Daily Active Users, Monthly Active Users - Statistics Need

Two key metrics for measuring activity on web sites are daily active users (DAUs) and Monthly Active Users (MAUs). It would be really nice to have these statistics calculated in the admin interface so that we can easily track how well our forums are working.

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That is what Google Analytics is for, so hook that up, it is free, fully supported, and you will have those numbers.

Additionally we do track user sessions per day right on the admin dashboard. Search for “User Visits”, it is at the bottom left.


Is it possible to have Google Analytics identify between registered users and lurkers who are just reading the message boards?

Yes, this can be done with Custom Variables, see section “Session-level Custom Variables” at

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I just went in and double-checked all our Google Analytics for www, meta, try under discourse.org and they all look solid and working. I see no red flags or warning spots.

Provided you are cool with Analytics and how it works, you should be able to do anything the GA platform enables.

There are quite a few typical forum features you can delegate to GA, especially since there’s an API for realtime analytics:

  • users online
  • Number of users in a certain topic
  • most popular right now
    We will look into this soon, maybe give it a try with a plugin

It would be great if someone could provide instructions on how to do this - in a language/format for non-engineers.

I’ve got google analytics running and have dropped in the GA tracking code at the bottom of all the site web pages - but it seems like its a whole new level to start messing with custom variables and javascript - more than I have time to learn.


well it is technical.
do you want to use GA data within discourse or just see in GA the shares of anonymous vs logged in users?

I just want to see the data in GA of anonymous vs. logged in users. No need to pull any data into discourse or use it in discourse in any way.

This topic is a bit old, but probably still relevant. I wanted to check though.

Is integration of GA the best recommendation to getting an idea of DAU/MAU? Also, were you able to tease out the difference between anonymous and logged in @BCHK and perhaps have some info to share on the approach?

Thanks in advance.

I would definitely set up Google Analytics in the site settings as a start!

Set up GA, then visit

Then set up custom variables like in this example:

      1,             // This custom var is set to slot #1.  Required parameter.
      'User Type',   // The name of the custom variable.  Required parameter.
      'Member',      // Sets the value of "User Type" to "Member" or "Visitor" depending on status.  Required parameter.
       2             // Sets the scope to session-level.  Optional parameter.

No - I haven’t had time to dig into this. I’m not a SW engineer so I’m also assuming it requires more expertise than I have.

You can do this by setting up a custom dimension and send a unique id for every user in this dimension. Ensure not to send email/twitter handle etc as this ID, since they violate the privacy terms of Google Analytics. Ideally this ID is a unique internal userID from your server. Once you do this, you can query the report using this dimension and date. This will give one row for each user’s daily visit. Count of these rows compared to the time period, say 6 months will give you the DAU/MAU etc.

I have made a detailed write up after finding no complete article on it: DAU/MAU (Sticky users) Measurements in Google Analytics · Noting On


Also note that there’s “Active Users” for last 7/30 days on /about.


What is the definition of “Active Users” as Discourse uses it to day in the /about page?

Is it people who have just logged in? Is it people who have logged in and made at least one Post? Or is it something else?

I think I saw this somewhere in a past post - but can’t find it now. Any help greatly appreciated.

I think it’s if at least one visit is recorded - the visits used for trust level and on the /users directory.


I guess the former.

Though additional tools like Google Analytics are still recommended, we have better stats coverage now with our visual statistics: