Statistics and Traffic Reports

ID #129

What is the difference between hits and visits in my stat reports?

Applies to: Grid System, Managed Servers, VPS

  • Any request made to your site is considered a "hit".
  • A "visit", on the other hand, is a series of "hits" that came from the same user within a period of time.

Hits may be an html page, a graphic image, an audio file, a CGI script, etc. So, hits are the total number of requests that were received during the specified report period.

Each "visit" is composed of many more "hits". For example, when a browser requests one page on your site, your reports will record 1 hit for the page request, plus 1 more hit for each image or other object (flash object, javascript file, etc) that was referenced on that page. That is why hits are always greater than visits.

Visits are also grouped by time. The reports do this by looking at the IP address of the browser and calculates the amount of time since a visitor's last request (if any). If the time difference is greater than a pre-configured 'visit timeout' value (or has never made a request before), it is considered a 'new visit'. So, if a browser accesses your site and then returns hours later, after the timeout, each access counts as a separate visit. The default timeout value varies per analyzer. You may change the timeout length.

* Generally, the statistics programs record visits only occur on requests, for any request whose URL is one of the 'page' types. Page types are arbitrarily defined in the configuration file, and typically are content-presenting pages, like html or php. Due to the parameters used in the calculations, the number of visits should not be taken as absolutely accurate, rather, it should be considered an educated estimate.

Last update: 2010-09-29 17:14
Author: FAQ Admin
Revision: 1.3

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Comment of Anonymous:
Got to watch some web companies looking for advertising dollars and pointing to how large their hit count is. Obviously the site visit statistics are the ones to value because a site could just have a thousand useless images on one page and instantly get a thousand hits when just one person visits. I will only look at site visits from now on. Thanks for this info.
Added at: 2004-11-05 23:01