In this page I'll try to explain you why I think WebCounter is such a revolutionary Java application.
The other counters available on the web can be roughly classified in two base groups: first- and second-generation.
First-generation counters simply record the number of hits. They are very easy to manage, and typically do not require web administrator privileges to be installed. Unfortunately, they are often inadequate.
First of all, they can be easily fooled into recording unrealistically high hit counts by just accessing the page over and over again from a same host. Some more recent versions offer partial remedy to this problem by detecting two immediately consecutive accesses from the same host; still, it only takes two machines alternating access requests to circumvent this check.
Secondly, there are circumstances when you are interested only in hits from a certain category of sites. For example, if you sell educational software, you may be interested in hits from hosts in the ".edu" domain. On the other end, if you sell only to companies, you will want to filter out the ".edu" domain from your hits count.
To solve these problems, enter the second-generation counters. These are usually not very easy to install, and often require administrator privileges on the web server to be installed; on the other hand, they provide information about the hosts accessing the page, and therefore can recognize multiple (but possibly not consecutive) hits from the same host and deal with them adequately.
Unfortunately, even second-generation web counters sometime do not provide sufficient information. In this age of avid web-surfing, you need to know if the user who accessed your page stayed on long enough to read its content, or just passed trough. Second-generation web counters cannot provide that information, as they simply can record the timestamp of the access.
What makes WebCounter such an invaluable tool in analyzing the traffic on your web site is that it is able to record both the time when a user entered your pages and the time he/she exited. Moreover, it stores this information on the database of your choice, so it fits right in, whatever is the information management system of your company. Finally, it's absolutely free. What more could you ask from a web counter?