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1) If we notice the visitor is a bot...we don't include the session id in our links. I will never be able to keep up with the bot user agents so I want to stop using session ids in the links.
2) One of our biggest problems is when a customer is shopping online and adding items to their cart, and while adding another item (doesn't matter how many items they've added - its random) to their cart they will no longer have the previous items in their cart because they are now using a new session id. For the longest time I though our customers were crazy until I finally experienced it (took a year for me to experience it). It is totally random...it seems like the Session ID will randomly switch to a new Session ID. Again...I would say 95-98% of the time it works like a charm...but then again I can't be possitive how many customers this has happened to...as most of them would just leave and not inform us.
Here is a little info about our configuration:
PHP Version 4.3.1 [FreeBSD 4.4,Apache ]
the complete site is dynamic using PHP and on every page we include a file that does:
$SID = session_id();
Is there a better way? Iím so overworked, that it is probably something simple. Iím asking for help because each time I get a spare second to look into this issue some other issue comes up that I have to deal with.
I hope this makes my objective more clear. :D
Always baffles me too! - Even with cookies ON I sometimes get a session id appended. Which is why I've taken to ditching sessions and managing that data with a cookie and a db.
I know some have them turned off but it's a reasonable trade off IMO
Ie, if you browse the page, all the links on the first page will have the sid appended automatically by apache. But the page did set a sid cookie - it's just not available until the next visit. If you reload the page, the links should return to normal.
My guess about the https problem - when you switch from http to https, you're actually connecting to another vhost on the server (http-ssl is on port 443). That would be the first place I'd start looking at for "hiccups".
So as soon as a visitor tried to add something to their cart, it would start a session and set the cookie. As the add-to-cart link was in my /cart directory, and robots.txt banned the bots from there, I have no issues with spiders and sessions...
I really like the idea of only tracking customers once they get serious...but we designed our site to keep track of our customers so we can learn their shopping habbits.
<sigh>This is just a mess. It just seems like there should be a way to get Apache or PHP to track a customers session id in the backround WITHOUT ever auto-appending it to URLs or having to set cookies.