In: , , , ,
On: 2004 / 09 / 17
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You have a blog. You have stats telling you how many people read it. You post links. But do you have something telling you how many people click on your links ?

Here is it : I'm releasing my latest plugin, Click Counter. Basically, it adds a click counter to links in your posts, as in these examples :
I love WordPress, WordPress and WordPress.
Click on one link and reload the page (hit counter displayed on mouseover link title, in plain text, or both)

Less basically, it comes with a real bunch of options you'll probably never need to tweak, but I wanted to do something as flexible and usable as I could.

Current version : 1.02

Note : you may find sometimes this plugin disabled here on my own server, when I'm tweaking a few things. The plugin is fully functionnal anyway, download it :-)

Note: The plugin is rather well commented, advanced users can probably directly download, edit and run. I'd suggest reading the "How it works" and "Tips & Tricks" sections anyway.

Set up the MySQL table

You need a new table in your WordPress database, named wp_linkclicks (you can modify the name, be sure then to edit the beginning of the plugin properly) Create this table with the following query :

  1. CREATE TABLE `wp_linkclicks` (
  3.  `link_url` TEXT NOT NULL ,
  4.  `link_clicks` INT NOT NULL ,
  5.  `link_date` DATETIME NOT NULL ,
  6.  `link_title` TEXT NOT NULL ,
  7.  UNIQUE (
  8.   `link_id`
  9.  )
  10. );

Newbie tips : first, install PHPMyAdmin on your website. This is a great interface for anything you can do with MySQL databases. Once it's done, look for the "SQL" link in the menu : click, and paste in the textbox the above code. It will set up the required table for you.


Download the plugin :
Extract and upload to your blog, preserving directory structure if any.
Note: download counter here and stats on may differ and reflect the number of downloads before this plugin was hosted on the plugin directory

The archive contains the tracker file, go.php : put this file in your blog root. If for some reason you want to modify the tracker file name, be sure to properly edit the beginning of the plugin script as well.

Use the plugin

In its default configuration, the plugin needs nothing more. Get back to your blog and post as usual. It will silently add trackers to links in your posts and links in commenters' posts.

A small warning : adding a counter to a link "costs" one SQL query. If you are hosted on a slow server, or if you are teh ultimate linkblogger with 200 external links posted in your frontpage à la Metafilter, you might slightly overload your SQL server :) If this is your case, read by the end of this article the Tips & Tricks, I'll explain how to add a "silent tracker with no SQL query".

Another small warning : the plugin works with proper xhtml syntax, that is href="url" or class="myclass" (quotes), not href=url or class=myclass (no quotes)

How it works

Don't change anything to your posting habits, the plugin is the "install & forget" type.

When your WordPress will print a post with a link, the plugin replaces every link target and title. For example :

  1. <a href="">link</a>


  1. <a href="yourblog/go.php?"
  2.  title="XX clicks">link</a>

The number of clicks in the title value will be added to an existing title if specified : title="this is a cool link (XX clicks)"

When someone clicks on this modified link, it will add or update the following values to the table you've created earlier :

  • link_id: the link id, which is more or less useless
  • link_url : the url, "" in the above example
  • link_clicks : how many people clicked on it
  • link_date : the date of the first click on it (not the date you posted it)
  • link_title : the title of the remote page, if exists, as defined by its title html tag

Unless stated otherwise, only external links will have a counter added, because it's pointless to track how many people click on your pages. There are stats plugins for this :)
So, if you want to add a counter to an internal file, put a absolute path in the link html : href="http://site/blog/file" instead of href="file"

Template Tags

I've written two "template tags" you can add to your pages

  • wp_ozh_click_topclicks($limit, $trim , $pattern) : displays your most clicked links
  • wp_ozh_click_comment_author_link() : a replacer for comment_author_link() in wp-comments.php, if you want to add a counter to your commenters' website when specified.

As you can see, the first one, wp_ozh_click_topclicks, has 3 optionnal arguments :

  • $limit : how many links you want to display. Default value is 5, and can be modified in the plugin.
  • $trim : maximum length for displayed links title. Setting this for example at 5 will convert "WordPress Home" to "Wordp…". Default value is 15, and can be modified in the plugin.
  • $pattern : html code used to display the list. See right below.

