Web-counter is a program that can count how many times your website has been visited.
Usually such program is made as a so-called CGI-script and it works in a web-server, sending a person who is browsing the web-page an image of the web-counter, usually as a GIF or PNG format.
In common the algorithm of the web-counter's work is quite easy: during the installation of the web-counter (during the first set-up of a counter on a web-page) a kind of a accumulator is created on a web-server, where counter's CGI-program is running. That accumulator stores the number of attendances of this web-page. The web-page's visitor's browser asks for a picture with the number of visitors and the CGI-program increases the number of attendances stored in the accumulator during every new visit to the page. And if the visitor sees number 1013 on the picture of the web-counter, he or she can be absolutely sure that this very page has been visited 1013 times since the counter's installation.
The web-counter is created with two intentions:
- The owner of the web-page, where the counter is set-up can find out how often his or her page is visited.
- The visitor of the web-page will know how popular this page is (how often it is attended).
Above we have mentioned the web-counter's certainty level of work, and did it on purpose: that is what we are going to discuss in the next question.