Free counters

John Harvey jharvey at
Fri Mar 13 13:46:12 EST 1998

Setting aside the question of whether or not counters are appropriate on
a library Web page, I have found what I consider to be an attractive

My criteria for our Web page counter were simple: the right price
(free), ease of configuration, and no advertising banners.

I found all of these in WebTracker from FXWeb Web Technologies at It places a small graphic counter (31x88 pixels)
on your page, showing the number of hits and their company logo, a
cheetah (although I've had people ask, "What is that, a bear or
something?" Like I said, it's a small graphic). In fact, you can
completely disable the graphic; it will still display, but only as a 2x2
pixel transparent gif.

All you have to do is register at their site, setting a public and
private password. You are then given a user code, and instructed to add
one line of HTML code to your page, and you're done. It becomes
effective immediately. You can then get detailed reports that provide
statistics on:

    Number of hits
    What browsers and operating systems your visitors are using
    What hour of the day you're getting the most hits
    Breakdown of how many times a visitor has previously been to your

Other options include artificially "bumping" the numbers that your
visitors see, although it doesn't change your actual stats ("Let's
see... one million hits, yeah, that's the ticket."), and ignoring hits
from specified locations, so that it would not, for example, count hits
from your own server.

Disadvantages include:

1) Every time your page loads, it has to communicate with FXWeb's server
(which I've always found to be reasonably fast).
2) It sets a cookie on your visitor's PC, which I know turns some people
3) You can't have more than 500 hits per day.
4) The current release allows only one counter per site, so you only get
statistics for one page.

All in all, if you have to have a counter, I recommend this one. You can
see it in action at

John Harvey


You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to be done. 
-Kilgore Trout

All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and in no
way reflect official policies of the Irving Public Library or the City
of Irving.

Contents under pressure.

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