Q&A: How can I tell how much traffic my website is getting?

Discussion in 'E-Zine Articles' started by Bob Hubbard, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Q&A: How can I tell how much traffic my website is getting?

    Question:
    How can I tell how much traffic my website is getting?


    Answer:
    Check with your web host and see if they offer you any traffic information. Right now some of the more popular packages are AWStats and Webalyzer. An older but still common package is Analog Stats. My preference is AWStats as it's simple to read and seems to have a good accuracy rate.

    Now, everywhere you go you'll read about "hits". But what is a "hit"? A hit is imply a count of how many times an object such as a graphic or web page has been accessed.

    So, are hits good? Yes and no. A web page with 2 graphics counts as 3 hits (1 for each graphic, and 1 for the page itself), while one with 25 graphics will generate 26 hits. I prefer to count "page views" which track how many times your actual web pages are accessed. In both prior examples, they are 1 page view.

    What about visitors?

    Visitors are a vague thing too, like hits. A visitor is a count of each access, a unique visitor is a count of each unique computer. This is further confused by the fact that each unique computer might have several people using it. Without getting into a huge complex discussion here, I always tell people that their visitor count is somewhere between uniques and visitors. So if you have 500 uniques, and 1,000 visits, you can accept that somewhere between500 and 1,000 people visited your site.

    It's not 100% accurate, but is close enough for most people. For more accurate counts, you'll have to consider advanced tracking tools and methods that are beyond the scope of this simple Q&A.
     

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