Changes to view counts

We made some changes recently that may impact the view count you see on your posts.

  • Updated our filter list of bots and crawlers, which we aim to exclude from those view counts

  • View counts now happen via Javascript, instead of on the server-side. This allowed us to add a caching layer that improves performance for everyone – but if a reader doesn’t have Javascript enabled, their visit won’t be reflected in your view counts

If you have any questions or concerns, let me know!

And I was so set on the non javascript option, and looking forward to the server side stats to improve. Javascript analytics is blocked increasingly, rendering server logs increasingly more relevant.

EDIT: And I can confirm indexing by the is still listed in the stats.

I just want to say I appreciate all attempts to improve the view counts.

One suggestion. In principle it’s obvious to a techie that a view counter is going to be an approximation, with some ways in which it could be wildly inaccurate. However, as a techie and admin, still for the last N years I have been running my WF blog, liking to see my view counts, but having no idea what kind of counting it uses, no idea what degree of repetition and non-view counting might be included in the numbers. No idea whether it’s mostly from bots or mostly real readers.

My suggestion is just to add a bit of text in the admin, explaining roughly what the count implies. Maybe a pop-up or footnote, and saying something like:

“The view count aims to exclude common bots and crawlers, and repeat views from apparently the same [IP address/browser/whatever it is the algorithm tries to do]. As a side effect it also excludes viewers who don’t run javascript [and viewers sharing an IP address/browser/whatever the case may be…]. See [link] for more details.”

I just feel a bit of explanation like that would make me more comfortable with the thing. But maybe it’s still pretty much just as vague as not knowing, so maybe not. Just a thought.

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