Understanding anonymous metrics on a login required site

My Discourse is open only to active patrons of my Patreon site. In looking at metrics in the consolidate pageviews section I see that a good number of views are listed as from anonymous users and a few crawlers. Is there a way I can confirm these anonymous users are indeed supposed to have access? Is there a way I as admin can see who these users are? And what are crawlers doing on a closed forum? Thanks for any insights.

A web crawler is an internet bot which systematically browses the worldwide web typically for the purpose of web indexing web. search engines and some other sites use web crawling or spidering. (Not to confuse with that creature). You can just log out of your account, which will turn you into an anonymous user with no account, and check if you have access or not.

The crawlers can still see your login page. Check your admin dashboard for the web crawler reports to see if badly behaved crawlers are hitting you. There are … a lot.

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Thanks! I logged out and when I go to my page I see only the option to log in or create an account. But I’m curious that, if that’s the case, I regularly have 20+ anonymous users a day. It’s concerning since many of my users expose very personal and sometimes traumatic info and are specifically looking for a truly safe space to get and offer support.

Anonymous users can only see your login page, but that’s still going to be in the activity dashboard since they are still visiting your site, but they cannot see what’s inside unless they create an account.


Whew! Thank you so much for that explanation!