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  • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
    Well, that's the basic idea. I'd make sure that you either have abundant server resources to run this, or just host it somewhere else. It's much more costly to write than read which is why these things tend to take a hit on the server.

    There's probably a bunch of existing tools that can help you. I'm not quite sure if Clicky provides this, but I'm pretty sure one of the OS tracking packages (Piwik?) was able to do this.
    Links in signature will not help your SEO. Not on this site, and not on any other forum.
    Who told me this? An ex Google web spam engineer.

    What's your excuse?
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