About This Site

FreeCounter is a simple service to track visits to your Freeway Web sites. It’s designed to do much less than Google Analytics or Mint or whatever your hosting provider bundles into your control panel. It does one simple thing, and stays out of your way the rest of the time!

How it Works

FreeCounter works by tracking requests from your site for a 1×1-pixel image hosted on this server. That’s it. No magic, no JavaScript, nothing to set off virus alarms or raise hackles. From that request, we can tell the IP address of your visitor’s computer, what page was requested, and at what time.

These data are stored in a MySQL database for review and retrieval for 30 days. After that time, the records are transferred to spreadsheet-friendly CSV files, and saved on this server. You may download them at any time.

Frequently Answered Questions:

Do I have to pay to use this service?

No, but we do gladly accept donations to help keep the lights on.

Why can’t I see the counter?

fake counterFreeCounter is a professional tool, not a gimmick. Visible counters were popular in the early days of the Web, but are nothing that a contemporary designer concerned with aesthetics and a client’s brand image would consider using, except maybe under duress.

I already have a FreeCounter account. Do I need a new one to use FreeCounter2?

Yes. This site is a complete re-write of the old service in a modern framework. The two data models are not compatible or even comparable.

If you log in using your e-mail address and your password from the original FreeCounter, you will be automatically migrated to the new FreeCounter2. Any sites that were registered under your original account will also be migrated, but you will still need to apply the new Action and Site ID (and upload to your server) before the tracking will become active.

Can I use FreeCounter and FreeCounter2 at the same time?

Yes. However, no new signups are being accepted on FreeCounter, so you should migrate over as soon as practical.

Do I need to have a separate Site ID for each page in my site?

No. One site ID is all you need for an entire site, and this server will figure out the traffic for individual pages automatically. You do need to apply the Action to each page you wish to track, but you only need one ID for every page in that site.

How do I install the FreeCounter2 Action?

Download the latest version here. Then follow these instructions from the Softpress KnowledgeBase to install it.

How do I apply the counter to my page(s)?

When you registered your site with FreeCounter, you received an e-mail message containing your Site ID. Copy that id (just the number) to the clipboard, then move into Freeway and choose either a Master Page for your site, or an individual page that you wish to track.

counterStep 1a (for a Master Page):
Click on the Action tool from the toolbar, and pull down until you select FreeCounter2 from the list of available Actions. Choose a spot on your Master Page that will not conflict with your layout and draw a small rectangle using the Action tool.

…or…

Actions PaletteStep 1b (for a regular page):
Click on the pasteboard so that nothing on the page is selected. From the main menu, choose Page > Page Actions > FreeCounter2-Page.

Step 2 (for either kind of page):
Make sure the Actions palette is visible, then look for the FreeCounter2 tab in that palette and select it. In the Site ID field, paste your Site ID. If you get this part wrong, your hits will be credited to another site. (That’s why copy and paste is the best approach.) Unless you are using a page templating system in PHP, you don’t need to worry about any of the other settings in this interface.

Step 3
Upload your site to your server, tell all your friends to visit it, and then visit FreeCounter to see your hits.

How do the user roles work?

First of all, only members you choose (and you, naturally) can see your sites in FreeCounter.

There are two basic categories of users — those who can edit the site details, and those who can only see those details. Clients and Guests can see the sites you allow them to see. Owners and Partners can see and edit the details of those sites.

How do I add a person to my team?

If you are the owner or a partner for a site, you can add another member to the team. Select a site from the main list, click on the Edit link at the top of the page, and at the bottom of the Edit screen, choose one of the “add a person” actions.

If the person you want to add already has a FreeCounter2 account, you can simply enter his or her e-mail address, choose a user role, and add them.

If the person is not yet a member, you can create an account and add them to your site in one step. New members who have not verified their account are marked “unverified” in the People list.

How can I change a team member’s permissions?

Once you have added someone to your team, you may change their privileges or remove them from your team by clicking on People, then clicking on the role name that appears to the right of that person’s name. (If the role name does not appear as a link, then you don’t have the authority to change their role.)

Deleting a role does not delete the person, it only removes the link between that person and the site.

Why does my site show more hits on the overview page than the detail page?

When you are looking at the list of all sites, the numbers reported include any archived hits as well as the current traffic. When you are looking at a single site or page in detail, the total displayed only includes the current traffic report within the database.

How can I hide the hits that come from my computer?

Whenever you are logged in to FreeCounter, you will see your current IP address in the top right of every screen. If you click on that address, it will appear with a line through it, and your hits will not be displayed in the reports.

Note that this only applies to the Web view of your traffic and your current IP address. (Your address may change from time to time, depending on your ISP, and you can only filter the current IP address.) Archives and RSS feeds are not filtered in this manner.

What is Secure RSS?

Secure RSS is regular RSS served through an authenticated connection. It’s similar to accessing a “password-protected” folder or page on a Web site. Not all feed readers can use this format, but many (including the free version of NetNewsWire) can.

How can I construct a FreeCounter2 URL by hand?

If you’re hand-coding PHP to make your site, you might want to add a unique FreeCounter2 code to each dynamic page in your site. Here’s the code to make that happen:

$url = 'http://freewaypro.com/counter2/track/';
$url .= base64_encode($siteID) . '/';
$url .= base64_encode($page_name) . '/_clear.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="FreeCounter" />';

Just make sure you have a unique $page_name for each page, and use your one and only $siteID, and you should be all set.

Do you have a question?

Ask away!