Web Counter

What Does Web Counter Mean?

A web counter is a software
application which displays the number of hits/visitors to a particular
webpage. Once a web counter is installed, it is incremented by one each
time the web page is accessed by a unique visitor/hit. Web
counters are still popular and in use; however they are slowly being replaced
by advanced analytic applications.

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A web counter is also known as a hit counter or simply a counter.

Techopedia Explains Web Counter

The number indicated by the web counter is usually displayed as numerals, although it is possible to display as an image or text. Different fonts or styles can be used to display the details of the web counter. A web counter functions in the background and does not cause any disruption or delay to visitors. Web counters can be set up programmatically or by using free or paid widgets. They can be programmatically be implemented with the help of any scripting language such as Perl, PHP or C.

A web counter increments by counting the unique visits from IP addresses. In other words, if the same visitor reloads the page, the web counter does not increase, as it recognizes that it is the same visitor. A simple web counter only counts the number of visitor hits related to the website. Advanced web counters can not only provide the number of visitors/hits, but also can provide information such as:

  • Keywords used to bring traffic to the website
  • Country of visitors
  • Traffic patterns
  • Date and time stamp of the visitors
  • Web browsers used

The web counter statistics can also instill confidence in advertisers, as they can view the traffic details. It can also indirectly encourage visitors/readers to spend more time with the website to see why the website is so popular. Hit counters can provide the website owner with the details of the user data, which indirectly could be used to increase the reader base or sales. However, sometimes false web counters are set up to trick visitors, so they cannot be always considered trustworthy.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.