Choosing and using a hit counter
I  N  T  E  R  A  C  T  I  V  E    D  E  S  I  G  N    F  O  R  U  M 
Issue 6   |   December 1999 





One thing leads to another
Here at Interactive Design Forum I started by adding a simple counter available from AOL, my Internet Service Provider (ISP). This, like most counters, becomes part of your site when you cut and paste a few lines of code provided by the counter's provider to the HTML for your page. Mine looked like this:

The simple running total the AOL counter provided was OK, but I wanted more details. So I switched to the Hitometer counter from WebsiteGarage that offers daily, weekly and monthly statistics. This was better.

And, for a fee that seemed reasonable at the time($4.99/mo.) you could find out even more, like what OS and browsers your visitors were using, along with the color depth and screen resolution of their computers and other useful facts.

More, better (free)
The WebStat counter that I used in October 1999 gave me details for free: daily, weekly, monthly hits; referring webpages & domains; screen resolution, operating system and browser being used; country; search engine keywords and more.

I began learning who was visiting my site, where they were coming from, and the computer set-up they were using. Much better. But the WebStat user interface was clumsy, and you couldn't set the starting counter number. Since I'd been switching counters about once a month, I didn't want to start over at 0.

I kept searching for the perfect counter, getting a lot of leads from, which has extensive links to not only counters, but virtually any sort of site enhancement you might want, like message boards, online polls, CGI scripts, Javascript gizmos, and more.

I found It's free, offers several graphic styles plus "invisible," can be set to any starting number, and has comprehensive and easy to access statistics. They look like [this].

Counting visitors | Sample statistics | The best counter | Beyond counters


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