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Pepper Suggestion: Visitor Durations

There should be a pepper that details Average Time on Site, as well as visitor durations both sitewide (in the form of spans of time) and possibly another tab with a list of pages that have the highest average duration times. Data should be separated by month with subtabs.

Anyone up for it?

I will try to have a stab at it. I am not sure how to approach it right now, but I will keep you up-to-date.


I’d say just go for it. Start with something simple that can be expanded later, just to get the ball rolling :)

Start with the basic info that people want, such as total site averages, like 0-30 seconds, 30secs-1min, 1min-5mins, 5-15, 15-30, 30-1h, and 1hr plus. I also like to see both number of visitors in each range, and what percentage they are of the total visitors. For average time in site, it can be a total in seconds. Our site averages 230 seconds average visits. You could also have an option to display in minutes:seconds


Once that’s working well, you could add the PAGES tab that details the pages with the best average durations.

I think all data, both sitewide and page wise should have subtabs that separate the data out by month for a better view of history.

James, something like this would rock and I appreciate your efforts!

Posted on Feb 14, '07 at 07:51 pm

Seconded. This would be a really useful one - if not necessarily pleasant reading - especially combined with a look at the most popular pages by time-spent.

Yeah, I have been looking for this, ever since I was comparing stats with someone else and they were commenting on how long particular users were viewing their site for. It would be slick to combine it with Pages/Nametags, maybe a few others that I (and maybe others) use to monitor most of their viewers info.

Thirded. This would be a REALLY handy tool.

Posted on Mar 05, '07 at 01:10 pm

(bump) Yes please :)

I’m working on this pepper, however, I’ve stumbled on a few problems. Primarily, I can’t persist the session using javascript. In PHP, the session is always restarted. I tried to save a cookie on javascript, but still couldn’t make it work. Anyone have any ideas how to get past this?

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 16, '07 at 03:41 am

purefusion, you have to set a cookie (maybe in onRecord()) to track the session and its timeout (visit duration).
In my opinium this Pepper isn’t realisable with Mint, at least you can’t track the exact duration of a visit.

Thanks Till. However, I saw that Session Tracker showed visitor duration, so in line with that it should be possible… am I right?

Use the database entries to calculate the approximate visitor durations per page. You can have a look at the awstats code see how they do it.

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 16, '07 at 09:12 am

purefusion, yeah Secret Crushes also displays the exact duration between the pages, BUT you can’t track the exact duration - because you have to use a timeout.

This is my perfectionist opinion - however you can track the approximately duration of users.

So the durations should be calculated from the users that we get accurate data from, and exclude the timeouts… But Mint can log when someone exits the site, correct? So that wouldn’t be considered a timeout. How would that be accomplished though?

And what is the timeout set at? Is there a function in existence that already handles that?

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 16, '07 at 09:25 am

What if the user closes the browser? What if the user is reading you contents longer that the timeout?

This pepper is as imprecise as the whole application.
6 - 10% have JavaScript turned off.

If you really write this pepper, please call it “Approximate Durations” : )

Then how does Awstats do this type of calculation? There’s gotta be a way…

Can’t you use onunload() to run the calculations if the window is closed?

Posted on Jul 20, '07 at 01:47 pm

Agreed. My client asked me about this.

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 21, '07 at 06:51 am

Would someone pay for this? :D

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 21, '07 at 11:54 am

I thought about this Pepper and Mint is absolutely not designed for this one.

Using Secret Crushes as “source” would give imprecise and narrow results.

Anyway, to get exact results using Mint as substructure, you’ll get some pretty extra server load and the user browser has to support “XMLHTTPRequest”.

I’m interested in this - please respond.

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 24, '07 at 04:23 pm

Maybe you didn’t understand me. I’m interessted in building this Pepper.

Posted on Jul 27, '07 at 04:48 pm

No I understand. I’ll ask my client.

Sounds like a nice merger of the Trends and Secret Crush peppers… Approximation is good enough for site-wide analytics of this kind, since what you’re after is usage behavior. It would add a great deal of clarity as to what usage trends there actually are, versus what the Trends pepper provides for now.

Without being able to get inside your visitors’ heads — this is obviously the next best option to at least getting an idea of what and why and how long.

Posted on Aug 16, '07 at 08:58 pm

Would love to see this!

Ronald Heft
Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Aug 17, '07 at 03:11 am

I’m really interested in seeing a Pepper to track this, however, I don’t think I can code this myself. My Javascript skills are quite lacking, so if anyone can code the JavaScript portion of this, I would be happy to do the Pepper portion.

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