On my previous post dated to October 26th 2008, I have wrote a little something on the title “Feedjit Live Traffic Map vs ClustrMaps“. Earlier this year, I noted a reply from the ClustrMaps Team expressing their thanks on my comparisons and also awarded me a free upgrades to the ClustrMap+. I have been thinking to write another article that will explores the extra features offered by the + and I figure out it is about time to do something on it now or it will be never….
Before I start covering for the ClustrMaps+ version, let me quote the clarification from CJ of the ClustrMaps Team left on my last post.
a) it is only very leniently enforced, so going over that daily limit is not a big problem for typical users, and
b) the big map is NOT limited by that in any way: on the contrary, it is extremely scalable up to millions of dots, which is what makes ClustrMaps so useful for keeping visual track of all visits up until the next (typically yearly) archive. For example, your map right now is showing over 20,000 visits, which is impossible for the other tool you are comparing us with.
Another important difference is that we store NO cookie information at all, so there is no visitor tracking in between sites: another crucial difference that users need to know!
On the last item about visitor tracking and cookie, this could be both a good and bad thing depends on how the webmaster’s need.
– Pro : For those countries that having law on now allowing such tracking in the web pages could deploy this tool for their tracking without breaking the laws.
– Con : Some webmasters would wish to have such tracking to know where their visitors got to their page from during certain instances.
So, it is up to you to decides if this is a good or bad for yourself.
Now, let first looking at this summary table which is again, taken from ClustrMaps’ official page.
ClustrMaps Geolocation Hit Counter Product Comparison:
ClustrMaps ClustrMaps+ ClustrMaps Pro Thumbnail maps YES YES YES Max daily visitors* 2,500* 25,000* 100,000-10,000,000* Zoom to world map YES YES YES Zoom to continents No YES YES Archive old maps** restricted** YES: unlimited YES: unlimited Zoom in archives – YES YES Own look and feel – – YES Map styles 2 24 Your decision Who sees map totals Anyone Your decision Your decision Ads displayed Small text None None Monthly cost FREE $1.99 T.B.A.*** Yearly cost FREE $15.99 T.B.A.*** 2-Year cost FREE $23.99 T.B.A.*** When available NOW NOW
The above data is taken on 2009 September 9th. Please refers to official sites for latest information.
It is pretty much self-explanatory from the above table on the things like Max Daily Visitors, Zoom in capabilities, Archive restriction and capabilities, Ads displayed. So, I am not going to talk much on those and in fact. I will try to covers the few oher items.
Capability to turn on or off Statistic showing by visitors.
With the Checkbox uncheck, the visitor will see something like this when they visit your page on the ClustrMap.com.
On free account or when allowed showing Statistic is checked, it will looks like the following.
Note that the differences in the more informative number of visitors from specific countries have been removed when chosen not to shows the Statistic information.
One of the other capabilities on the ClustrMaps+ is to allows more Map Style to be chosen other then the Classic and Sea theme for the Free account. Following is the available Map themes and available dot color to be chosen on the configuration page.
I didn’t includes the images different from the turning on / off the Show land option and also switching to shown With / Without Title ( Selected from 3 Languages which I only able to identify English out of the 3. I think one of them is Russian ).
I am not sure if it is intentional or the Webmaster forgot to hide the thumbnail’s direct access and I managed to get these thumbnails to put into a collage for you to look at the various color themes and dots. Again, I have not include the thumbnails without Land and different Title options. Note the first Row is a Silver Theme with the 6 different color dots following the sequence from the drop down menu on “Dot color:”. Following that is the different “Shading:” following the drop down menu but having Silver on the first row and skipping in the sub-sequence tiny maps that following the list… so, just imagine those empty maps with different color dots.
*Edited September 25th 2009* – Samples of styles are available at http://www.clustrmaps.com/map-styles/examples.html
I have also noted on additional Map Style that is set able which generates this
The last main differences that I would like to touch before I wrap up the few features I wanted to cover is the Zoom-able map on the ClustrMaps+. It allows some basic zooming which some of the location has 1 level zoom and some have 2 levels zoom. Example below link to the 1st zoom level at the Europe and 2nd zoom level at UK.
Second Zoom Level into UK
Example of only 1 Level zoom at my Area of interest.. which is Malaysia is unavailable where I could only look at the fixed Panning with Malaysia at the bottom of that image or top of the other area.
In general, the zoom-able maps do not offered what most users would hopping to see like in Feedjit or Google map-alike features which may be more fun to play with. Maybe the ClustrMaps team would improves this capabilities to capture more subscribers in the future.
I have tried not to be biased on this write up. I hope you will get some ideas on what are the main differences between the Free version of the ClustrMap vs the ClustrMap+. Only yourself can decides if the additional fees worth for the added features and if you really need them. Lastly, I would like to thanks the ClustrMap team again to come out with this great tool and for awarding me the free upgrades to the ClustrMap+.
Have any other questions ? Pay a visit to http://clustrmaps.wordpress.com/ to see if you can get your answers there.