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Support: Tech Notes

Tech note FS1351

Does FlashStats report "visits"? What is a "hit" or a "page view"?

Technically, the definition of a "hit" is a request for any object on your website. This value has obvious problems when it comes to defining how many times various web pages have been looked at. "HTTP Requests" in FlashStats is more or less equivalent to raw hits. In FlashStats, often the hits to images are subtracted from this total by the "Filter out requests for specific file types" field in the report request form.

To improve on hits, the concept of a "page view" has been defined. A "page view" is a request to a single html page. In FlashStats, if requests for images and other binary data are filtered, the report "Top URLs Requested" is usually a mark of page views for those pages listed. And then "HTTP Requests" becomes the sum of those page views.

The definition of "visit" is the result of one person (or program) visiting your site and requesting any number of pages. FlashStats does not currently report any form of visits. The determination varies among Log Analysis programs and there unfortunately is no standard to determine what a visit is. Usually a visit is counted as a single IP address that has made requests. After no requests for a specified period of time (30 min to 2 hrs) the visit is considered to have ended. A user can bring up a web page, go out to lunch, and continue surfing that site and be counted as two visits. A single IP can be an AOL proxy server that serves hundreds of people and only be counted as one visit. So the real visits can be difficult to determine. Maximized Software is considering adding a visits report to FlashStats in the future.

Some people wonder if referrers can show visit information. The "Top Referrers To Your Site" report only shows unique referrers not unique visits. A single user can come to your site from more than one referer. And there is no referrer if somebody goes directly to your site by typing in a URL or clicking on a bookmark. So the Referers report in no way reflects the number of visits to your have.

Here are some articles with good discussion of "hits", "page views", and "visits".

Ask the Surf Guru: What is the difference between a "hit" and a "visit"?

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