Capture User Browser and Operating System Information on Your WordPress Site

Capture User Browser and Operating System Information on Your WordPress Site

Have you ever received support complaints or bug submissions and wondered where in the world your users are coming from? I’d like to introduce you to a handy tool that will help you to work more efficiently when supporting your users.

WP-UserAgent is a simple detection plugin that lets you easily insert icons and text into comments that identify the web browser and operating system details corresponding to each user who leaves a note.

You will be amazed at the full scope of this plugin. It identifies browsers and operating systems that you may never had heard of before, including ones running on mobile devices.

But the true beauty of this plugin is its potential for saving you time while helping you keep building your user base.

Check out a screenshot of the WP-UserAgent in action:

Let’s say that you’re a web developer or site manager in charge of maintaining and moderating a website.

Whether you operate a blog, an e-commerce site, a social networking community or a regular business site, you want your users’ experience to be as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Now it’s time to face an uncomfortable reality.

If a user experiences a problem with the loading, rendering, services or interface of your website, nine times out of ten they will blame your site, not the fact that they are running IE 6, which was first released nine years ago.

This doesn’t mean you have to watch your less tech-savvy users find a different solution to their online needs. Nor does it mean that you need to spend hours racking your brain on browser emulators to find out what the problem is when you get a user comment lamenting your “broken” site.

It means you need to implement WP-UserAgent.

Yes, the system details will show up on your site, right there on the comments your users leave. But there’s no need to publicly shame the less tech-advanced among us. ;o)

You can either apply the code to your comments across the board automatically or selectively include it in your comments loop on a custom page template for use in one specific “help” area of your website.

WP-UserAgent can currently identify nearly 200 browsers on over 35 standard operating systems and over 20 mobile OS’s so that you can make sure your users’ experience is always ahead of the curve.

Big shouts to Kyle Baker, who has taken on the burden of maintaining and updating this plugin when the original author stopped coding it up to standards.

Stop by the plugin’s home page and donate to help keep this project in development.

What are some of your favorite tools or plugins for user support? Let us know in the comments.

Sarah Gooding

Sarah Gooding Sarah enjoys staying on top of the latest WordPress and BuddyPress news. Get in touch with Sarah on Twitter @pollyplummer.