Step 6 – Add A Visitor Tracking Widget To Your Blog Sidebar

bloggingstep6We’ve designed a series of nine steps, with how-to info, to help you with your class blogging.

This step is to add a visitor tracking tool to your blog sidebar.

Why Use Visitor Tracking Widgets?

It’s likely that your blog gets visitors from around the world.

But unless you find ways of displaying visitor numbers and their geographical locations, your students won’t appreciate that they’re publishing posts for a global audience.

Benefits include:

  • Knowing you’re writing for a global audience is incredibly motivating for students.
  • Realizing people from other countries are reading what they’ve written increases their interest, excitement and motives them to blog.
  • It also provides built-in geography lessons — as most students constantly check for new visitors and enjoy finding out more about the countries where their visitors are from.

There’s numerous different types of visitor tracking widgets you can use, and it isn’t uncommon for teachers and students to use more than one type on their blogs.

Below are the most commonly used ones with instructions on how to install.

Please note:

All visitor tracking widgets require you to add embed code to a text widget

To be able to add the embed do you need to be either using:

ClustrMaps

ClustrMaps is a thumbnail hit counter map widget that shows the geographical location of all visitors to your blog. Number of visitors from a location is indicated by the relative size of the dot.

Clicking the ClustrMaps thumbnail takes you to a large World map so you can examine your traffic sources more closely.

There is a ClustrMaps widget in the left hand side bar of this blog.

Here’s comprehensive ‘how to’ add a ClustrMaps to Your Sidebar Using:

  1. A Text Widget – free Edublogs blogs which have been upgraded using a Pro blog to enable embedding of HTML code
  2. The ClustrMaps widget – Edublogs Pro blogs only

Flag Counter

Flag Counter widget shows the total number of visitors from each country next to the country’s flag. Every time someone from a new country visits your site, a new flag will be added to your counter.

Clicking on the flag counter takes you to your Flag counter page which provides more detailed charts and information about your visitors.

See it in action on Technology in Our Classroom!

Example of a Flag counter

Here’s how to add a Flag Counter:

1.  Go to Flag Counter

2.  Choose the maximum flags to show, number of columns of flags and your color scheme then click Get Your Flag Counter

Please Note: most blog sidebars will only fit 1 or 2 columns of flags.

Customizing your Flag Counter

3.  Copy the HTML embed code

Grabbing HTML Embed code for Flag counter

4.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

5.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)

Please note: In new blogs sidebars in your dashboard are empty and adding widgets automatically removes the default Edublogs widgets

Expand your sidebar area

5.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets or Inactive Widgets areas on the left into the Sidebar area on the right.

Adding a text widget to your sidebar

6.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code from Flag Counter, click Save and then Close.

Adding HTML code to the text widget

7.  You should now see your Flag Counters in your blog sidebar and the flags will start appearing after 24 hours.

Feedjit Live Traffic

Feedjit Live Traffic Feed displays visitors to your blog in real time and includes:

  • Which city and country your visitors are in
  • Which website they arrived from, if any
  • Which page they visited on your website
  • Which external link they clicked to leave your site, if any

Your traffic feed is updated as each visitor arrives on your site. This update occurs before it loads so each of your visitors can see their own location displayed.

Clicking on the Feedjit Live Traffic counter takes you to your Live traffic page which provides more detailed information including the countries associated with web visitors’ IP addresses, the web browser, computer operating system, and referring website.

See it in action on Technology in Our Classroom!

Example of Feedjit Live Traffic widget

Here’s how to add a Feedjit Live Traffic Widget:

1.  Go to Feedjit Live Traffic Feed

2.  Click on Click here to Customize It! below Live Traffic Feed

3.  Choose your color scheme and width (ideal size for most sidebars is less than 170)

Customize Live Traffic Widget

4.  Once finished customizing, copy the HTML embed code

Copying Live Traffic Feed HTML code

5.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

6.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)

7.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets into the Sidebar area on the right.

8.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code from Live Traffic Feed, click Save and then Close.

9.  You should now see your Live Traffic Feed in your blog sidebar and visitor data will immediately start appearing.

Feedjit Live Traffic Map

Feedjit Live Traffic Map displays real-time visitor tracking by showing the geographic locations of the last 100 visitors to your blog.

