Locate and identify website visitors by IP address

(This is a sponsored post.)

Big thanks to ipstack for sponsoring CSS-Tricks this week!

Have you ever had the need to know the general location of a visitor of your website? You can get that information, without having to explicitly ask for it, by the user’s IP address. You’re just going to need a API to give you that information, and that’s exactly what ipstack is.

Here’s me right now:

This works globally through an API that covers over 2 million unique locations in over 200,000 cities around the world, and it’s update dozens of times a day.

It’s a nice clean JSON API for all you front-end JavaScript folks! XML is there too, if you need it. You’re probably curious about all the data you can get, so let’s just take a look:

{
  "ip": "134.201.250.155",
  "hostname": "134.201.250.155",
  "type": "ipv4",
  "continent_code": "NA",
  "continent_name": "North America",
  "country_code": "US",
  "country_name": "United States",
  "region_code": "CA",
  "region_name": "California",
  "city": "Los Angeles",
  "zip": "90013",
  "latitude": 34.0453,
  "longitude": -118.2413,
  "location": {
    "geoname_id": 5368361,
    "capital": "Washington D.C.",
    "languages": [
        {
          "code": "en",
          "name": "English",
          "native": "English"
        }
    ],
    "country_flag": "https://assets.ipstack.com/images/assets/flags_svg/us.svg",
    "country_flag_emoji": "🇺🇸",
    "country_flag_emoji_unicode": "U+1F1FA U+1F1F8",
    "calling_code": "1",
    "is_eu": false
  },
  "time_zone": {
    "id": "America/Los_Angeles",
    "current_time": "2018-03-29T07:35:08-07:00",
    "gmt_offset": -25200,
    "code": "PDT",
    "is_daylight_saving": true
  },
  "currency": {
    "code": "USD",
    "name": "US Dollar",
    "plural": "US dollars",
    "symbol": "$",
    "symbol_native": "$"
  },
  "connection": {
    "asn": 25876,
    "isp": "Los Angeles Department of Water & Power"
  }
  "security": {
    "is_proxy": false,
    "proxy_type": null,
    "is_crawler": false,
    "crawler_name": null,
    "crawler_type": null,
    "is_tor": false,
    "threat_level": "low",
    "threat_types": null
  }
}

What is this useful for?

All kinds of things! Whatever you want! But here’s some very practical ones:

  • Does your site display times? You can adjust those times to the user’s local time zone, so long as you know where they are.
  • Does your site display currency? You can adjust your prices to show local currencies, so long as you know where they are.
  • Does your site only work in certain countries due to laws, regulations, or other reasons? You might want to deliver different experiences to those different countries. ipstack is also often used for protection against potential security threats.

Lots of big companies like Microsoft, Airbnb, and Samsung use ipstack.

Usage

ipstack has a free tier covering up to 10,000 requests over a month, and plans start at a reasonable $9.99 a month covering 5 times that many requests and unlocking useful modules like the Time Zone and Currency modules. Plans scale up to any level, including millions of requests a day.

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