When you register for CrowdHandler, we automatically set up your first Waiting Room—ready to protect the domain name you registered with. The Waiting Room won’t receive traffic until you complete some set up on your website too. In this guide, we will show you some core functionality in CrowdHandler, and connect the Waiting Room to your site.
First Log in
When you first log into your admin panel, you should see something like this:
CrowdHandler's not seeing any traffic going through your domain right now, hence the tumbleweed. Your account is brand new, and you have not yet installed the code on your website. But we've already created a simple Waiting Room for you. It is set to protect all the URLs on your domain, and it's active right now.
Tip 1: the Waiting Room itself is a web page that Crowd Handler hosts for you; any visitor to the Waiting Room will eventually be redirected to your website. Read on to learn more about how we release visitors to your pages.
Check out the waiting room
Don't believe us? Click on the Waiting Room link and it will open your Waiting Room in a new tab.
You're the first visitor to the waiting room (well it is brand new), so you should see something like this:
You're number one because you're the only user trying to access your website via this Waiting Room. You'll be waiting a long time though, because when we set your domain up, we set the ingress rate to 0. We wanted you to check out the waiting room, and if we'd set the rate any higher you'd have been let straight through.
Check out the dashboard
Return to the Dashboard in the Admin Panel. In less than a minute you should be seeing something like this:
No more tumbleweed. That solid line is you, waiting. The dotted line is at zero showing you that there are no active users, only waiting ones.
Let's get that queue moving!
Let's turn that waiting user into an active one! Go ahead and set the rate to something bigger than 0. In the screenshot below we're setting it to 5:
Now if you pop back to your waiting room tab, you should see that you are redirected to your website in less than a minute.
And if you go to the dashboard, and wait less than a minute, you should see the graph update like this:
We now have no waiting users, and one active one (you!).
Tip 2: the rate setting controls the number of new users we will allow onto your website every minute
Understanding rate and queues
Let's take a beat to consider what the "rate" is and how a queue works with CrowdHandler. Here's the key thing to keep in mind:
You set the rate you can handle, and the waiting room engages when it's needed and doesn't when it isn't.
We count each user as they enter your site and keep a tally of how many are entering per minute. The rate can be as low as 1 per minute, or as high as is supported by your plan. Many CrowdHandler customers don't know what rate they can handle, and we have an autotune feature that figures it out in real time.
- Whilst the number of users remains under your rate we allow the users through unchecked.
- Once the number of users exceeds your rate, we start redirecting the users to the waiting room.
- They are then let back onto your site at the rate.
That's it! That's the relationship between the rate and the waiting room. It's also worth knowing how this plays out over a longer period:
- If the number of users trying to access your site is consistently exceeding your rate, then they will be joining a queue that grows over time.
- Once the number of users trying to access your site goes under your rate the queue will subside until the waiting room disengages.
Send traffic to CrowdHandler
So, we’ve learned that the Waiting Room will hold visitors and send them to your website in a controlled manner. Great! But how does this protect the site? Well, when traffic to your site is exceeding the rate, visitors need to be redirected from your website to the Waiting Room—CrowdHandler can then hold them and release them in a controlled manner.
There are several ways to redirect traffic to CrowdHandler:
Tip 3: your traffic won’t be sent to the Waiting Room until you add one of these integrations to divert visitors to the Waiting Room
If you're editing code or markup, you'll want to put the script before any other script tags. If you are using a web builder (services like SquareSpace) look for an option like "code injection" or "custom HTML" in the control panel or editor—you'll want to place the script in the header if there is an option for that, and before any other scripts.
Now to see if the code is installed properly, I go back to my website and click around a few pages. When I go back to the dashboard it now looks like this:
This graph shows when you left the waiting room.
Changing the waiting room message
When your visitors are redirected to the CrowdHandler waiting room, they’ll want to understand what has happened and where they are. You can provide some more context by editing the Waiting Room. From your dashboard, select the edit icon:
Here you can change the name of the waiting room, and the message:
There is more information about what each of these fields does in the help article: Editing a waiting room. There are also options to customise the template (paid plans only) or add your own logo (all plans) which you can read about here: Adding Templates.
In order to check this has worked:
- Set the ingress rate back to 0 on the dashboard
- Open a new incognito/private tab and visit my site on that. (You could go directly to the waiting room, but this also means you get to check that you're sent to the waiting room properly.)
The name of the room has updated, and it's now displaying the custom message:
Tip 5: if you have already been through the Waiting Room, you’ll need to test using an incognito or private session—or on a different machine
In this guide we have demonstrated:
The initial Waiting Room
How the rate setting can be used to control redirection from the Waiting Room to your website
How the integration directs traffic to the Waiting Room
How to customise the Waiting Room to give meaningful information to your visitors
Here are some next steps you can take to further understand the product: