Getting information about your website visitors is very important. One of the key tools to do this is by examining their IP address. This can provide you with a wealth of information, including their general location, their ISP, and the speeds they’re likely to have. The tool on this site will help you convert an IP address into a physical location.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to know the location of a visitor via the IP address.
Customize the User’s Experience
There are many ways you can tailor your site to suit the user at the other end. Let’s say yours is a shopping site, here are a few customizations you can make so that your user receives a location-specific experience.
If you’re selling to more than one country, you can display the prices of your items in the user’s local currency, which might make more sense from their point of view and make them feel that the site caters to them specifically. Customers are more likely to buy and stay on a site that shows relevant currency information.
Automatic Form Filling
How often have you struggled to fill a drop-down box that has a long list of country names, or timezones? Users with mobile devices or tablets have problems, especially when the screen is not large enough to accommodate all the choices and they have to scroll the list without losing their place.
But verifying the location of the user, you can pre-fill these forms for them to the best of your knowledge. No longer finding the country, or the state if it’s already there! By doing this, you can significantly increase the usability of your site.
Blocking Spam from Specific Countries
Every website has a different spam profile. Some might get huge amounts of traffic from specific countries for reasons unknown. If you don’t require the readership or sales from that country, it’s a perfectly acceptable solution to block IP addresses emanating from those places. Unfortunately, getting and maintaining a list of IP addresses belonging to specific countries can be a massive pain, and it can really mess up your .htaccess file. You should be able to use a tool like CloudFlare to make the process somewhat easier.
By denying access to specific countries, you can slash a huge amount of your spam. However, you might want to check back regularly to see if those countries are indeed generating the same amount of spam that they were before, and whether or not new places need to be placed on the block list.