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Wibiya Toolbar [First Impression Review]

Over the last week I’ve been trialling the Wibiya Toolbar on my photography blog.

For those of you unfamiliar with it it is a little toolbar that appears at the bottom of the browser of those who visit your blog which allows them to do a variety of tasks. You can see it in the bottom of the screen shot below (click to enlarge).

wibiya-toolbar.png

The toolbar is customizable so there are a variety of applications that you can add to it.

On my toolbar I’ve enabled a number of applications including:

  • Search – allows readers to search your blog (or the web) via Google
  • Recent Posts – when clicked it shows the latest posts on the blog (while not as useful on the front page where these posts are already displayed it can help increase page views from single posts.
  • Real Time Users - shows readers how many others are online and what they’re reading
  • Random Posts - when clicked it takes readers to a random post on your blog
  • Link Menu - allows you to add in a variety of key links on your site (like a little navigation menu, I have mine pointing to key categories and sections)
  • Digg This - allows readers to digg your posts from the toolbar
  • Subscribe - allows readers to subscribe to your RSS feed
  • Smart Share - allows readers to share your posts via a variety of means including on social bookmarking sites, twitter, facebook and via email
  • Facebook - allows readers to see your facebook fan page without leaving your site via a popup
  • Twitter - allows readers to see your twitter stream as well as tweet a link out about your page without leaving your page

There are quite a few other applications/tabs that you can choose from and a number of options within some of them to different features.

You’re also abe to choose a color scheme to suit your page.

There are a variety of ways of installing it into your blog including via a WordPress plugin for those using WP.

The Results

I’ve been testing the Wibiya toolbar for about 10 days now so it’s time to look at the ‘result’ and stats that they provide publishers to see what impact (if any) using the toolbar has had.

Here’s a quick screenshot of the dashboard having selected stats for the last 7 days:

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.38.28 PM.png

The top section of stats provides stats for each of the ‘tabs/applications’. You can drill down a little more on each one like this one for the ‘latest posts’ tab:

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.41.40 PM.png

Worth noting – the stats in the first screen shot above do look a little more impressive than the reality as can be illustrated by the ‘latest posts’ stats which show that 586 people clicked the ‘latest posts’ toolbar tab but only 83 clicks on other posts were recorded (meaning less than 1 in 7 of the 669 people who clicked the latest posts tab actually visited another page). This is true for almost all of the other tabs. Here’s some examples:

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.44.38 PM.png

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.45.00 PM.png

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.45.21 PM.png

Screen shot 2010-05-25 at 3.45.32 PM.png

A few comments about these results:

  1. people were clicking on the toolbar a lot without doing anything. I suspect this was partly a ‘curiosity factor’ at play as the toolbar is new and people are still working out what to do with it and how it works.
  2. considering the traffic of the site the ‘actions’ were pretty low. Wibiya doesn’t give you any stats on how many times the toolbar loaded (that’d be handy) but as the blog area of dPS (the area it was showing) does over 146,000 page views per day (over 1 million per week) I was a little surprised by the low numbers of actions. They recorded about 3000 actions in the week but considering that most of those were simply clicks on the tool bar the real conversions were not super high.
  3. the stats could be a lot more insightful – perhaps Wibiya will be adding a premium model where you pay for more detail but I didn’t find that some of the stats that they gave were that insightful. For example:
    • it’d be handy to know that not only 83 people clicked on latest posts but to also know which posts they clicked on
    • it’d be great to known which links in the navigation links tab were clicked
    • It’d be handy to know what those 255 searches were for
    • similarly it’d be cool to know which posts were Dugg
    • it’d be great to know which posts were shared
  4. the other considerations that I need to take into account is the fact that I also had reader feedback during the last 10 days about the toolbar. In fact we’ve had a number of threads in our forum area talking about it and the feedback has been mixed. Originally I had the toolbar installed in the forum area as well as the blog – but I removed this after members complained at a ratio of about 9:1. On the blog area I’ve also had both negative and positive feedback about it (something I’ll keep monitoring. It seems that those complaining about it just don’t like anything popping up or obscuring any part of their browser (not surprising – even though the toolbar is pretty slim and is on the least unobtrusive part of the page).

There have obviously been some benefits from having the toolbar. I’m not complaining about having new followers, subscribers and more page views…. however the question I have to ask is whether the results are enough considering the page views and interruption of readers.

I’m going to run it for another week to see what happens when the curiosity factor with readers dies off a little more before I make any final decisions.

Have you experimented with the Wibiya toolbar (or similar ones) – what impact has it had on your site?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Lisa Olinda says:

    I used the Wibiya toolbar for several months and then took it down. I then reinstalled about 9 weeks ago. My blog was then hacked. While talking with several companies about the hacking and subsequent redesign of my site (work in progress) I was told that the toolbar gives a back door into hackers. I will not use the toolbar again.

