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Is there a way to "see" where the visitor came from?

Posted on 2004-10-29
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hi !

I had an idea to "see" where my visitors came from, I mean, if he clicked a link on a webpage to go to my site, which was it?

My idea where to, in some way, "modify" the Javascript History-function.

Something like $previouswebsite = javascript:history(-1);

Is there anyway i can do a function like tihs, or a function that has the smiular result and then store the result in a PHP variable?

Thanks!

//Anders
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Question by:a_80
    5 Comments
     
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    by:minichicken
    use $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']
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    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    by:minichicken
    If the user search on google and clicks on the link to your site.

    On your page of your site that got clicked from google, if you do a >> echo  = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']; //should return http://www.google.com
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    LVL 27

    Accepted Solution

    by:
    You could use the http_referer

    $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']

    which, if set, will contain the refering page however its not greatly reliable as it is client side and can be blocked from being sent etc.

    I usually advise using sessions, eg:

    session_start();
    $_SESSION['ref'] = $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'];

    The refering page will always be stored in the session variable (you must have session_start(); at the TOP of every page).

    A simple way of handling the updating is


    session_start();
    if (isset($_SESSION['ref'])) $referer = $_SESSION['ref'];
    $_SESSION['ref'] = $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'];

    Then the refering page will be available in the local variable $referer for use and then the session will be updated without causing you code flow problems.
    0
     
    LVL 27

    Assisted Solution

    by:Diablo84
    Note that the session method will only work internally, ie. from page clicks on your site.

    If you use the http_referer use a fail safe method in case it is not set, eg:

    $referer = (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])) ? $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] : "defaultpage.php";

    Then if the referer is not set and you need to redirect them to a page or something you can instead send them to a default page.
    0
     
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    by:minichicken
    i mean echo $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];

    and not echo  = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];

    sorry about that mistake...
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