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I have two questions regarding WebTrends Session Tracking mechanism.
First one is, how exactly First Party Cookie Session Tracking option works?
How can WT track visitors by cookie, if no cookie is issued? I'm puzzled since there is no cookie info inside my IIS log files. When First Party Cookie tracking option is activated, WT shows 91 visits from 56 visitors. When I switch session tracking to IP/User Agent option, WT shows 163 visits from 101 visitor. What is the catch here?
The second question is about SDC mechanism. I understand that website's performance will not significantly decrease with additional server call to SDC server, but what happens when SDC server is down? Will the web page be idle while it is waiting for a response from SDC, for some amount of time?
Thanks in advance for answers.
In the rare event that the SDC is not available, it will not affect the page load time if the code is placed at the end of your page. (You may have an issue if you place the code incorrectly in your HEAD tag)
Now, about SDC server, yes I will place JS tag at the near end of the page, just above the closing </body> tag, but that is still not the end of the page. So, theoretically, page will be loaded like 99% of it, not 100%. It will stuck at JS code where a call to SDC is made and it will wait for SDC responce. Again, this is just a theory. I thought someone with practical experience can confirm this.
To answer your other question, if your website is constructed with tables and the code is still inside the table, it could delay the overall page load. If you do place the code at the end of the page, it would have the equivalent effect as a broken image at the bottom of your page. (browsers vary on how they display "load" information for the page, but most modern browsers will render the entire page in full while it waits for the broken image)
At the same time, you're saying "When First Party Cookie tracking option is activated, WT shows 91 visits from 56 visitors. When I switch session tracking to IP/User Agent option, WT shows 163 visits from 101 visitors."
If it's true that you are analyzing the same cookie-free IIS logs both times, and all you're changing is the Session Tracking option, then WebTrends should be doing the exact same thing both times, i.e. using IP/UA sessionizing. Your results should be exactly the same. But they're not.
Am I reading what you're saying correctly? If so, something else is going on. Maybe you've uncovered something odd about WebTrends that I didn't previously know about, so I'd like to pursue it.
Are the page view numbers the same both times?