How does it work?
Gatekeeper is a rules engine that allows you, the website operator, to craft custom policies for your website. After some light technical integration, you can script how your website responds to different visitors without actually knowing any programming languages.
The first step is to determine the different possible responses that your website might give. By default, most websites will want to simply show the requested content. New responses in your toolbox might include:
|Response||Also known as|
|Whoa! Slow down and let's check you're human||Show a CAPTCHA|
|Stop! We don't like what you're doing||Ban|
Obviously, you can customize these responses, such as:
|Response||Also known as|
|Hi there, you seem to like our website; you have more free articles||Show a small banner|
|Welp, you've gone through your free articles allotment||Sell a subscription|
Once you have your responses set up (e.g. you've implemented the "Sell a subscription" page), you can start the technical integration. Essentially, eveyr time a request comes in, your webserver (e.g. controller/servlet) can send the relevant details of the visit (e.g. URL of the request, the IP address of the visitor, the user-agent, and the user ID) to Gatekeeper and get a response indicating what should happen (Show a banner? Sell a subscription?). Gatekeeper tracks visit information over time and, based on the visit history, figures out which policy applies to the current situation.
After you have defined the various responses and have done the technical work of having your server ask Gatekeeper what to do, you've installed a brain for your website. The last step is to teach Gatekeeper what policies you would like to implement on your website.
There are three major building blocks to configuring policies:
A way of grouping visitors, whether by IP address or by user IDs. Visitors that meet the criteria of the group will be considered to be in that visitor group. Different policies can be customized to different visitor groups. For example, maybe Google search crawlers are one group and maybe servers on Amazon Web Services are a different group.
A way of organizing content. You can categorize your content into different groups. Some categories of content (e.g. old news), you might not care much about. Other pages might be content that you want to craft specific responses to (maybe a frequent reader of business articles would like to sign up for the business mailing list).
Policies are where everying comes together in Gatekeeper: visitor groups, page groups, and responses. Policies allow you to express what should happen (response) when certain visitors (matching a visitor group) visits certain content (page groups).