Any help would be muchly appreciated.
P.S Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't really sure where to put it so I thought of it to be best to post it in here.
All counting is done on the server. A third party counter service will typically used JS to drive the download of a cookie and a graphic. The number of graphics downloaded determines the number of page views while some black magic with the cookie determines counts unique visits. The limitations are that it will always undercount as JS may be blocked, cookies may be blocked, graphics may be blocked, the visitor may navigate away from the page before the graphic downloads, you forgot to put the code on all the pages, etc etc. It does normally ignore bots as they don't download the graphic. There are two reasons for using this method: 1. Your host may not provide access to the stats. "Free" hosting services typically don't 2. Your host may provide the raw stats but leave you to buy some analysis software.
Server stats give you details of all the bots that visit which is valuable. My own hosting service gives me the raw stats and some pretty graphs but no in depth analysis of stuff like search strings or how people navigate the site. Its easier for me to use a third party stat counter to get the "real" visits analysed and to look at the raw stats to check for stuff like hot-linking, rss usage and bots.