Visitor counter

Widget Wednesday: The Visitor Counter

The visitor tracking widget is a useful way to display visitor statistics on the front end of your site, but you may have noticed a sharp decline in its use since the 90's. Why is the visitor tracker on the endangered widgets list? And why are we, at emyspot, keeping it around?

The history of the slowly dissapearing visitor counter widget

Counters were popular in the good old 90's, because it was typically site visitor's only indication of the popularity and success of a website. Visitors knew at a glance that they were on a site that 3,000 others had seen. They would appreciate the novelty or be awed by the volume of traffic depending on their frame of reference. And thus the popularity of visitor stats skyrocketed, as at that time getting stats like was the job for math lover's and programmers, but not necessarily for the average CMS user or website builder.

Nowadays for those same stats, the website builder can get them directly from their emyspot website manager or using Google Analytics, Analog, or JavaScript. And with search engine ranking site visitors have a better frame of reference for the popularity of a website. These stats have rendered the site visitor widget less potent although it is still used and loved by many a website builder.

How it works at emyspot

The website visitor counter works by IP address, when a new IP address accesses your website it is counted as a visitor. For instance, when one visits you for the first time they will be counted as a new visitor. The IP address will be forgotten after 24 hours. So if that same visitor goes to your website tomorrow, and the day after your visitor count will go up. This delay of 24 hours stops the statistics from being skewed by bots and gives a more reliable statistic to yourself and other site visitors.

How it should or could be used?

So why do we keep this widget around? Because people use it. Visitor counters are very popular on blog websites and small niche websites because it reassures site visitors and encourages continued interest.

The website visitor counter widget can be inserted almost everywhere. To insert the widget into the side menu do so by going to Settings > Menus and then add a widget selecting the visitor counter of your choice. To add the widget to a page do so by selecting Other widgets from the block of the page and selecting the visitor counter of your choice.

So don't hesitate to put the visitor counter on your site, making sure of course that it fits in your website design by choosing the style that suits your needs most.

But also know that if you don't have a visitor counter that's ok too you can get these statistics instantly from your website manager.

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