The pattern parameter is an html string with template tags. The default value, as defined in the plugin, is :

  1. <li>
  2.   <a href="%%link_url%%" title="%%link_title%%">%%link_title_trim%%</a>: %%link_clicks%%
  3. </li>

Tags are enclosed in between "%%" and can be :

  • link_id: the link id number in the sql database, I don't see why you would use this one :)
  • link_url : the link url, obviously.
  • link_clicks : the number of clicks the link has received so far
  • link_date : date of first click (more or less useless too, I admit)
  • link_title : remote page title
  • link_title_trim : shortened value of link_title, trimmed to the value of $trim as defined previously.

If the target page has no title, and is html content, the title will be replaced by the url itself. In this case, %%link_title%% will output the url, shortened by its trailing slash and leading http://www. if applicable.

It the page has no title because it's not an html document ( for example), it will be replaced by the document name (

Optionnal configuration tweaking

Now, I'll go through all the variables and their default values you can modify and edit at the beginning of the script. For the interested only, most users don't need so much tweaking and are probably bored of reading this page :)
Note : as usual, I've named the plugin file, functions and vars with a beginning "wp_ozh_click" to prevent any nuclear world war.

Core variables :

$wp_ozh_click['table'] = 'wp_linkclicks'
Name of the table where stats will be stored

$wp_ozh_click['file'] = get_settings('siteurl') . "/go.php"
Name and location of the tracker file

Basic features :

$wp_ozh_click['track_all_links'] = 1
Value can be 1 or 0
If set to 1, every link will have a tracker. Just post as usual.
If set to 0, you will have to specify when you want to add a tracker, with the following code :

  1. <a href="" count="1">link</a>

The value countwill be removed at processing time, so output will be valid html.
The value of count can be : 1, title, inline, or a mix.

  • count = "1" : number of hits will be added to link according to the default behaviour as defined in the script (see below)
  • count = "title" : number of hits added in link title : <a href="" title="69 hits">link</a>
  • count = "inline" : number of hits added in plain text, after the link : <a href="" >link</a> (69 hits)
  • count="title inline" : both : <a href="" title="69 hits">link</a> (69 hits)

$wp_ozh_click['in_title'] = 1
Value can be 1 or 0
Default behaviour for displaying counter (according to $wp_ozh_click['track_all_links'] or to count value in the link html). If set to one, display hit number in link title.

$wp_ozh_click['in_plain'] = 0
Value can be 1 or 0
Default behaviour for displaying counter (according to $wp_ozh_click['track_all_links'] or to count value in the link html). If set to one, display hit number in plain text after the link.

$wp_ozh_click['0click'] = 'No click'
Default text for zero click

$wp_ozh_click['1click'] = 'One hit'
Default text for one click

$wp_ozh_click['clicks'] = '%% hits'
Default text for several clicks, where %% will be replaced by a number

$wp_ozh_click['method'] = 2
Value can be 1, 2 or 3.
There are 3 ways to modify the link html to add the tracker. Each has advantages and drawbacks, but all validate any Doctype up to XHTML 1.1. If you want things to remain simple, just skip this setting and leave its default value
Depending on the chosen method, <a href=""> will become :

  • Method 1:
    <a href="" onclick="window.location='/go.php?'; return false">
    Cool : status bar shows real link without further trick.
    Less cool : doesnt work with "open link in new window"
  • Method 2:
    <a href="/yourblog/go.php?">
    Cool : works with "open in new window" and doesn't require Javascript enabled
    Less cool : shows ugly link "/blog/go.php?" in status bar
  • Method 3:
    like method 2 but also modifies status bar to hide the ugly and sometimes annoying "" part with onmouseover="javascript:window.status=''; return false"
    Cool : status bar shows real link.
    Less cool : adds a few bytes of html
  • I'd suggest you use preferably method 2, or at least method 3. Method 1 is really less accurate since it doesn't keep track of links opened in a new window

$wp_ozh_click['do_posts'] = 1
Value can be 1 or 0 :
Do you want to add a counter to links in your posts ?

$wp_ozh_click['do_comments'] = 1
Value can be 1 or 0 :
Do you want to add a counter to links in your commenters comments ?