If you move your mouse over any point on the map the city and country for that visitor will be displayed.

Displaying city and country on a Feedjit map

Clicking on the Feedjit Live Traffic Map takes you to your Live Traffic Map page which provides more detailed information.

See it in action on Technology in Our Classroom!

Feedjit detailed live feed map

Here’s how to add a Feedjit Live Traffic Widget:

1.  Go to Feedjit Live Traffic Map

2.  Click on Click here to Customize It! below Live Traffic Map

3.  Choose your color scheme and width (ideal size for most sidebars is less than 170)

Customizing your Feedjit Map

4.  Once finished customizing, copy the HTML embed code

Grab embed code for Feedjit Map

5.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

6.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)

7.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets into the Sidebar area on the right.

8.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code from Live Traffic Map, click Save and then Close.

9.  You should now see your Live Traffic Map in your blog sidebar and visitor data will immediately start appearing.

FINAL THOUGHTS

These steps were created as part of the preparation for the Student Blogging Challenge — the next challenge starts in September, 2010.

You can read more about the Student blogging challenge here:

  1. About the student challenge
  2. Student Blogging Challenge FAQs

And here’s where you find the other steps for setting up your class blog:

Please a comment on this post:

  1. If you have any problems or questions while setting up your class blog just — I’m always happy to help!
  2. If you have advice for other educators on visitor tracking widgets — would love to hear stories of how you use them with your students!

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider feed-icon32x32 Finding and Adding Creative Commons Images To Your Blog PostsSubscribing For Free!

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

85 Responses

  1. Thanks, Sue, for continuing to provide great advice… and for keeping ClustrMaps high on your radar screen. Just to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to a happy user experience, we’ll provide a free upgrade to “ClustrMaps+” (better zoomed-in maps, no ads) to the FIRST 10 NEW ClustrMaps SIGNUPS that result from reading this post! To get this upgrade, you just need to let us know by any of the following methods:

    a) Reply to this comment and include your newly-registered URL

    b) Blog about it – be sure to use ‘ClustrMaps’ in your blog post – and it should come to our attention

    c) Tweet about it and bring it to our attention (we’re @clustrmaps)

    Enjoy!

    -Marc on behalf of the ClustrMaps Team

  2. jacksloan says:

    What a great resource Sue! Thanks for writing that up so clearly. I think it will help people in our school to better understand these useful tools.

    I have made some tutorial videos to help people to add comments, write simple posts, add links to posts, and embed pictures into posts in WordPress. Please do use them if you find them useful.
    http://yeartwo.chorltonparkblogs.net/

    Thanks again,
    Jack.

    • Sue Waters says:

      @Jack, thanks Jack hope that it does help you all with your blogs.

      I did check out your videos when John Sutton wrote his post about them the other day. They are excellent videos and you have done a great job. Unfortunately our version of WordPress MU that powers Edublogs is very customised and looks quite different from your dashboard.

  3. TG says:

    Hi,
    Great post. However, I am looking for something much simpler. I need to know at the end of the semester- how many posts were made by each subscriber to a blog. I need each student to post 4 comments atleast to get a grade but don’t want to manually track this as we have 4 different blogs ! We are using blogger.com
    Thanks so much for your help !
    TG

    • Sue Waters says:

      @TG, the only way you could achieve something like what you are describing is to use your own WordPress MU site (like what each Edublogs Campus site uses) because all the blogs are hosted on the same domain and you will be able to access everything through the one dashboard.

      Unfortunately what you want to achieve won’t be possible with blogger and it would need to be a manual process.

  4. mrsdkrebs says:

    Hi, I’m trying to follow the directions to add ClustrMaps as a widget, but I’m not having luck. Though I paid as a supporter and I have some of the benefits–like no ads, on this it seems that I am not a supporter–I can’t access the ClustrMaps or the email support. Can anyone help?

  5. murcha says:

    I heartily endorse your comments about the value of adding tracking widgets. Students from primary school on, also seem to like using the statistics and this sets them up with some great analytical skills. Over the last couple of years further great widgets have appeared.
    A new one that appeared at the end of last year is http://www.revolvermaps.com which adds a wonderful 3D animated widget fof a revolving globe for added effect and impact to the sidebar which young and old alike enjoy seeing. Flags, cities and state can actually be seen on the larger versions as it revolves.

