I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of understanding and leverage as much data as possible about a web site visitor or blog reader. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of data available if you’re willing to dig a bit and use the tools available. You’re probably aware that information is transmitted to the web sites you visit as part of the conversation between your browser and the web server. However, what’s not readily known is the amount of data that can be derived from other sources such as your IP Address (which, incidentally is also a component of the browser-web server exchange.)
Maxmind is a geolocation server provider that publishes a database of information related to specific blocks of IP Addresses. This information is refreshed regularly and can be leveraged to provide information about the city, state, zip code and other information about your web site visitors. Maxmind offerstwo classes of product offerings – free and paid. The free and paid versions of their databases differ only in the granularity of detail.
The WPGeocode Geolocation Plugin that I just released relies on the free database and can be leveraged by wordpress bloggers to customize content based on geographic information for their visitors. The plugin can be used to incorporate geo-data into posts or pages and can also be used to display content conditionally based on these geographic details.
The plugin implements wordpress shortcodes that provide these data elements. For a complete listing of the shortcodes and additional details on the plugin, please visit WPGeocode.com. You can download the latest version of the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Site.