What is a session?

1 minMay 11, 2022

A session is a set of the user’s interactions with a website within a timeframe.

The session begins when a user visits the website and does one of these things:

  • scrolls
  • moves a cursor
  • clicks something (on desktop)
  • taps something (on mobile)

One session can contain many clicks, scrolls, page views and other events. What’s more, one user can open multiple sessions, either within one day or over a longer time span.

These events are recorded as a part of a session:

  • mouse movements and clicks
  • mobile touches and taps
  • window resizing and scrolling
  • focusing and blurring elements
  • text selection
  • input value changes (if keystroke logging is enabled)
  • CSS changes
  • URL changes
  • DOM mutations

When one session ends, another one can be started. By default, a session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Let’s say a user, John, arrives on your website at 11:25 and does one of the actions mentioned above. If he doesn’t do anything after that, the session will end automatically at 11:55. If he continues to interact with the website and the last event takes place at 12:27, the session will end automatically at 12:57.

The session is set to expire after 30 minutes of inactivity. This means that:

  • If John leaves the page open, goes for a coffee break and comes back 29 minutes later, it stills counts as one session – just like he never left the website.

  • If John leaves the page open, goes for a coffee break and comes back 31 minutes later, a new session starts. The landing page of that session is the last page of the previous session.

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