A while ago I was some where and I suddenly saw a Reading ping.chartbeat.net down in my status bar. I didn’t know what it was but I hadn’t requested anything and I wasn’t on chartbeat.net so I knew it wasn’t ajax or anything like that.
I went to the chartbeat.net website, which explained that their service was web monitoring and analytics. What is that? It’s when a website checks another website every so often to see if it is online. If it’s not online, then, the owner of the offline website gets emails, text messages and phone calls so they know their site is down and also keeping track of what pages generate the most traffic and all sorts of other details. Their website didn’t do a lot to explain what their little ping.chartbeat.net was doing down there, so I kept looking. (I also want to give a shout out here: Chartbeat uses Mootools!)
Then I did the next best thing, I did a quick google search. There were plenty of results. Tons of them actually. A lot of people were asking if the ping.chartbeat.net they were seeing down in their status bars were slowing their browser’s down. Well, it’s just a little script and you’re pulled down under ads anyway, so no big deal there.
Reading chartbeat’s site again, in their FAQ, I find:
Will it slow down my site?
How does chartbeat work?
After you install chartbeat on your site, users will begin pinging chartbeat every 10 seconds. This ping happens silently and in the background (asynchronously), having no impact on their browsing.
The ping acts as their heartbeat, and tells us if they’re still on a page, and what they’re up to on that page (like reading, writing or idle).
So it’s doing a good thing, it’s using your presence as an indicator that the site you’re on is up and running. I found this excellent blog post confirming once and for all that the ping.chartbeat.net is absolutely innocent of all concerning crimes of slowing down your browsing experience. It’s always cool when a company can respond to users via a blog post citing the Firefox/Mozilla bug tracker.
Hope that clears up the mystery of ping.chartbeat.net.