Simplest PHP Hit Counter or Download Counter – Count the Number of Times of Access (Page Views or File Downloads)

by Yang Yang on May 19, 2010

Here’s how you can create yourself the simplest PHP hit counter that records the number of times any resource on your website that has been accessed (visited or downloaded). It can be either a web page or a downloadable file package. The hits number will be stored in a plain text file named count.txt.

Hit counter for a web page

You have a web page at here: http://www.example.com/mypage.php and you want to display the number of times this page has been visited on the web. Put these lines in mypage.php where you want the hit count displayed:

<?php

$hit_count = @file_get_contents('count.txt'); // read the hit count from file
echo $hit_count; //  display the hit count
$hit_count++; // increment the hit count by 1
@file_put_contents('count.txt', $hit_count); // store the new hit count

?>

Depending on the permissions set, you may need to manually create the text file count.txt. With most hosts, however, this snippet should automatically create the file for you. If it doesn’t work, create a text file count.txt in the same directory with mypage.php and put an 0 in it.

Download counter for a downloadable file package

To record the number of times a file has been downloaded, for instance, for a file located at here: http://www.example.com/download/pics.zip, first you need to create a PHP file named download-pics.php, place it in the /download directory and put these lines in it:

<?php

$hit_count = @file_get_contents('count.txt');
$hit_count++;
@file_put_contents('count.txt', $hit_count);

header('Location: http://www.example.com/download/pics.zip'); // redirect to the real file to be downloaded

It’s basically the same with the counter of web page hits except that download-pics.php redirects to the real file URL after recording the hit in count.txt. Similarly, you may need to create count.txt in /download directory and put an 0 in it for the first time.

Now, instead of giving the real URL of the file to your user, you would give them this URL:

http://www.example.com/download/download-pics.php

So they will download pics.zip from here instead of from the real URL or the download hit will not be recorded.

To show the number of times pics.zip has been downloaded, just put these lines in the intended place of any PHP file that’s located in the /download directory (the same directory of count.txt):

<?php

$hit_count = @file_get_contents('count.txt');
echo $hit_count;

?>
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