Web Statistics Information

Each time a request is made to view a page on your site it is logged. The log is basically a record of the number of times any file in your account was accessed. The logs break the requests to the server down into very specific categories:

Hits - Any request made to the server which is logged is considered a hit. The requests can be for anything - HTML pages, graphic images, audio files, cgi scripts, etc. Each valid line in the server log is counted as a hit. This number represents the total number of requests that were made to the server during the specified reporting period.

Files - Some requests made to the server require that the server send something back to the requesting client, such as an HTML page or graphic image. When this happens, it is considered a "file" and the number of requested files is incremented. Think of "hits" as incoming requests and "files" as outgoing responses.

Pages - Pages are generally any HTML document, or anything that generates an HTML document, would be considered a page. This does not include the other elements of a document, such as graphic images, audio clips, etc. This number represents the number of "pages" requested only, and does not include the other elements of the page. What actually constitutes a "page" can vary from server to server. Generally, anything with the extension '.htm', '.HTML' or '.cgi' is considered a "page".

Visits - Whenever a request is made to the server from a given IP address (site), the amount of time since a previous request by the address is calculated. If the time difference is greater than the "visit timeout" value (30 minutes), or the visit has never made a request before, it is considered a new visit, and this is added to the total (both for the site, and the IP address ). Since the visit timeout value is 30 minutes, if a user visits a site at 1:00 in the afternoon, and then returns at 3:00, two visits are registered. Note: Visits only occur on PageType requests, that is, for any request whose URL is one of the page types defined on the server. Due to the limitation of the HTTP protocol, log rotations and other factors, this number should not be taken as absolutely accurate, rather, it should be considered a relatively accurate approximation.

Sites - Each request made to the server comes from a unique site, which can be referenced by a name or an IP address . The "sites" number shows how many unique IP address es made requests to the server during the reporting period. This does not mean the number of unique individual users (real people) that visited (which is impossible to determine using only logs and the HTTP protocol), however, this number may be as close as these methods can get to determining users. Bear in mind, however, a Site listing like pool034-max5.ds30-ca-us.dialup.earthlink.net indicates a dialup node, and can service hundreds or even thousands of individual users.

Kilobyte - A Kilobyte is a measurement of data transfer. It is very difficult to give averages here, because there is no average file size from one Web site to the next. In the simplest terms, one request for a 10kb page is 10kb of data transfer. A single visitor to a site made up of many small files will use much less bandwidth than a single visitor to a site with large files such as audio, video or images. The Kilobytes (KBytes) value shows the amount of data, in KB, that was sent out by the server during the specified reporting period. This value is generated directly from the log file, so it is up to the Web server to produce accurate numbers in the logs (Web servers on different operating systems do different things when reporting the number of bytes). In general, this is a fairly accurate representation of the amount of outgoing traffic the server had, regardless of the Web server's operating system.v Clicking on the name of a month in the "Summary by Month" section will supply detailed information for the selected month.

The first section provides a summary report for the month. "Hits", "Files", "Pages", "Visits" and "Kilobytes" were covered previously. The next set of information is "Unique Sites", "Unique URL's", "Unique Referrers" and "Unique User Agents".

"Unique Sites" indicates how many unique IP address es made requests to the server during the reporting period. This does not mean the number of unique individual users (real people) that visited (which is impossible to determine using only logs and the HTTP protocol), however, this number may be as close as these methods can get to determining users. Bear in mind, however, a Site listing like pool034-max5.ds30-ca-us.dialup.earthlink.net indicates a dialup node, and can service hundreds or even thousands of individual users.

"Unique URL's" indicates the specific files that were accessed. This will provide a list of the pages that are being viewed the most.

"Unique Referrers" is the last page the user was on before coming to your site. If a person is at a search engine and their search lists your page then they click on the link and end up at your site, that search engine will be listed here. Similarly, if the visitor followed a link from another site to your site, the site which links to yours will be listed.

"Unique Agents" - With the advent of the newer browsers, it is increasingly difficult to determine which browser is being used to access a site. For instance the name "Mozilla" will likely show up frequently. Mozilla was the original code name for the product that came to be known as Netscape Navigator, and later, Netscape Communicator. A Mozilla agent does not necessarily indicate a Netscape browser however - just one derived from the source code of Netscape Navigator.

"Hits by Response Code" consists of technical codes Web servers use to detail the type of access made to it. Here are some brief descriptions:

  • Code 200 - OK - The request was fulfilled
  • Code 204 - No Content - Server has received the request but there is no information to send back, and the client should stay in the same document view.
  • Code 206 - Partial Content - Server has received the request but incomplete information was sent back (i.e. a missing graphic, etc.), and the client should stay in the same document view
  • Code 301 - Moved Permanently - The data requested has been assigned a new URI, the change is permanent
  • Code 302 - Found - The data requested actually resides under a different URL, however, the user was redirected to the new location
  • Code 304 - Not Modified - If the client has done a conditional GET and access is allowed, but the document has not been modified since the date and time specified in If-Modified-Since field, the server responds with a 304 status code and does not send the document body to the client.
  • Code 400 - Bad Request - The request had bad syntax or was inherently impossible to be satisfied
  • Code 401 - Unauthorized - The parameter to this message gives a specification of authorization schemes which are acceptable. The client should retry the request with a suitable Authorization header.
  • Code 403 - Forbidden - The request is for something forbidden. Authorization will not help.
  • Code 404 - Not Found - The server has not found anything matching the URL given
  • Code 408 - Request Timeout - Request to a URL unfulfilled. This is most commonly due to a user's slow internet connection, or lost connections during periods of heavy internet traffic (the internet has a "prime time", when use is at its daily peak and connections slow down).

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