10 February 2007

Radios, clocks and counters

OK so this is not one of those essential features but while I was trying to find the illustrations for the IE7 article I came across some excellent little things. First there's the radio. This comes from labpixies and can easily be added to your web log, Pageflakes site or almost any other site for that matter.

Just copy the few lines of code from the labpixies site, go to your Blogger dashboard and click on settings. Add an element and choose a HTML/Javascript panel. Paste the code into the box. That's it. The radio should appear. Click on the little curly arrow for settings which takes you to the list of radio stations and set your own choice for each of the five knobs.

Have to say I feel quite good about being the one who added Radio London to their list tonight! My No. 1 station, of course, but if you want Cricket reports from India you can probably get them too.

The clock's been around for a while on several of my sites and web logs. That's from clocklink.com where there's a range to choose from. Again, choose your clock, set the time zone and copy the code. Use another HTML/Javascript panel and paste it in.

Last one's a hit counter. These are more than just the vanity meters and can be a useful guide to things like what browsers or screen resolution visitors have which can influence the way you display site pages. And if you find that all your visitors are coming from Chnia then they might appreciate a welcome message in their language. I'll explain how to do that in another post! There are lots of hit counters out there but I find sitemeter one of the simplest and the free version comes with plenty of stats for my purposes. You need to register on the site but that's pretty harmless if you can avoid ticking any newsletter boxes. Then choose a style, background, font colour etc. You don't need to wait for the activation e-mail - that is just to enable you to manage the counter later for which you'll need the user ID and password they send - you may as well get the code while you're there and paste it into another box like the ones above. Do remember to select the option that doesn't count repeat visits from your own computer.

For those of you who can do 'proper' sites then the code just goes into an appropriate section of your page where you want the display to appear. Most editors will enable you to get at the code to do this and you'll probably know all about this so I won't go on any more. This was mainly for those who would like to personalise their web logs. Google have really opened their templates up but some bits are still not as obvious as they could be.

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