Now onto the link title features :

$wp_ozh_click['get_title'] = 0
Value can be 1 or 0.
Get remote page title the first time a user clicks a link to store it along with hits in the table. This will slow down the first clicker, by 1 or 2 seconds maximum, time for your website to retrieve the distant page and parse it.
Note : mostly untested feature. It uses fopen(), check your host has enabled this (if not, the plugin will work anyway, and title will simply be empty)

$wp_ozh_click['get_title_forcerefresh'] = 50
Value is an integer.
Refresh remote page title every XX clicks. Set to 0 if you don't want to use this feature. If you chose to use it, the higher traffic – then clicks – you get, the higher you should set this. Examples : 50 for Joe's blog, 3000 for Slashdottish blog.
To be honest this is really a gadget – almost totally useless :)

$wp_ozh_click['extensions'] = array ( lots of extensions )
Most common non html file extensions. These are files that have no title html tag, so their link title will be the file name ( for example)

Then, top link features :

$wp_ozh_click['top_limit'] = 5
Default number of top links to be displayed by wp_ozh_click_topclicks() (see above, Template Tags)

$wp_ozh_click['top_pattern'] = '<li><a href="%%link_url%%" title="%%link_title%%">%%link_title_trim%%</a>: %%link_clicks%%</li>'
Default pattern used to display top links (see above, Template Tags)

$wp_ozh_click['trim'] = 15
Default maximum length of link titles (0 not to trim)

Tips and Tricks

Here are listed a few tips or thoughts I've had during the development and test of the plugin.

» As a file download counter
You can use this plugin as a download counter to see how popular are your files :-P
To do so, you can either specify count="1″ in the download link html tag, or link them with an absolute file (http://site/blog/download/

» Use with Matt's Asides
If you are using Matt's asides or something similar, you'll have to modify a bit your index.php

  1. echo wptexturize($post->post_content)


  1. echo wp_ozh_click_modifyhrefs(wptexturize($post->post_content))

» Use with blogrolls
Similarily, if you want to use the feature on a blogroll link list for example, modify the php code to add wp_ozh_click_modifyhrefs().
Remember one thing : each link counter display (in title on in plain text) will cost 1 SQL query. Know what your server can handle before doing such things :)

» Invisible tracker for weak SQL servers
You can use the plugin to track clicks at no SQL cost : set $wp_ozh_click['track_all_links'], $wp_ozh_click['in_title'] and $wp_ozh_click['in_plain'] to zero. It will still modify your link html tags to add the tracker file to them, but it won't display hit counters along with links.
Now, check your link clicks from phpmyadmin directly, or using the template tag wp_ozh_click_topclicks() (1 SQL query)


1.0 :

  • Initial release

1.01 :

  • improved : only one query if same url repeated
  • fixed : no javascript in links for rss outputs (so the feed validates)

1.02 :

  • fixed potential SQL injection


It took me almost longer to write this doc than to write the plugin itself :)

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This entry "Click Counter Plugin For WordPress" was posted on 17/09/2004 at 4:58 pm and is tagged with , , , ,
Watch this discussion : Comments RSS 2.0.

527 Blablas

  1. Partismal says:

    Hey Ozh,

    How I configure your counter after installation. I need to configure your plugin to my website like another site, it had used for download & preview counter.
    "iwordpressthemes (dot) com"

    Please let me know the template I need to use. I have already install your plugin correctly to my web site but how I configure to show counter, I mean the template code.

  2. Ozh says:

    Partismal » read the doc?

  3. Doug Arnold says:

    Hi, Ozh (February 22, 2011)

    Using your SQL code, I get this error message when trying to create the wp_linkclicks TABLE:

    MySQL said:

    #1064 – You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '`link_id` INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT ,
    Â `link_url` TEXT NOT NULL ,
    Â `link_c' at line 2

    Please advise.

    Thank you.
    Doug Arnold

  4. Gilbert says:

    Too bad this thing doesn't have a admin panel and a descent overview… :(
    Or maybe I'm just blind?!

  5. kiatlc says:

    will the prefix has a negative impact on seo? Because the keyword which is added the specific URL turns out to be leaded by unwanted prefix?

