Oct 12 2010

Who Sent You?

Category: WordPressChrisM @ 2:33 am

Next in the excitingly alphabetical list of WordPress plugins that I tend to use whenever I set up a new site is Donncha O Caoimh’s Comment Referrers. Once again the premise is quite simple, and the code doesn’t appear to put any great strain on your server.
When a browser visits your site, a referrer is normally presented, which lets the server know which page somebody was on when they clicked a link to get to yours. In my case, this is normally a search engine query, and I find it useful for two reasons. One, if a spammy comment has got through the systems in place to deflect such dross, you can often tell if a visitor came to your site for genuine reasons, or is simply looking to place a link.
What do I mean? If you run a site dedicated to clothes for people larger than average, and someone arrives after searching for plus size lingerie, it is entirely possible they have a real interest in the topic. If, however, they have searched for “plus size lingerie powered by WordPress leave a reply”, you can be 99.99999% sure they want to dump a link to their site on yours, will likely not return, nor actually contribute to any discussions. I should point out that not all referrers seem to get passed to the plugin, or perhaps appended to the e-mail that WordPress sends when a comment is awaiting moderation, but I still find it useful to have some information to hand.
Secondly, discovering what people are searching for when they find you means you can tailor your future posts to the sort of audience you tend to attract. More on another plug-in that specialises in this specific area at a later date.

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