Visitor Traffic Counters For Your Website or Blog
Understand I am NOT an expert on visitor traffic counters for your website or blog. But I know what I know and, fortunately I did find experts and some folks who can help you filter out the forest of crap out there and pick some solid visitor and traffic counters for your site.
I will give you info on some additional sites that can even help you understand what often seem overly complicated instructions with some simple straight up help and get you up and running in no time no matter how much you know about your computer and/or you blog or website.
WordPress.org is related to wordpress.com provides you with a very reasonable blogging opportunity if you self-host your blog. In other words, wordpress.org blogs “live” on the site of your blog host and your host is not wordpress when you use wordpress.org. Most host sites are pretty reasonable tas far as cost unless you have a photography site or something that needs tons of space. Then you pay a bit more. For basic blog hosting you can find a provider for under ten bucks per month and some are just a few dollars per month.
It just depends on what you need and what you can afford. Free is pretty cool and wordpress.com works very well unless you are a pro blogger or you are selling a product or a service.
Can’t complain too much about free.
Because of the restrictions at wordpress.com, we cannot use flash or Java counters as a plug-in, just some straight HTML as a widget. But that is ok because you can still use some good counters. If you just must have Java on your site (because it is cool) then use wordpress.org or one of the other blogging sites like Blogger etc, that allow java script to be used.
What Do I use?
Would you like to know how many visitors you have, where they are from and when they visited?
Free counters with tons of information available to you. If you can handle flash their counters are even better. It even maps the visitors for you on a world map if you want.
Plus the folks are great. More helpful than I deserved. You can find them on Twitter @whosamungus
Feedjit shows you were visitors are from, what OS & browser they are using and what page or post they visited on your site.
Nice people, helpful website with forums and product works well. They have an advanced (non-HTML) version as well as the free version that I use.
You can Twitter them @Feedjit
Pretty cool. Visitors like it, it shows as many flags as you like and is pretty customizable, even the free version.
It has a ton of national flags and can support some specialty flags as well. The pay version has many more features and abilities to customize.
Support is pretty good with online help and forums. E-mail answers seemed a bit slow, but very helpful
I installed it like 10 days ago and it shows 900 visitors with 52 different countries flags represented. If you get more visitors than I do (pretty easy) make sure you set the number of flags higher than the default of 20. I think I hit 20 flags on my 2nd day, fortunately I went in and reset the HTML to 45 flags. You can reset it easily on the Flag Counter website if you are unsure about messing with the HTML directly in your site. I had to up the number of flags four times and now have it set to 100 now, so set it higher than you expect and check often to see it you need to increase it.
Together the three of these give some immediate & real-time information.
Site Meter is new for me. The product collects a ton of data and presents it to you in many forms, including raw data, statistics and reports.
You can learn how many visitors you have by day/week/month, what your average visitor count was over time, how long visitors stayed on your site, what page they enter and exit on. Lots of info.
You place the Meter on your site and then access your data and reports on the Site Meter website. I am still getting used to this product but I do like the variety of reporting they provide.
Site Meter sends you an email report each week showing you visitor counts per hour for each day plus the totals. Nice report with just the raw data.
As with most of the products Site Meter provides a free HTML version and a premium (pay) Java version.
Neat little product. The premise is that this counter checks your site against the hits you get from the Google search engine and gives you a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest in terms of Google hits. The mathematical formula they use also accounts for links you use out to other websites and links on other sites that point to your site or page.
Some of the websites that explain this product advise that you must expect that when you install PR Checker you need to expect a ranking of zero at first and that it will take quite awhile before you reach a 1 designation.
A great explanation of Page Rank is found here from Web Workshop.
I have blogged for a bit, don’t care much about my visitor load or Google hits, but I got a score of 1 as soon as I installed it. I may never get higher than that 1, but it was cool to see something larger than zero!
It’s a nice free product and looks pretty cool when you get up to 8, 9 or 10 for your rating. The rating shows where you rank against all other websites & blogs.
Note: You can click on any of these counters on my site and see some limited data that they collect about my visits. Give you a glimpse anyway before you install one.
Do I use too many counters??
Yes, I think I do. But I’m still checking them out and decided what to keep and what to toss. Plus, they do different things and/or present the results to you in different ways. So, you get one that gives you a flag and a count for each visitor based on their country of origin. Or one that gives you reports on who visited and when and what OS & browser they used. What page or post they looked at. How long they were there, etc.
Plus the Google checker is completely different from the regular visitor counters.
At some point I will settle on just a couple and clean my site up a bit. For now they are just cool toys.
If you use wordpress.com or wordpress.org for a blog, you can also use their stats counters depending on which version you blog on.
Who can help me??
Besides on-line and phone help from each vendor I found some blogs written by some very knowledgeable and very helpful people.
Life n Bits
The best help I have found. This blog has a lot more than info on visitor counters, but above is their page with information on stats widgets free & pay. They can also teach you how to create a blog, all about search engines, how to increase your traffic (if you care or want to) and other related tidbits.
lifenbits has a TON of useful information for you including how to add a contact form to your site, how to submit your site to search engines (Google, Bing & Yahoo) including the links and instructions to do this. And they have some really great photography! I like this site a lot and recommend it highly.
I found their writing style is very clear and the information is helpful. Including how to install your cool new widget(s). He also provides some excellent suggested sites for information, including:
A couple of sites written by timethief, as suggested by Life N Bits.
The next provides a comparison of various statistical sites.
Do you use wordpress.org??
Check out Mike Challis’ article “Who’s Been On-Line?“ with Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar. Has an admin dashboard to view visitor details. It cannot be used with wordpress.com (that ol’ Plug-in/Java thingie).
Later I will write a post about website & blog security and security products available to help you.
I hope this helped some of you. Good luck & have fun!
- Cool Stats Widgets Series – FEEDJIT Live Traffic Widget (lifenbits.com)
- WordPress.com free blog vs a self hosted blog (voodoodr06.wordpress.com)
- Flag Counter (ideasforsolutions.org)
- Blogging Hosting – Ideal blog hosting (preciseinternetmarketing.com)
- I Need Your Website Hosting Advice…and Soon! (bbbros.wordpress.com)
- WordPress: Is This The Alternative Your Company Needs? (progressivemediaconcepts.com)
- Post One on How to Increase Traffic to Your Site Using You Tube (clarbojahn.wordpress.com)
- Flag Counter (cindytruong.wordpress.com)
- How to add Feedjit widget to your WordPress.com blog? (vishnuramesh.wordpress.com)