I make websites for virtual events and clients want robust attendance data. My fail safe approach has been a hidden Gravity Form that sends and reloads every 10 minutes or so for every user on the live stream page (with a “form load time” field populated by js). Post event, I’ll export the attendance logs and can sum the duration that each user was on the page.
It’s dawned on me that using partial entries might be a better option however, as the same GF entry will simply update with the WP Heartbeat, as opposed to creating a new entry with every log.
Assuming I tweak the Heartbeat to fire at the same interval my form would otherwise be sending, is my logic correct that the Partial Entries approach would be lighter on the server as a result of the creation of fewer entries? Or is the updated entry effectively still a write to the database and thus one and the same?
It’s worth noting that my reloading form hasn’t posed any server issues to date, but at a glance I suspect the format of the Partial Entries option would better suit my needs. Likewise, attendees know they are being tracked.
Any advice/warnings much appreciated!