If you are new to blogging you might be obsessed with your blog statistics. You probably visit your blog stats more times than the amount of views you have in any given day. Or maybe, you have a well stablished audience and are wondering where they are all from. For the seasoned blogger, you probably found these widgets already, but if not, join us, the beginners, in our around-the-clock amazement with statistics.
WordPress statistics are very complete in their own. You can look at site views (thankfully they don’t count yours if your are logged in!), referrers, top posts and pages, search engine terms, clicks, totals, subscriptions and incoming links for different periods of time. See WordPress explanation of each statistic here. That is almost everything you need to analyze your traffic. Is there anything else you might want to know? Well, if you are into statistics, yes there is!
There are three widgets I will like to introduce to you. At this point you might ask, if you have little traffic, should you install these widgets? The answer is yes. These sites do not use your WordPress stats history. They start compiling information when you insert the widget in your blog. Therefore, you will not have the complete history of your blog if you don’t start today.
I include direct links to the widgets websites for your convenience. After the list of widgets, I include a step by step to set up your widgets.
- ClustrMaps. This site will mark the location of your visitors in a world map. It will also list the number of visitors by country. The service is free.
- sitemeter. Sitemeter have some paid services but also a free service. The free service is very good. You have access to a summary of visitors; details of each visitor including domain, location, operating system, browser, time, pages visited, entry page, exit page, etc.; world map; graph of visits and views for different periods. If you are crazy about stats you will have a lot of results to dig into.
- PR Checker. PR Checker will calculate your blog’s page rank and you can set up a widget for your site. The service is free. Page Rank is a value between 0 and 10 that indicates how important is your website in the internet. Believe me, if your blog is new or recent, you will score a 0 just like my blog. It is a number used by Google as one of many criteria to decide how high in the list of search results your site will be. It will take time to score a 1 but it will be nice to know when it is achieved. To learn more about Page Rank click here (Google Page Rank Explained).
- Flagcounter. Flagcounter will present in your blog a count of visitor from different countries, showing the country flag. You can set up a list of flag or flags within a world map.
- FEEDJIT. FEEDJIT widget show your most recent visitors. Information shown are the country flag, city, country and how long ago they entered your site. Please visit the FEEDJIT post for installation instructions. (CLICK HERE)
I found these widgets reading other bloggers post and clicking at the widgets. I also spent some time researching these widgets on blogging blogs. I will like to mention timethief’s blog which have excellent references on this and other topics. If you are like me and you are learning to blog please visit her site, One Cool Site, and learn from the experts. Also check the references in the Further Readings section below.
In addition to widgets, good sources of stats on your site are the Webmaster Tools. Each search engine provides Webmaster Tools free. Please read my post to start using the webmaster tools, Make Your Website Appear on Search Results.
Setting Up My Widgets
Now that you know where to find your widgets you will need to set them up. Basically you type the information of your blog and yourself and the site to creates the widget code. You will be inserting the widget code into your blog as explained in the next section. Here is how you set up the widgets mentioned above.
Press the link to the Cluster Map Creation page provided. (1) On the text box type your blog URL. (2) Next type your e-mail address. (3) Press Make My Map button.
Cluster Map Creation Page
At this point you will be sent a password. This password will give you access to change the settings of the map. You don’t need to do that now. Now your are ready to insert the widget code into your blog. You don’t need to press continue. Use the recommended style. Copy the recommended code and go to Installing My Widgets.
Press the link to the sitemer Sign Up Page. Press the Sign Up button next to the Site Meter Basic Free description.
sitemeter Sign Up Page
Provide the requested information of your site. (1) Type your site URL. (2) Type your site mame. (3) Type a Code Name. This is just a label. your could type the site name, ex. lifenbits. (4) Set your local time. (5) Check box after reading Service Terms Agreement. (6) Press Next button.
sitemeter Site Information Page
The next page will ask for your information including e-mail address. Go ahead and provide the information requested and press Next button. Verify your information in the next page shown by sitemeter. If everything is correct press Next button. The next page confirms you have completed setting up your site. To access the widget code click manager.
In the next page, look in the Adding Site Meter to your site section and click at the HTML link.
Scroll down until you see the Site Meter Regular HTML. Copy the HTML code and go to Installing My Widgets.
Press the link to the Page Rank Checker page provided. Scroll down until you see “How to add PAGE RANK Checker icon to a site?”. Select the widget you prefer from the three options provided. Type your site URL and press Get It! button.
On the next page type the code provided and press the Generate Now button.
PR Checker generates the HTML code. Identify the widget you want and copy the code. Go to Installing My Widgets.
Installing My Widgets
Once you have copied the generated widget code, you can insert the widget into your blog. First go to your dashboard. On the left hand side, (1) click at the arrow of Appearance, (2) click at Widgets.
Scroll down and find the TEXT widget. Drag the widget to the SIDEBAR and place it in the location you want the widget to appear. The TEXT widget will open allowing you to edit its content. (1) Click inside the large text box and paste the widget code. (2) You can add a title if you like. (3) Press the Save button. Your widget is now ready and available in your blog!
Return to Cluster Map
Return to sitemeter
Return to Page Rank Checker
Share Your Cool Stats Widgets!
I have no commercial affiliation with any of the sites and widgets presented here. These are the widgets I’ve explored up to now. I am sure there are many other nice widgets available out there. If you found a cool stats widget please share it with us and post the information in the comments section.
I have included this section to include some of the stats widgets you suggest.
06-mar-2011 Suggestion by harrythehandyman. He uses in his site the free service Flagcounter. Flagcounter will present in your blog a count of visitor from different countries, showing the country flag. You can set up a list of flag or flags within a world map. Here is how you set it up.
To start press this link to Flagcounter site. (1) Select the type of counter you want. Top Countries show a list of flags. Flag Map shows the flags in a world map (too crowded in my opinion). (2) Next select the number of maximum flags to show. This will affect how long the widget will be in your sidebar. (3) Select the number of columns. This will affect how wide is the widget and will be limited by the width of sidebar. (4) Select the counter label. (5) Select the widget colors. You can play with the color and a sample is shown. (6) Select whether you want country codes and page views to show in the widget. (7) Press the Get Your Flag Counter button.
Next you can register with Flagcounter if you like. Press the Continue button if you do.
Flagcounter will generate the widget code. Identify and copy the code under Code for Websites. Go to Installing My Widgets.
There are a lot of references out there on widgets and on stats widgets. I want to share some of them with you. I have include a couple of readings suggested by timethief. Please let me know of your suggestions to include them here.