How Does Tracking Software Work?

How does “front-end” campaign tracking software work? Thrive, Voluum, CPALab, Clickmagic, Adsbridge, et al are freaking expensive!

It seems that reading headers and user agents of incoming traffic and redirecting and adding parameters would be fairly straight forward – or at least doable for folks who do full-stack development. However, I can’t find any resources online.

I typically work with a LEPP stack and Django and would prefer to roll my own “front-end tracker.”

Any explanations would be much appreciated!

what do you want to track?

Google analytics is pretty comprehensive.

As far as i am aware most use a piece of javascript. Subsequently they all have a degree of error as if the JS doesn’t load or is blocked it won’t register a user event. Webhosts often have a stats package available or can install one serverside.

I’m all set up with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.

What I’d like to track (and what these trackers offer) is incoming traffic (someone has clicked on a link that I have placed on an ad network; for example, the ad at the top of this page. The click on the ad is a link to the tracker software and the tracker can then parse the click traffic based on headers and user agents and IPs and redirect the click destination before it loads a page on my site.

That gives the site developer the ability to a/b test pages and redirect traffic based on whether a user is on a desktop or mobile device, for example.

I’ve read that the bigger software uses a database of IPs to assist in identifying traffic, but am not sure.

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