Visitor Movies for WordPress

Did you ever want to know what exactly your visitors are doing on your site? Watch them!

A client of mine wanted a plugin to log what users type into forms. I kind of didn't see the point at first. But a few days later I was a little annoyed that there was apparently no free alternative to websites like clixpy, clicktale and similar services.

It occured to me that recording movies of visits isn't really hard to do. And so i started a new plugin, loosely based on the unpublished form input tracking plugin.

I am very pleased with the results so far. Of course it's no match for the professional services mentioned above. But it is good enough to gain a few insights into what can be improved on your website.

The recording script is pretty lightweight but has a rather hefty dependeny: jQuery. It also loads json2.js. I'm sure the logging could be rewritten without the jQuery dependency but that really wasn't a priority for the first public release.

This plugin probably needs WordPress 2.8 and PHP 5. I didn't bother to test older versions and won't support them in the future.

Here is a sample movie of what a recorded session can look like. As you can see mouse movements, clicks, form input, select boxes, checkboxes and radio buttons are recorded.

Title: VisiorMovies

Important: For the playback you should always use the same browser as the visitor. If you don't, the mouse position will probably be very wrong. The plugin also doesn't save a page's state at the time of recording. This means if comments are added or the content changes, you will see the old movements on a new website.

Downloads at WordPress.org.

WordPress plugin demos are disabled as I don't use WordPress on this site any more.

Published on May 21, 2010 at 12:02 p.m. by Nicolas and tagged clicktracking, jQuery, marketing, onclick, onfocus, usability, WordPress, WordPress plugin. You can follow the discussion with the comment feed for this post. Feeling generous? Donate!

40 comments

  1. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    What a great plugin. I Can not use it for few websites because I also use jquery for other tasks.

    I do marketing for people so this new tool is great to understand behavior.

    Do you know what to do if the plugins conflict?

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hi Anders,

      the plugin shouldn't really conflict with others. Maybe you use a plugin that doesn't use the wp_enqueue_script() function to load jQuery. Then jQuery could be loaded twice.

      You could install firebug and activate the script console. It will show an error message that you can paste here. A link to the site would also help.

      Reply to this comment
  2. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Hi I would like to ask if it and how to clear log.Sorry my englis
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hm, no I didn't build log deletion into the plugin. You'll have to delete old logs with an ftp client.

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        :-( I tried to delete the log. I used Total Commander and FireFTP (Mozilla) but reported to me Permission denied

        Reply to this comment
        1. avatar
          wrote this comment on

          Oh, right, an earlier version changed the permissions of the files, but I removed that feature. Your ftp client should allow you to change permissions on files (recursive 777 will do if you intend to delete them). I hope that helps.

          Reply to this comment
      2. avatar
        wrote this comment on
        Any chance that an update could be done to include log deletions? Manual deletions work, but could be a bit tiresome.
        Reply to this comment
        1. avatar
          wrote this comment on
          Hi Monty, sorry, I don't really plan to work on this plugin any more.
          Reply to this comment
          1. avatar
            wrote this comment on
            OK,sorry to hear that; but it's a great plugin as it is. Thanks you.
            Reply to this comment
            1. avatar
              wrote this comment on
              You're welcome :-)
              Reply to this comment
  3. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Hello There,
    I've installed the plugin and setted it to work on all pages. My site (http://www.portaltibia.com.br) have more then 10k unique visitors a day and I couldn't see any log files stored on the folder. Is there any need to change permissions so files can actually store those informations?

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hello Felippe,

      it looks to me like your theme is incomplete, please see http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/visitor-movies/faq/ (wp_footer). Or maybe you did only install the plugin but didn't enable it?

      Reply to this comment
  4. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Hi, can I use this fireworks on the wordpress.com? ( or org only)> I downloaded the plug in, it's on my computer. How do I get it to my wordpress blog? BTW, you look like Andre Rieu in this little thumbnail photo.

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hello Elizabeth, no, unfortunately you can't use the plugin on wordpress.com. You'll need to have a self-hosted blog.

