March 21, 2012

Beyond the Shelf - Visitor Widgets

Now how could we possibly clutter up those side bars even more? I mean it's not like those were half empty, but hey, one or two more widgets or buttons can't hurt, right? Well, joking aside, there are some widgets that every blogger should have (including a dozen different followers widgets, because you definitely want to offer satisfactory methods of stalking to everyone out there) and one such thing are those neat little visitor widgets. Some will cost you money, but quite a few are absolutely free.

The first one I ever used on my blog was ClustrMaps which seems to be rather popular judging from how often I see them on other blogs or websites. There is a basic free version which really is very basic - there are two map styles to choose from, you may zoom in on the map (but not in detail), and you get stats on country totals. If you upgrade, which costs $1,99 a month, you get to play around with a whole lot more features.

Not all too fond of those red dots I soon progressed to the next widget that caught my attention. is also a free service which may be upgraded for a fee starting from $5,00 a month. The basic version is pretty neat though with ten different maps that you can personalize with your preferred pins, and the zoom is comparable to the one from ClustrMaps. Unfortunately the free map doesn't offer stats on visitors by country though.

Then I found the coolest visitor widget ever (so far, that is). Revolver Maps gives you not just a map but the planet Earth revolving (hence the name) which is really neat (or maybe I'm just easily impressed by fancy little thingys like that). You have the option to "only" put a 2D map on your blog too, though I obviously chose the revolving map - there are nine different ones to choose from, and you may play around a bit with other settings too. Apart from all that I love how you get global statistics, not just countries and regions but cities too. Not to say those stats are very accurate seeing how I will show up as a visitor too every time I do something on my blog, but oh well. I didn't find any info on upgrades, then again you already get a whole lot for free here anyway.


  1. I don't trust the stats from those widgets. Every time I go to a blog with one of those widgets I turn up as a visitor from any given city in Bavaria. No idea whether my ISP switches servers like there is no tomorrow (or whatever they track, no clue), but according to yours right now I am from a city that is close but not mine.
    They are fancy, though, I give you that.

    1. I don't think those widgets are ever 100% precise, but it does give you a general idea of where folks are visiting from (and I guess it probably depends on your server with which city you show up, I have no idea). To get reliable stats you'd certainly have to go for a paid service that'll give you infos down to the IP address, but who really needs that?