Hits and Visits. What's the difference?

  Marky_Bhoy 23:17 17 Feb 04

I was looking at my website statistics (provided by blueyonder) and I was surprised to see that I had over 7500 hits since I launched my website seven months ago.

However, there is nothing really on the site. I only have a picture. No metatags or keywords.

The URL is registered with google - but you have to type in the exact address to view it.

The stats also showed that I had 145 visits. Now that's more like it. And it is probably me visting the site each time to see my latest picture or experiment.

So if I have only has 145 visits (which seems about right) then what does 'hits' mean?

  Forum Editor 23:31 17 Feb 04

Each time a visitor calls a page from the server the logs record a server 'hit', and as you have realised, many hits can be recorded by a relatively small number of 'unique' visitors as they move back and forth through your site.

When you are a site owner what you want to see is a high figure in the unique visitors log - that's a record of the number of individuals who have visited your site, although each time you take a look yourself you are recorded as a separate visitor.

Commercial sites (like this one) which want to attract advertisers need a reliable and independent verification of their traffic figures, so they employ the services of a respected independent traffic audit company to provide them with a monthly average rating.

  Marky_Bhoy 23:42 17 Feb 04

thank you Forum Editor for your response.

  jz 11:39 21 Feb 04

"although each time you take a look yourself you are recorded as a separate visitor."

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Could you explain please? Thanks...

  jz 11:48 21 Feb 04

If I look at a site, this presumably results in the visitor count increments by 1.

If I click on a link to look at a different page, presumably the visitor count doesn't increment.

If I then close my browser then look at the same site again, does the visitor count increment, or does it detect that I've already been there so doesn't increment? If it doesn't, is there a time period after which if I look at the site again, the visitor count is incremented?

  Forum Editor 12:20 21 Feb 04

you visit the site you are counted as a unique visitor. If you close your browser window and then visit the site in a new window you'll be counted again.

The unique visitor count will not increase as you move from page to page within the site, but the page request totals will. Requests for each page are logged separately, so you can analyse your stats and see which pages are proving to be more popular.

  jz 12:58 21 Feb 04

That's very clear, although whoever came up with the term 'unique visitor' must have been misusing the meaning of unique!

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