Benefits of the who's online plugin?


I’ve been using this plugin for 2 years on my low activity forum.
My belief is that seeing there are people online now is an incentive for visitors to sign up and post because they can see that they are currently people here that will read reply (hopefully).

I think the best thing to do in my case is to show the online people list for both visitors and registered people. Because of low activity, seeing online people at the same time as us is reassuring. Plus, it’s good to stay around when there are other people, and I imagine people more inclined to close the window if there is nobody (visible) around.

What do you think about that? Of course, I guess it can be different for different communities…

I’ve installed the plugin on my new forum, which is way more active. My co-admin asked me if we could disable the plugin for visitors, and I wonder if disabling it would have, in theory, a negative impact regarding new registrations and participation.

What are your thoughts about this?


I think that if we show something to users, they should have a sense of activity on the site.

Perhaps several users should always be online (from different machines, for example), so that there is no feeling of an empty site.

A lot depends on the site. But if participants see activity and a large number of users online, that’s fine.

There are old forums, when I go there, I often see this picture: participants 1, guests 2. This is an example that immediately tells me that the forum is dead.


On my new forum, there are often between 5-10 users online at the same time.

This is the activity since I finally opened the imported forum on September 25th after it was down for almost two months:


@Stranik Can we show fake users Online?

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We ran the Who’s Online Plugin for many months. After extensive testing, we determined this plugin was the root cause of some performance issues; all of which (the performance issues) disappeared after we disabled it. I partially documented this here:

Hope this helps.