  2. Kim Kolb says:

    Thanks Darren,
    I have installed it and love it… Now to get people to click on it.

  3. Hesham says:

    I have tried the toolbar for about one month on my blog, and I discovered that it’s not compatible with CrazyEgg also a lot of other things made me change my mind and remove it, especially that my blog visitors and readers actually not interested in using it, this is what the stats showed me!

  4. THANK YOU for writing about this! I immediately went and installed it after reading. I have been using Apture, which was nice, but Wibiya is so much more! I’ll give it a try for a while and see if I get any feedback.

  5. Darren,

    Would like to hear your review after another 10 days.

    Also, a thank you, for it is a great service to us with blogs for you to test drive the latest products.

    I read your posts daily.

    Thanks

    Mark

  6. Matt says:

    Thanks for the great article!

    I’ve installed it here (shameless plug). I think it’s pretty cool looking, but I don’t have any real data with which to judge its effectiveness yet. Maybe it’ll work better if it’s there from the beginning, instead of being injected into the site when readers aren’t used to it. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it works!

  7. Hey Darren – after reading your post i’ve installed it on my site for a trial until early July – let’s see how my readers and community members respond!

  8. Interesting that so relatively few people accessed the toolbar from your 1 million + hits a week. I personally think that there are certain web features that people just ignore out of habit. 1) anything that pops up 2)anything that looks like an ad

  9. BryanG says:

    Been also using the wibiya toolbar as a test on my own site. It’s a great idea and I especially like the metrics tracking part of the app. But my problem lies with waiting for 3rd party software to load in a site. There are so many 3rd party gadgets and do-hikeys available these days, and a lot provide interesting functionality but they can severely effect the load speed of your site. I guess more than anything you should carefully consider them and see which give you the greatest benefit. Still on the fence whether Wibiya stays or goes.

  10. Varun says:

    I have installed it and love it. No complaints yet. I will check it out to see how it will benefit me.

  11. Mark says:

    The search function doesn’t work. Brought back zero results for items known to exist on the blog.

    Also – doesn’t that search bar take away your Google Adsense for search revenue on the site (if it worked).

    It’s possible the bar may just take readers attention away from the *content* of your site.

    Lastly – have you tried the MEEBO bar? Similar in nature to Wibya – but you can drag and drop images to share with other sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc…

  12. Johnny says:

    We just installed it, and now I’m just exited to get data…

  13. Rick Brock says:

    I’ve put this into the project queue to test on some of my sites. Thanks for doing the review on this plugin.

  14. Back with an update on Wibiya. I now have it installed on my photo blog http://warrenlaidler.com and it’s very cool. I like the ability to add the social media sites to it. I have my facebook fan page, twitter page, youtube channel and flickr stream all integrated. Definitely adds a little ‘spice’ to the site. Highly recommended.

  15. Sam Hayman says:

    I saw the toolbar on a freinds site and thought it looked great and could be very useful especially sine i am in Asia and it offered translation.
    But it really is a nightmare to install compared to how easy most WP plugins are; normally very easy and fast.
    They don’t tell you the path I.d after you make your customisation changes and then when you look for help they tell you to paste the code which in the end only causes more problems

    Hope they can make the changes as the forums are full of frustrated users

  16. Timbo says:

    I saw wibiya.com toolbar on a designers site and thought I would give it a whirl. I signed up and installed it but found it conflicted with a flash item on the site I put it on (in explorer) so i took it off, and the unpaid version has links on it. Make sure you check how it looks across multiple browsers.

    WARNING – if you want to give it a go make sure you sign up using an email address you do not mind getting “business” emails on, as I had just created a new throwaway email address, used it and have just got an email from an unrelated Indian company offering services to that brand new email address. Very likely it is wibiya that supplied the email address, but I could be wrong. It’s not spam because I supplied my address to them so I am not angry – I just don’t like getting emails that waste my time.

    Other than that it is quite a fun thing that might end up being really useful one day.

  17. I was considering to install the Wibiya Toolbar on my blog, but I think I’ll give it a pass for now, given the low number of actual clicks and the negative feedback those who have tried it have received from their users. Thanks for the thorough review Darren!

  18. Miriam says:

    Hey!!

    I am a blogger. I blog at different sites and a regular viewer too. I find the bumpin social bar more understandable, friendly and attractive. Wibiya is also a good bar though. The most appealing feature at BumpIn social bar is the shout box. I can share my point with people with similar interest easily :D. You guys can also have a look at it, i think it is avaliable at.. http://socialbar.bumpin.com
    Keep up the good work Darreb

  19. rand says:

    I don’t see that toolbar anymore on the web, I’ve blocked it for good. I hate the way it takes over part of the window, which isn’t taken into account when you hit spacebar to scroll down, so you then have to scroll back up manually. Or the extra click to close it.
    Just another thing that demands my attention when all I want to do is read a post.

  20. Thanks for posting this. I just added a tool bar I don’t like, this might do the trick!