Webalizer Hits vs Visits

From Lunarpages Web Hosting Wiki

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One of the many things we give out to our Basic and Business customers is Webalizer, one of the most widely used and popular server side statistic tools you can use. Some people are not sure about one thing when using it. What is the difference between hits and visitors? Are they the same, are they different?

What do “Hits” mean?

Hits would be any request to the server which is logged. This could be both human, as in visitors or other computers, such as search engine spiders or bots. The request can be for anything. It could be for HTML pages, graphics, audio files and more.

What are “Visits” then?

Well if “Hits” are times the files are accessed by man or machine, then visits are when a request is made to the server from a given IP address. Now where it gets a little confusing is Webalizer calculates the time spent by that IP address on the site, page or graphic. If the time difference is larger than the configured “visit timeout” time (or has never visited before) they are considered a new visitor.

BONUS TIP! For more information, I would suggest checking out the read me file for Webalizer.

So in conclusion you could consider hits to be all the times anything accesses your web site and visits is the Webalizer's best attempt at figuring out how many of those hits are real people looking at your web site. In comparison with tools like Google Analytics, Webalizer might report higher numbers. This is because it can see all the traffic coming in while off-site tools can only gather statistics on the pages they have special tracking codes on. Which is better? That is up for the end user to decide.

Also check out our Forum entry that provides more information: Webalizer Definitions