Over the weekend, I received an email from the owner of a website I “showcased” on my other blog. She had a question about “hits” on her website, Dare To Care – Alaska.

Her passion is to feed hungry children, who have fallen through the cracks for Federally funded school lunches. How her non-profit organization was formed, is a touching story. You can read it at: Hungry Children, In The United States?

In response to her email, I wanted to give her a simple explanation for the difference between “hits” and “visits”. Here’s what I wrote:

“HIts” is something I had to learn about, as it’s very misleading. “Hits” are not the same as “visits”. i.e. My first month of blogging, I was averaging 423 “hits” a day, but that was only an average of 34 “unique visitors” a day.

“Hits” are affected by the amount of graphics/images you have on a page. The more graphics/images, the more “hits” you’ll see for each “visit”.

My first month of blogging, I had a lot of ads on my pages. That drove up my “hit” count. Now I have moved those ads to a separate page “Sidebar Shopping”, so unless a reader clicks on that page, I’m not getting a “hit” for all of those graphics.

Now, I have an average of 652 “hits” per day, and my average visitor count per day is 139. See the difference? My visitor count is up-that’s what I’m looking at.

I don’t know what “statistics” program your webmaster is using. Some are better than others. From researching, and using different “stats” programs, I like AWStats the best. They do not count visits by Google bots, or any other “spiders” or “crawlers”, that are used to index your pages. These “visits” aren’t actual visitors.

To gain more extensive knowledge about “hits” vs “visitors”, many websites offer a detailed explanation, but for me, and the owner of Dare To Care – Alaska, , keeping it simple, serves us well.

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  1. KekoaNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for covering this. I was curious what the difference was. My number of hits is ridiculously large, but unique hits are what really matters.

    Makes me wonder why counters even use “hits.” Webalizer seems to enjoy using huge numbers like these though.

    Is there any way to find out how many unique visitors are subscribing to your RSS feed? There must be a way without using feedburner, but how?

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Kekoa,

    Glad this helped you. It confused me for quite some time, also. Plus, you always hear about people saying how many “hits” they have on their website or blog. I’m sure there’s a logical reason counters use “hits”, but like you, I’m finding that information useless at this time.

    Gosh…about unique visitors subscribing to your RSS feed? That one is over my head at this time. Hopefully another reader can help us both out on that question.

  3. […] written earlier, in my post, Is A Hit, A Visit? we found out that a hit is not a […]