How to capture and display "Location"?

UGH!!! I am going crazy on this one!!! :rolleyes:

Users on my website can create a User Profile - similar to what SitePoint has. Their Profile can be viewed in detail by other Users, and all Visitors to my website can see abridged User Info when a user posts a Comment. (see below)

I am torn - and keep changing back and forth - on WHAT information to capture, and HOW to capture and display it.

If everyone who visited my website was from the U.S. - which is where I am at - and they completed all fields, then this would be the solution…

  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

However, not everyone likes to comply and complete all fields during registration, and furthermore, there are people beyond the U.S.!!

So I guess here are some things I’m confused about…

1.) Do I ask for a generic, free-form “Location” during registration that will capture everything, but which is useless to my database and code?

2.) If I ask for “City”, “State”, and “Zip Code” then what do I do when someone from London, England registers?

3.) If I add a “Country” drop-down then that is A LOT of extra work to maintain in a world that keeps changing!! (Plus, who wants to search a drop-down that is a couple hundred entries long??)

4.) How should I handle International Addresses?

Just having “Location” makes it much more likely people will comply and complete the optional field, and it would capture any Address that fits in the field-length, but it isn’t useful data beyond display.

But having a more detailed Registration/Update Profile forms will not only allow me to display more detailed Address info, but it will allow me to gather statistics on my Users and cater my website based on where people are from.

Can someone help me figure this one out?!



make it optional, a single text field, just like sitepoint

simple :slight_smile:

Make it as free-form as possible. Make it clear that it’s entirely optional. And explain your reason for asking for the information in the first place.

Above all, don’t assume that all your visitors are from the US - or any other single country. Remember what www stands for.