Website Statistics Explained

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Hits

Any request made to the server which is logged, is considered a 'hit'. The requests can be for anything... html pages, graphic images, audio files, CGI scripts, etc... Each valid line in the server log is counted as a hit. This number represents the total number of requests that were made to the server during the specified report period. For example, if you load a page on your website that contains 5 pictures, then this will be represented by at least 6 hits. 1 hit for the page itself, and 5 subsequent hits, one for each image requested from the server. For this reason, the hits do not give a reflection of website visitors.

Files

Some requests made to the server require that the server then send something back, such as a html page or graphic image. When this happens, it is considered a 'file'. The relationship between 'hits' and 'files' can be thought of as 'incoming requests' and 'outgoing responses'.

Pages

Pages are, well, pages! Generally, any HTML document, or anything that generates an HTML document, would be considered a page. This does not include the other stuff that goes into a document, such as graphic images, audio clips, etc... This number represents the number of 'pages' requested only, and does not include the other 'stuff' that is in the page. What actually constitutes a 'page' can vary from server to server.

Visits

Each request made to the server comes from a unique 'site', which can be referenced by a name or ultimately, an IP address. The 'sites' number shows how many unique IP addresses made requests to the server during the reporting time period.

This DOES NOT mean the number of unique individual users (real people) that visited, which is impossible to determine using just logs and the HTTP protocol - however, this number might be about as close as you will get.

KBytes

The KBytes (kilobytes) value shows the amount of data, in KB, that was sent out by the server during the specified reporting period. This value is generated directly from the log file, so it is up to the web server to produce accurate numbers in the logs.

In general, this should be a fairly accurate representation of the amount of outgoing traffic the server had, regardless of the web servers reporting quirks.

Top Entry and Exit Pages

The Top Entry and Exit tables give a rough estimate of what URL's are used to enter your site, and what the last pages viewed are.

Because of limitations in the HTTP protocol, log rotations, etc... this number should be considered a good "rough guess" of the actual numbers, however will give a good indication of the overall trend in where users come into, and exit, your site.

Referrers

Referrers are those URLs that lead a user to your site or caused the browser to request something from your server. The vast majority of requests are made from your own URLs, since most HTML pages contain links to other objects such as graphics files.

Typical referers would be: a webpage linking to your site; a search engine results page; or another site including one of your images in their content.