Sebastian's Pamphlets

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Please don't run your counter on my servers

DO NOT HOTLINKI deeply understand that sharing other peoples resources makes sense sometimes. I just ask you to rethink your technical approach. Running your page view stats on my server comes with a serious disadvantage: my server logs and referrer reports are protected, hence you can't read your stats. Rest assured I'm really not eager to know who views your pages.

So please: when you copy my HTML code, be so kind and steal the invisible 1x1px images too. It's really not that hard to upload them to your server and edit my HTML in a way that your visitors' user agents request these images from your server.

Signing up at a free counter service not adding hidden links to all your pages gives less hassles than my reaction when I get annoyed.

Disclaimer: I don't like it when you steal my code coz for some reasons it's often crappy enough to break your layout. Also copying code without permission is as bad as content theft. So don't copy, but feel free to ask.

Go to HTML Basix to figure out how you can block hotlinking with .htaccess:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|png)$ [R,NC]

But please don't steal or hotlink the offensive blonde beauty ;)

Digg a blonde

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  • At Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Blogger JLH said…

    I'm sorry to laugh, but that is funny stuff. It's like hotlinked images, I love it when they use them in Ebay auctions. If I notice an image getting hit 8000 times an hour, you just know I am going to replace it with the same name and size but with a picture you wouldn't want your mother to see.

  • At Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Blogger Sebastian said…

    Exactly. This blog is safe at work, so I've added an image suitable to beautify a 403-error page ;)

  • At Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Blogger rchmura said…

    Not that it's really any consolation, but with GoStats you can optionally block and ignore web stats from domains that you don't own. (It's a great feature for weeding out the garbage and spam)

  • At Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Blogger Sebastian said…

    I prefer to get alerted on abuse.

    3rd party counters are useless crap.

    Go search for a reliable host providing reasonable stats, and if that's not enough try Google Analytics.

  • At Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Blogger rchmura said…

    Hi Sebastian,

    Re: "3rd party counters are useless crap. ... ...that's not enough try Google Analytics."

    But Google analytics is a third party counter! Just like GoStats is.

    I agree that some of the counter services are crap. I welcome you to look at GoStats a little more closely before prejudging it so harshly.

    -not to mention that many hosting providers provide stats which are based on log files and are not realtime. GoStats is near realtime and has advanced features which web log stats can't even produce.

  • At Thursday, April 19, 2007, Blogger Sebastian said…

    GA does not insert client sides links, two noscript links plus a clean link on each and every page:

    <noscript><div><a href=""
    style="border-width:0px;width:88px;height:31px" alt="free hit counter"
    width="88" height="31" /></a><br />
    <a style="font-size: 9px" href=""
    title="Free Hit Counter">Free Hit Counter</a></div></noscript><br />
    <a style="font-size: 9px" href="">Get a GoStats
    hit counter</a>

    That does not mean that I'd use GA on every site. It's just painless.

    Since your links aren't really hidden, your counter may be suitable for hobby pages on AOL.

    IMHO counters are crap, at least utterly useless and distracting on professional sites.

    There are better ways to gather and customizable visualize clickstreams and user actions near realtime, without 3rd party services.

  • At Thursday, April 19, 2007, Blogger rchmura said…

    Hi Sebastian,

    A few points to clarify:
    -It seems that you copied the stats demo which is visible on purpose. With GoStats it is possible to have a static button without a link to the stats page. The button can have no count values on it whatsoever. There is also the pro version which allows for a totaly hidden tracker.
    -there is no way that even the static button would be distracting on even your blog here. (just look at your sidebar)
    -Your last point doesn't cite any examples. (I haven't found any myself) You seem to fear 3rd party services, did you have a bad experience in the past? Are you afraid of people thinking you are an AOL user? ;)

  • At Thursday, April 19, 2007, Blogger Sebastian said…

    You cannot convince me. That's my personal blog and a playground to test all sorts of things I'd not add to sites I operate for myself or clients.

    Again, counters are crap IMHO.

    BTW an AOL account is useful for a lot of things, even gaming free counters with simple click bots.

    Why should I post examples of code written for the purpose to prevent gaming of clickstream and user action trackers? Guess why we don't utilize free stuff and popular tools.

    For a counter your stuff may be decent, but hey, it's a counter ;)


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