April 10, 2020

Clean Hit Counter

Hit Counters were a staple of the early internet, but are now outdated. I attempt to update the idea for today's web.

Spending the past week revisiting turn of the century, “folk” web design, I was reminded of the existence of hit counters.

Hit Counters were snippets of code that would be pasted into a website’s code and count the number of times a page was viewed. More specifically, it counted the number of times the snippet of code was fired.

For reasons I am not so clear on, hit counters were commonly image based, and very ugly (see above). Amateur web developers would use these counters as a way to both track visitors to their page, and to show off (or completely falsify) how popular their page is.

I like the nostalgia of hit counters, but I always hated the limitations on the look-and-feel of them. So I decided to create a Javascript-based counter that would inject stylable markup into the page as opposed to a static image file generated by a a server.