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Running a recently upgraded instance of Magento CE 1.9.1.0 (from 1.7.0.2). Form key support was built in to the theme and is functioning a-okay when browsing the website with different browsers and caching enabled.

I have noticed however that if a single browser leaves a page open for an extended period of time (roughly 2 - 3 hours), upon resuming activity on that page and clicking the add to cart button does not work the first time it is clicked. The cart is still empty but after a page refresh it becomes functional again.

I'm assuming that this is because the form-key rendered on the page at the time it was generated and output to HTML is no longer the same as what Magento's core/session model references in the database. After the page refresh this resolves itself.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a way to resolve this issue?

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Presumably that's because the visitor's session expired. The form key is tied to the session. When they submit the form, Magento sees they have no valid session, and so creates a new one (along with a new form key). That new key doesn't match the one submitted, so they get an error--but submitting again immediately after that failure would indeed work.

Solution? Raise your session lifetime.

  1. Make sure cookies are staying around (I would recommend expiration date of a day or more). See: System > Configuration > Web > Session Cookie Management > Cookie Lifetime
  2. Make sure PHP isn't cleaning out sessions prematurely. That means increasing the value of PHP setting session.gc_maxlifetime (by default, set to 24 minutes). You may have to contact your host to arrange this.
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