    • Sue Waters says:

      @murcha, yes I did think about including Revolver Maps as it is becoming more popular.

    • Chirag says:

      Hmmm- I use box.net widgets with a Blogger blog. Over there, each file foedlr can have a separate widget which can be embedded directly into a blog or site. No matter what I try I can’t get the widget codes box.net generates to work here. I just get an empty box widget every time. I really want to recommend edublogs for my school so can anyone help me here?

  6. bhughes says:

    Hi Sue,

    I just tried installing the Feedjit Live Traffic Map on one of our Campus blogs, and I noticed that the traffic stats that appeared seem to be for visitors from across our domain, not the specific visitors to that particular blog.

    You can see what I mean at http://literacy44.ca/lan — am I confused? or is it not possible with a Campus account to have visitors tracked for individual blogs?

    Thanks!

  7. wafmslibrary says:

    Is it still possible to get a free version of the map without ads?

  8. merschelblog says:

    I am trying to put the clustrmap on my blog that is available for free edublogs. When I am in widgets and try to add the text 1 widget into my sidebar, it says “there are no options for this widget.” I tried changing my theme and the new theme allowed the text box to be placed in the sidebar. Does this mean that some themes do not allow the clustrmap? I’m trying to get this figured out so I can have my students add the maps to their blogs but I don’t want to do it if only some themes allow it. Thanks!

  9. NO MORE FREE CLUSTRMAPS+ UPGRADES (for this round).

    Hi everyone… thanks for the enthusiastic responses… we’ve done our promised 10 free upgrades (plus a few… what the heck…), and are closing down this particular round; will open up some periodically via Twitter @clustrmaps so stay tuned!!!

    -The ClustrMaps Team

    • Sue Waters says:

      @ClustrMaps Team, Thanks! I know that everyone really appreciated your support and are really happy with their new ClustrMaps + upgrades.

      Thanks as always for supporting the Edublogger community!

  10. Thank you so much for this information.

    I will be putting this on my website since I have many international visitors and this will let them know from what countries we are getting visitors to.

  11. nice and great widget thanks..

  12. sushi(jacinta) says:

    this is so wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. dsimon says:

    In my school we were looing for something much simpler, something just to track the number of visitors. Our blogs are being used for a local audience, so world maps are not necessary. In general we are looking for the ability to track the number of hits and the ability to reset the counter. Any chance of getting some help in this area?

  14. Sue Waters says:

    @dsimon sorry for the delay in response but I’ve been away on a holiday with my family. I’m not aware of any widget that will do what you would like it to do. Perhaps worth checking on Widgetbox in case they have one.

  15. Thanks can you give me a solution which tracks the mouse pointer and mouse clicks of the user. If any free service available then notify it or give some premium sites except clicktale. Thanks!.

  16. Dear SUe,
    Thank you for your pleasant & useful help.
    But I’ve to ask you the HTML code for the so cute Feedjit “Live Traffic Map” because none link you mention for it seems to work : the specific link connects only to Feeedjit Homepage to login or to subscribe so that visitor may get only free Feedjit “Live Feed Traffic” widget.
    I watch still Feedjit Live Map is working well… so I investigate to get directly the “embed” HTML code isntead of a wrong URL link.
    Freidnly yours for your compassion… ;-)
    Patrick BESSET

  17. who2india says:

    Great article, thinking of installing feedjit.

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  19. Bitacora says:

    I will post one of these visitor trackers on my blog thanks!

  20. Hello,this student blog is now hot,i’ve just add five gadgets to my blog and i’m wondering,what my friends will say when they sees the change.
    Shhh,it’s a top secret.i got the info all from here.thanks.

  21. jpd says:

    Nice post, now, i think, I should use Feedjit Live Traffic.
    It’s good to see on the track.
    Thanks!

  22. حجوزات فنادق,booking says:

    good post

  23. Answer sheet says:

    Thank for share. i use this tool
    http://www.kythuatmang.net/live-traffic-feed.php

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