WordPress websites run in many different environments. There are numerous plugins and themes available for them, and users view the sites from hundreds of different devices and browsers. This can result in thousands of different scenarios. It’s impossible to test all of these, so some bugs remain hidden from website owners and developers.

Real User Session Monitoring (RUSM) is a technology that monitors real user sessions, allowing it to find and report all bugs without additional testing.

RUSM uses lightweight JavaScript that tracks user activity on the site and tries to predict what should happen next. If the expected event doesn’t occur, it logs the issue and sends feedback to the site operator.

For example, if there’s an <a> element on the page, clicking it should either open a new page or jump to a section within the page. It can also happen that the default event is prevented and something else is supposed to happen (like opening a popup, expanding a box, or opening an off-canvas menu). But if nothing happens when you click the link, RUSM detects and reports it as a malfunction.

The same applies if a user fills out a form and clicks submit. Either the form should be sent via a traditional POST/GET method, or an AJAX request should happen. If nothing happens, it’s an error.

RUSM can also detect if a form is supposed to be handled by JavaScript but, due to an error, doesn’t run, resulting in the form being sent using the traditional POST request while the server doesn’t save the data.

With Real User Session Monitoring, we can also easily detect other issues, such as elements covering one another, unnatural word breaks, or clickable elements being too close together. These issues might only appear at certain screen sizes, so they might not be caught during development and testing, but they can still annoy real users.

An important feature of RUSM is that it can take screenshots and/or session playback video of the errors, making it easy to understand exactly what happened and what the user saw.

In the case of BugMonitor, we implemented RUSM technology to store all data on the website’s server, ensuring full GDPR compliance. Additionally, a 30-60 second session playback video typically only takes up 2-3 MB of space, so it doesn’t cause storage issues.

We also added features to BugMonitor to detect server-side errors like PHP warnings and errors, redirect loops, and email sending issues. Moreover, if a plugin causes an error and you can’t access the admin panel, BugMonitor can disable the faulty plugin.

Additionally, the uptime monitoring service alerts you if the server is unavailable, ensuring your website is always secure.