Your web site is the electronic entrance to your church.
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Web Site Counters

If you look in the lower left corner of this page, you will see a "counter". Most web sites have something similar on their pages. The main purpose of these counters is to provide the web page designers with information on how many people visit their site. There is more to this than providing the designer with an ego boost when the numbers get bigger.

By having a counter that records statistics on which pages are being viewed, you can find out what interests your visitors. If you have a section that is very popular, you may want to expand on it. If you have another section that is not getting visited at all, you may want to remove it or promote it on the pages that are getting viewed.

Your counter may also be able to give you information on how visitors find your page. Do they find you because you are listed in a search engine or is your page being linked from another site. Perhaps your users are coming directly to your site after seeing your web site address listed on your bulletin, letterhead, or other documents. While parish web sites are not promoted as much as businesses, it's still important to know how affective the promotion of your site is.

Most counters will give you additional information that can help you make your site better, if you know how to use it. If, for example, most of your visitors have a screen display of 800x600, you might not want to design your site for 1024x768 display. If this is too technical for you, you just need to know that not everyone's monitor displays information the same way yours does.

One issue that has been raised lately is that of privacy. Some counters actually record the specific people who are visiting their sites. What the people who run those sites do with this information is out of your control. Just so you know, the counter used on this site does not track specific users.

Counters provide web site designers with important information. If your site does not have a counter, there are many free services out there that will track your visitors.

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Content copyright 2001-2009 David Marchak
This page last updated June 15, 2009