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        ok, thanks

        Reply to this comment
  5. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Is there any way this could be used on a simple php page, not a wordpress blog.

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Absolutely, the code is modular and could run on a different website. It could use a different WordPress install to record the movies or a new server-side recording script could be implemented. Feel free to use the contact form on this site for professional support.

      Reply to this comment
  6. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    I tried putting the folder outside the web root but it won't let me save the new location, it seems to insist that it be in httpdocs

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hm, the webserver needs permissions to write to that directory. You should probably check your error log.

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        It just keeps saying:

        "Settings saved."

        "/var/www/vhosts/mysite.com/httpdocs/wp-content/visitor-movies-logs/ does not exist or the plugin can't write to it. Please create it or make sure the webserver can write to it. "

        But the location I specify is /var/www/vhosts/mysite.com/visitor-movies-logs/

        I tried lots of different User:Group settings, psaserv, pasacln, root, and of course it's 777 permissions, but it just seems to keep insisting that it has to be /var/www/vhosts/mysite.com/httpdocs/wp-content/visitor-movies-logs/

        Reply to this comment
        1. avatar
          wrote this comment on

          Well as I said check the server's error.log. PHP seems to think it can't write to that location.

          Reply to this comment
  7. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    I'm so excited to find this plugin! Its exactly what I have been looking for, for ages.
    I have installed it, however I can't see any recorded videos either in Wordpress or in my FTP.
    Any ideas?
    From what I can tell the footer is being called, I have 100% as my % and I have accessed the website from a couple of computers to test, but still can't see anything...
    Thanks again!

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Is the JavaScript included on the frontend? Can you post a link to your site?

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        Hi,
        Sorry it is http://www.trophywarehouse.com.au.

        Reply to this comment
        1. avatar
          wrote this comment on

          The JavaScript isn't loaded anywhere. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/visitor-movies/faq/. Or maybe you just didn't enable it? Odd.

          Reply to this comment
  8. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Question. Love the plug-in works perfect! I am trying to interpret the time stamp. For example one time stamp is 163200?

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Actually, I just had a look again. I think you're referring to the admin interface? 163200 -> 16:32:00, or 4:32 p.m.

      Reply to this comment
    2. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hi Jim, hm, I think the date on your server might not be configured properly?

      Reply to this comment
  9. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Hi

    I can't see video recorded.
    I only have single logg which inform me about the URL and referrer !
    How can I see the video ?

    Sorry for my poor english
    thanks in advance
    regards

    Nico

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      In fact the duration of my logs are 0 second
      is it normal ?
      Even if I'm browsing during 3 minutes on the website ?

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        Did you check the percentage setting, and is logging enabled for the page you're browsing? Do you maybe use https for the admin section? Maybe you could try and install firebug and have a look at the console if there are any errors.

        Reply to this comment
        1. avatar
          wrote this comment on

          My website : www.cbfc.fr

          Screen of configuration :

          http://2leet4you.free.fr/visitor.PNG

          No https :(

          percentage 100%

          Any ideas ?

          Thanks in advance.

          Reply to this comment
          1. avatar
            wrote this comment on

            Hm, the logging looks fine to me, although there are some javascript errors. You should try firebug during the playback.

            Reply to this comment
  10. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    its a great plugin..........thanks

    Reply to this comment
  11. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Terrific plugin... i am amazed by the amount of info. recorded...
    Very well done... 10/10 ..
    Looking forward to great updates on this ...

    Reply to this comment
  12. avatar
    wrote this comment on

    Hi,

    I really love this plug-in thank you!

    However it does not seem to record the drop down menus? is there a way to record these also? thank you

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar
      wrote this comment on

      Hi, hm, I guess it's possible that I didn't add drop-downs. Sure, it could be added. I'll make a note.. not sure when I'll get to work on it though.

      Reply to this comment
      1. avatar
        wrote this comment on

        Thank you Nicolas, that would be great! All my product options are dropdowns so I can't actually see anything my customers are doing. But would love to make use of this plug, great plug! look forward to next update, thank you

        Reply to this comment

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