[Resolved] "Default Browser" user agent reported by SlimStat
I recently started using StatusCake.com which is a free website monitoring service. They monitor the uptime of your website by using “agents” that load your homepage every so-many minutes.
They have an FAQ page at http://kb.statuscake.com/how-do-i-exclude-statuscake-from-google-analytics/ which explains how to exclude their agents from a statistics program like Google Analytics (or SlimStat of course).
They explain that their agents always use a User Agent string of “StatusCake”, so I can use this to filter them out according to the User Agent.
However, on the SlimStat “Right Now” page, I could see the StatusCake entries coming in every few minutes, but SlimStat listed the User Agent string as “Default Browser” rather than “StatusCake”.
So I wrote to StatusCake and asked them about this. I thought they were using the wrong user agent.
They wrote back to me the following answer:
“It seems likely that the statistics plugin you are using [SlimStat] is using a PHP Module called “browscap”, this module takes user agent strings and then tries to match them to a known list of browsers it has stored. If it can’t find a valued match then it will show ‘Default Browser’ even if more information is provided in the user agent string. I can confirm our monitoring agents are still using the correct user agent string [StatusCake].”
Can you confirm that SlimStat is using this PHP module? Is there any solution here, to allow SlimStat to report the true user agent string instead of “Default Browser”? This might also be relevant for other cases where the actual user agent is not known by the “browscap” PHP module and it reports “Default Browser” instead – wouldn’t it be better for SlimStat to always report the true, actual user agent in every case?
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