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Finding How Many Users Are On Your Site With PHP


Counting the number of users that are currently browsing your site is a great way to brag about your high number of unique visitors if you're running a busy web site. In this article Joe shows us how to use PHP and a MySQL database to show the common "There are currently 23 users online" text on our web site. He uses two very simple scripts to do this, and the result is small, quick and informative. If you run your own site, then be sure to check this article out!

Author Info:
By: Joe O'Donnell
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 21
April 27, 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Finding How Many Users Are On Your Site With PHP
  2. · Building the database
  3. · Creating the PHP script
  4. · Displaying the number of users
  5. · Conclusion

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Finding How Many Users Are On Your Site With PHP
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One of the many cool things that I seem to notice when browsing around the Internet is the "xxx users currently online" feature of many web sites. Counting the number of users that are currently browsing your site is a great way to brag about your high number of unique visitors if you're running a busy web site. It's also a great way to show advertisers just how serious your site is and to show them that it's worthy of their hard earned advertising dollars.

In this article we're going to use PHP and MySQL to create a simple script that shows how many people are currently browsing our web site. We will create two scripts: one which adds users details to the database and another which tallies them up. This script will also be able to display the number of users online in a small sentence, such as "There are currently 245 users online".

To implement the scripts and database that we're going to create, you should be running a web server with PHP 4.1.0 or above and MySQL 3.23 or above installed. I will assume that you have an intermediate knowledge of PHP and MySQL, however don't worry too much about the code as it is fairly easy to follow.
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