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Visitor tracking widgets are a useful way to display visitor statistics on the front end of your site.

With a wide range of visitor tracking widgets available that you could embed into blogs and websites it can be confusing deciding which one(s) to add!

So we’ve decided to help you by providing an overview of the more popular visitor tracking widgets used on class blogs, student blogs and personal educator blogs.

We’ve inserted each widgets into this post so you can see how they work.  You normally add visitor tracking widgets to sidebars and we explain how this is done later in this post.

Why Use Visitor Tracking Widgets?

But lets first talk about why you might want to add Visitor Tracking widgets.

Visitor tracking widgets are popular on public class and student blogs because:

  • 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.
  • 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 students’ interest, excitement and motives them to blog.
  • They also provides built-in geography lessons — most students constantly check for new visitors and enjoy finding out more about the countries where their visitors are from.

Some educators also add tracking widgets to their personal blogs as a way of displaying their blog’s popularity and readership to themselves and their visitors.

Visitor tracking widgets display visitor statistics in a range of different ways which is why it isn’t uncommon to see several different types of Visitor tracking widgets on class blogs.

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.

The ClustrMaps widget used to display your yearly stats and archived the yearly data on 31 December. It now displays your monthly data only. To view previous monthly data you need to click on the ClustrMaps thumbnail, then select “This Year”.

ClustrMaps

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.

Top Countries Widget

Flag Counter

Feedjit Live Traffic

Feedjit Live Traffic Feed displays the 100 most recent 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 Real time view link in the bottom of Feedjit Live Traffic widget 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.

Flag Map Widget

Flag Counter

Revolver Map

Revolver Map displays all visitor locations and recent hits live and in realtime on a revolving globe of the Earth. Clicking on the widget opens the Revolver map live statistics page.

Adding A Visitor Tracking Widget

All visitor tracking widgets are added by pasting their embed code into a text widget in your sidebar.

Here’s how it is done:

1.  Copy the embed code for the widget you want to add.

Use the following links (or instructions) to access the code for the different tracking widgets:

  • ClustrMaps – ClustrMaps is the only visitor tracking widget on our list that requires you to sign up for an account to access the code. You’ll find detailed step by step instructions on how to set up ClustrMaps and access their code here.
  • Flag Counter – click on Get Your Flag Counter once you’ve customized your counter and the copy the code for websites (you can click on Skip if you don’t want to sign up using your email address)
  • Feedjit – select WordPress.org Blog from under the Install Feedjit on my drop down menu then click Go! to access the code.
  • Revolve Map – copy the code from the bottom of the page once you’ve configured your globe.

Below’s an example of copy the code using the Feedjit code. Highlight the code then right mouse click and select Copy.

Copy code

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets

Appearance > Widgets

3.  Drag a text widget into your desired sidebar.

Text Widget

4.  Paste the embed code into the text widget.

Add Embed code

5.  Click Save.

6.  You should now see the widget in your sidebar.

Your Input

Did we miss your favorite Visitor Tracking Widget?  What else did you want to know about Visitor Tracking widgets?  What are your tips for using Visitor tracking widgets?

Leave a comment below to share your tips or ask a question.

About Sue Waters

Support manager for Edublogs and CampusPress. Follow me on Twitter @suewaters!

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