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awstat - what are sites and visits



6:30 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I use awstat to track my website traffic.

But Im always confused by the term "sites" and "visits".
What are they and how is it counted?



6:38 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is a question I was going to ask as well.

I'm never sure what my site's real traffic is. When people ask hey man what's your traffic? I never know what to say?

I had a very big day yesterday according to awstats.

I had 11135 "reqs"

and 4820 "pages"

but google analytics showed my site as having 376 unique visitors.

Is any of this good traffic? I am excited by it all but really don't know what it means.

I always thought that "pages" were the actual number of web pages that my visitors saw during the day. But what are "requests" then? My web host only lists "hits" on their website and it's around 11,000 as well.

The first person asking the question I would think that "sites" would be the number of pages, unless you have multiple websites?

But I'm not sure what the other element in your case is...

what is your traffic like?

Is my traffic good? I've been working on the site for 2 years now off and on but only recently have been adding new content.


8:10 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh, how stupid I was.

I was actually using Webalizer, not awstat.
It has terms like "Hits, Files, Pages, Visits, Sites, KBytes". Most of the terms Im not clear about.

Anyway, my daily traffic is around 13000 hits, with 600 visits/sites (I guess it means unique visitors)

I would refer it as a small traffic. I expect much more traffic to come if I can rank well in G.


8:10 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Site traffic can be interpreted in various ways. One interpretation is everything that is recorded at the web server. Another is every "page" that is viewed by clients, which includes requests for cached pages that may not cause anything to be recorded at the web server. Another is "real traffic," which excludes things like search engine spiders, invalid clicks, suspicious clicks, (too often) repeated clicks, etc. Then there are completely literal views of traffic such as the number of bytes sent to/from the web server.

All of these provide a composite view of your site's activity, but only some of them may actually help you reach your goals. If you give us an idea of what you're trying to accomplish, we may be able to help you select the right traffic metrics to look at.


10:46 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

thanks gregbo

i guess i need a plan about my traffic?

I'm not sure, I want the most visitors and to be the best in my niche market, but I'm mainly a content/information site rather than selling anything.

I have adsense but at the moment I'm not really hoping to live off of it at any point but it does cover hosting and some advertising.

Thanks for your question, it is a good place to start (what do you want your traffic to be?)....



4:29 am on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>> terms like "Hits, Files, Pages, Visits, Sites, KBytes"

Hits: Most stats programs just use the term hits to mean any request for a document (webalizer seems to call this "files" and uses the term "hits" to also include other types of requests that don't return files on the filesystem, like 404s).
Example: Let's say your homepage, index.html, has three images on it. When someone visits your homepage, the server will record 4 hits: one for the index.html document, and one for each of the three images it had to fetch to complete the page.
Usage: Hits is useful to see how hard your server is getting hammered.

Pages: This is the number of page views, ignoring imbedded images and such.
Example: Let's say your homepage, index.html, has three images on it. When someone visits your homepage, the server will record 1 page view.
Usage: Useful metric to determine how many and what individual pages of your site are being viewed.

Sites or Unique Visitors: Usually called unique vistors, this is a deduction of how many "people" visited your site. Usually bbased on IP address and sometimes other factors as well. This is always an estimation since there is no accurate way to measure that. Therefore different stats programs could come up with different numbers using the same log file.
Example: A visit from User A at IP address X would count as one unique vistor, regardless of how many pages they viewed or how many hits they generated.
Usage: Great metric to estimate the number of unique people that visit your site. Your reach.

Visits: A visit is a unique vistor's session measured by some period of time (like 30 minutes or an hour). Subject to the same innacuracies as Unique Visitors.
Example: If User A at IP address X viewed 7 pages and 16 graphics in a 30 minute period of time, that would count as one visit. If that same user came back to the site the next day and viewed 3 more pages, that would count as another session or visit.
Usage: Great to see how often people are coming to the site.

Bytes or Bandwidth: This shows the amount of bandwidth sent across the pipe.
Example: If your homepage is 14k plus 3 images at 12k each, then when a typical user requests that page they'll pull 50k of bandwith (14+12+12+12).
Usage: See your bandwidth usage.

Reading the numbers...

Example: 100 unique visitors, 300 visits, 1200 page views, 3600 hits, 2.2GB bandwidth

This means an estimated 100 different people have visited. Those 100 people visited on average 3 times each (300 visits / 100 uniques). During each of those 300 visits, those 100 people viewed an average of 4 pages each (1200 page views / 300 visits). Those 1200 page views generated and average of 3600 hits, or 3 hits per page. All together, 2.2GB of bandwidth was consumed.

2.2GB of bandwidth is a lot for that level of traffic. Unless they are movies, the graphics could be way too big. 3 hits per page view? Are images being cached appropriately? Could signal some coding inefficiencies.

The number of visits being higher than the numkber of uniques is good. Means you have repeat visitors.

4 page views per visitor, how good/bad that is depends on the site. Measures the "stickiness" of your site.


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