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Understanding Visits, Views, and Hits

Learn how to read the basic components of your web stats.

A visit occurs when an individual or search engine spider comes to your website and looks around a bit. That person or bot may go to one page or may go to 100 pages. However, that visit happens only once per day.

A view refers to the number of pages that were seen during that visit.

A hit refers to the number of physical resources requested from the server during that visit. Pages are made up of many items like images, audio files, video files and even text. Each of those items that are presented to the visitor count as a hit, while the overall view is the presentation of the page in its entirety.

Imagine going to a convenience store and picking up a magazine to buy. You're essentially "visiting" the magazine simply by picking it up. While looking through the magazine, you flip through, looking at various pages, which are your page "views". Each page you look at has text and some pictures, and probably a few ads. Each of these items are "hit" simply by showing up on the page. Taking this all into account, you have one visit, you view many pages of the magazine and incur various hits based on the text and images you see on those pages.

So which value is more useful? It depends on the use of the information. If you're in marketing and you're striving for bragging rights or high activity numbers, use hits. However, if you are using your stats to actually identify trends and the personal impact of your site, use views and visits. Hits can always be inflated artificially by adding a few more images to a page, for example. Visits and views, however, represent people coming to your site and the number of webpages they saw, which is much more useful for analyzing usage patterns.

Version 1.1 • Last Updated 1/9/2024 10:53:13 PM

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