Number of Simultaneous Users on LearnDash
LearnDash website owners know that the famous LMS plugin requires a lot of server resources. That is, if you want to run your site smoothly. Unfortunately, LearnDash give us very little information in their official documentation as to how to choose the right server specs.
If we want to adequately size the server that hosts our online training platform, one of the most important metrics to know is the number of simultaneous users on LearnDash, or on its WordPress site more generally speaking.
Obviously, this calculation and more specifically its interpretation are a matter of common sense. There is no magic recipe or official figures.
LearnDash Concurrent Users is First and Foremost a WordPress Question
First, let’s clarify one thing: logging in users and creating accounts on the WordPress site is a topic managed by WordPress core, not by LearnDash, WooCommerce or your favorite membership plugin.
As of today, there is no built-in functionality in WordPress that allows you to calculate concurrent logins. I really hope that one day WP will add this kind of functionality. In the meantime, there are two main ways to obtain the data necessary for the calculation. Either by using a WordPress plugin or by using a traffic tracking tool.
There are plugins that can help you track user sessions and activity.
A popular plugin for tracking user sessions is Simple History. The plugin provides real-time monitoring of all user activities on the WordPress site, including login attempts, logouts, and concurrent sessions. It gives you the number of users connected at a given time and those who are active.
Another option is the User Session Control plugin, which allows you to set session limits and track user activity. With this plugin, you can set a maximum number of simultaneous connections for each user role and see how many sessions are currently active.
Something to keep in mind is that tracking concurrent connections can be resource intensive, so be careful not to overload your server or slow down your site.
To obtain data from which to calculate the number of simultaneous users on LearnDash, the attendance tracking tools are still very powerful.
The best known, Google Analytics, allows you to know over a given period how many users and engaged sessions have generated activity on the Analytics website.
I prefer to use Matomo, formerly Piwik, which allows us to produce the statistics we need. Matomo is a beautiful, modern and definitely European tool, which offers a much more intuitive dashboard than Google Analytics and which respects the confidentiality of personal data.
How to do the Calculation
The formula for estimating the number of simultaneous users on your WordPress site is relatively simple:
Concurrent users = (Total number of visits in a given period / Average session duration)
To calculate this metric, you need to track the number of visitors to your site and the duration of their sessions. We have already seen which tools allow you to find this data. Take a look at Matomo, if you haven’t already.
Ideally, you should take a fairly long period of time (like 1 month) and the traffic should be representative of reality. The average session duration is generally calculated in minutes. The result will give you an estimate of the number of simultaneous users on the site.
Now, one must keep in mind that this is just an estimate and the actual number of concurrent users may vary depending on various factors, such as peak traffic times, capacity of the server and user behavior.
I always round this number upwards, which allows me to be more comfortable when I start a LearnDash site creation project.