About: Words Counted

Words Counted is a tool created in May 2019 by Matthew Brown, chair of Thanet Creative. It was designed to answer a simple question – which words do I use the most in my writing?

  • If it is a very big text there might be a delay.
  • Your text is not stored after the report is generated.
  • To save processing time, words of three or fewer letters are not counted.
  • Handles contractions and accented non-ASCII characters too.
  • Makes a graph of your word sizes.

How Words Counted works

Words Counted is a simple form with a text area, checkbox, and a button. You paste your text into the form check or uncheck the checkbox (to toggle the skipping of common English words), and then press the button.

After that, Words Counted takes over. It breaks your text into words (or tries to) and then counts how many times each word is found. Then it makes the page and forgets what you showed it. That last step is to protect your content from ending up somewhere it is not supposed to be.

This is all achieved with a custom PHP class that is used by a special page template specifically added to the Thanet Creative theme. Yes, Thanet Creative has its own custom (child) WordPress theme. As of May 2019, this is the most significant modification.

Try Words Counted for yourself.


Will my work be safe? Can anyone copy it?

You work is completely safe. As soon as you close the page showing you your results, Words Counted will not even remember seeing it.

We do not store your work. We don’t even store statistics which I must admit sounds like a good idea for a future feature. But, if it is added, anonymous statistics will be optional.

Can I share a link to my results?

Sadly, no. Because Words Counted does not save anything you send it, there is nothing there for us to recreate your information from. When you close the page, it goes away.

Can I link to Words Counted?

Please do. The tool was made to help writers. The more people that know about it, the more writers we can help.

Why stop some words?

There are some words that are common to a language which it is very hard to avoid using. Words like “said”, “they”, “are”, “so”, “it”, “in”, “was”, and so forth. If we keep them in, they are likely to dominate the top part of the list and make it harder to find out which words you are using beyond the basic constructs of a language.

Do you stop words in other languages?

As of version 1.0.0, we do not. That is because Matthew is only proficient in English. If you can contribute a text list of your language’s stop words, we can include them in the next update.

Do you share any data about me?

No. Absolutely not. Even the Google Chart API works with local data (data on your page only).

Try Words Counted for yourself.

Version history

1.0.0 – The initial release

  • Counts words.
  • Skips a list of stop words.
  • Skips words of three or fewer characters.
  • Option to include most stop words if you want.
  • Cannot handle contractions very well (because it is hard to tell the difference between a single quote and an apostrophe from a code point of view).


  • Update CSS to make the box bigger.

1.1.0 – charts edition

  • Added a chart of word sizes.
  • Refactored some of the code for ease of updates.


  • Now handles contractions like a champ.
  • Might be fractionally slower as it is doing more work.


  • Fixed a bug where new lines were sometimes treated as part of a word