Detect Return Users with Local Storage


A nifty feature to have available on any website is being able to differentiate between, new and returning users. Such a feature opens doors to providing more personalised features on your website or application. Previously you could do this using cookies, but that involves working with a server. Luckily, modern day javascript offers a really simple and easy alternative that can be executed completely on the client side. Take a look at the demo below:

See the Pen pLVarY by My Weekend Project (@MWP) on CodePen.

If the output is New User, try refreshing this page. The output, should say "Return user", cool right? Let's break down what's happening here:

  • First of all we check to see if the browser supports local storage
  • so then we read the stored data to determine if there's a boolean set called "return_user".
  • "return_user" is true, we output "Return User" else we output that the user is visiting for the first time.

That's it! Easy right? A simple way to detect returning users on your site . If you found this helpful be sure to share!