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I would like to report back to my client on the progress of our web site. The report details number of requests if I see 15,000 requests how does this translate into hits, and unique users? Also I went to a report for the pages mst requested and I see the many of our links, does this mean they are coming in thru our links page or leaving?
Thanks in advance,
15,000 requests will usually mean every single 'hit' on your website. Each visitor will many many requests - one for each image, document or external file on your site, and so this number will not correspond to the number of visitors. To get this number you need to know how many different IP addresses made the requests.
If you let us know what you are using to get the numbers it will be a lot easier to help.
I had a quick look at hostway's site, and all of the hosting packages I could see specify that you have access to raw server log files. If this is the case, you would be probably be better off downloading these logs and using different software to analyse them yourself.
Could you use a 5 t 1 rule i.e for every five request you estimate one hit?
You could do. My concern would be that this method is very inaccurate and if you are reporting to a client this is probably a bad idea.
in request report I see many of our links
You will only ever have logs of requests made to your own pages. If someone requests an external page, it shows up in their logs not yours ;)
A quick explanation of how server logs work - sorry if this is more technical than you need. Your logs will be made up of lots of lines like this:
126.96.36.199 - - [17/Apr/2003:17:34:51 +0100] "GET /internalpage.htm HTTP/1.1" 200 3297 "http: //www.referrer.com/link-to-your-page.html" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)"
What this basically says is that the IP (188.8.131.52) on 17 April, requested internalpage.htm (succesfully hence the 200 status code) which is 3297 bytes in size, and they were referred by www.referrer.com/link-to-your-page.html. The last line is the web browser or user agent that requested the file. Every request for a new page, image etc. writes a new line to the log file. This makes up the number of 'hits' on your site.
Logs can be a little confusing at first, so sticky me if you are really struggling with this. You can always use other methods to compile statistics on your site that don't use logs at all.
My suspicion is that whatever hostway are using for the statistics is not doing much more than aggregate numbers from the log file, hence using the terminology normally used to talk about raw logs (requests, hits) rather than the sort of info that is useful in reporting on site traffic (unique visitors, page views).