Question: Why does the word count provided by InSite differ from the one I get by copy-and-pasting the text of my website into Microsoft Word (or another word processing application)?

Answer: The rules by which InSite and your word processor count words likely differ in several ways. Consider the following:

  • InSite counts hyphenated words as two (or more) words; your word processor may count them as one.
  • InSite only counts words greater than a certain length (it is common to exclude words three characters or less as they tend to be connective words, such as ‘and’ and ‘the’). (See options to configure this setting.)
  • InSite can be configured to exclude numbers, or words with numbers, as these typically are not counted or are trade names, your word processor may count them. (See options to configure this setting.)
  • InSite does not count stand-alone symbols as words (such as bullets, arrows made of text (->), etc).
  • InSite counts meta text (text that isn’t directly visible on your page through your browser). This includes the page description, alternate text for images, etc. This text is part of the page, but is not copied into your word processor when copy-and-pasting.