  6. Legdotus says:

    Can you help me? I upload the files in my site. I have a plugin that changes the language of the posts, so when the link becomes in a different language, every file that I try to download gives a 404 error not found page. Any idea how to fix it?

  7. Ady DeeJay says:

    Hello Ozh,
    I have a personal music site and I'm using your great plugin to count the hits for each song I post. Is there any possibility to concatenate all these hits, posting this simple information as "Total Hits" on the main page or in a widget?
    Thank you very much.
    Best regards,
    Ady DeeJay /

  8. Ozh says:

    Ady DeeJay » There are 2 functions you can use in your .php files
    displays the total number of links
    displays the total number of hits

  9. Graham K says:

    Not working anymore – even clicking the wordpress links above and refreshing keeps your own counters at 9622

  10. Ozh says:

    Graham K » Totally works. It's just that cache plugins serve cached content for 30 minutes and during that time, page content is, well, cached.

  11. Graham K says:

    [ link removed ]
    Please check this page – I have the plugin added (with inline click info) but for some reason, the go.php (renamed redir.php) isn't counting the clicks on the links. My database is set up and hits are actually being recorded, they just aren't displaying properly.

    The problem only started today.

  12. Ozh says:

    Graham K » Nothing stops working by itself one day just because. Something has been changed in a config or code. Revert it. Sorry, can't help.

  13. ursa says:

    I am trying to count how many people click a paypal donate button on my site, but I cannot get this to work. I have added click =¨1¨ to the paypal button.

  14. ursa says:

    Are you still giving support for this product? You have not answered my question above

  15. Ozh says:

    ursa » Everything you need to know is explained in the doc here. I can't explain clearer or better.

  16. danial says:

    hi Ozh
    is there a way that counter shows a fake number ? for example . my file had been downloaded 20 times but with a little trick it show(to visitors) 100 hit !!
    in fact I want to say is there a way to count avery hit as 2-… hits ??
    thank you !

  17. Ozh says:

    danial » Sure: don't use my plugin, edit your page and write down "Downloaded 1337 times!" manually.

  18. danial says:

    So I think it means "no it's not possible! "
    in fact I ask this question to insure that other websites (especially my friend's !) not cheating :D
    thank U for Ur great plugin . I'll recommend it to my friends.

  19. wissem says:

    Hi everybody.
    I want to thank you for your effort and for sharing this plugin.
    I had installed this plugin but it show always the same message "No click"
    Can i use the number of click as a field (like "links used:number of click")

  20. wissem says:

    Salut monsieur,

    je suis trés moyen en anglais c pkoi j'ai pas bien compris votre explication.

    J'ai enregistré le plugin puis mis le fichier sur la racine quest ce que je dois faire maintenant?

    Il m'affiche "No click" à chaque lien? Pouvez vous m'expliquer en francais? Existe t'il une explication en francais?

    Merci pour l'effort et le partage.

  21. wissem says:

    Salut monsieur,

    ca va j'ai créer la table et le problème est résolu.

    Je veux savoir si ce plugin calcul le nombre de clics pour tous les liens ou chaque lien aura son propre compteur.

    Merci encore une fois

  22. Mariem says:

    I don't know how to show number of hits in post

    for example:

    I have link as "Sample" in a post and i am getting the result only when i hover the link.

    I would like to get result like " SaranR (450 hits) "

    I don't know how to create a page review

    Thank you

  23. mohamad says:

    thank you for your amazing plugin
    could you write an example for wp_ozh_click_topclicks();
    how to i use it in my site?
    where should i put the code?


  24. dbalex says:

    Is it possible to change the link but keeping the download count? I realized too late that I need to make an adjustment to the package I put on my site for download but I don't want to loose the download count.

    Thank you!

  25. fariborz says:

    my url is x
    my download link is dl.x
    i use custom file in post for download link
    i want to show hits of link download but just show internal link upload by media
    please help me

  26. niki says:

    Hiya ~

    Been using this great plugin for about 10 years. However it started really slowing down the site recently.

    Would it be because it's too old ? Any chance you would update it to WordPress current release ? That would be amazing. :)

    If not, any way to transfer the 10 years data to a new plugin ?

    Cheers ~

  27. Krisz says:

    Be careful if you update your php or WP may take up your whole page!

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