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Home > Knowledgebase > Getting Started: What do the usage/visitor statistics track and report?

Question/Problem
Getting Started: What do the usage/visitor statistics track and report?

Answer/Solution
FatCow's Visitor Statistics tool tracks the following information about visitor activity (usage) on your site: files, hits, kbytes, pages, referrers, response codes, unique search strings, sites, unique URLs, unique user agents, usernames and visits.


  • Files: The number of files that have been requested (downloaded) from your site during the report period.

    Websites contain a collection of computer files, which are sent by a remote computer (Web server) to the client (Web browser) as the client requests them. Files (the outgoing response to a request) include all viable Web file formats, such as HTML files (.html), graphics files (.gif, .jpg or .png), Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf), Macromedia Flash files (.swf), Microsoft Word files (.doc) ASP files (.asp), etc.

    The relationship between hits and files can be thought of as incoming requests and outgoing responses.


  • Hits: The total number of requests that were made to the site during the report period.

    Any request made to the Web server is logged as a hit. The request can be for files, such as an HTML page, graphic image, audio file or CGI script, or for queries made by search engine spiders.


  • KBytes: The amount of data in kilobytes (KB) sent out by the server during the report period.

    Though not exact, this figure is a fairly accurate representation of the amount of outgoing traffic the server had.

    Note: 1 KB = 1,024 bytes, not 1,000 bytes.


  • Pages (Also called Page Views): The number of pages viewed during the report period.

    Hypertext mark-up files (.html or .htm) and files that generate HTML documents (for example, .asp .cgi). are considered pages, with the definition of a page varying by server. FatCow's servers define as a page any file with one of the following extensions:

    • .htm*

    • .cgi

    • .chtml

    • .shtml

    • .phtml

    • .php*

    • .pl

    • .py

    • ( * represents any character)

    Some people consider the pages total to be the number of pure hits. In other words, it is a truer indication of the traffic your site receives.


  • Referrers: The record of the URLs from which a request was made during the report period.

    Example: A user follows a link on www.websiteA.com to your site. The URL of the linking page (www.websiteA.com) is the referring URL or referrer.


  • Response Codes


  • Search Strings: The record of all unique search strings obtained from the end of the referrer URLs during the report period.

    Search strings are the words entered by users into a search engine or directory to locate information.


  • Sites: The record of all unique IP addresses that made requests to the Website during the report period.

    The Internet is a network of computers that can share files with one another via a common protocol. Each computer on the network has a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address, which identifies that computer and differentiates it from other computers on the network. Each request made to the server comes from a unique IP address or site.

    Note: The number of sites does not represent the number of individual users or individual computers accessing the Website. Due to factors, such as multiple people working on the same network, it is impossible to determine a unique visitor total using only logs and HTTP protocol. Still, this number can be used as a close approximation.

    Example: Private networks connecting to the Internet via a router use a single IP address (the router IP address) for security purposes, so one site can represent multiple users.


  • URLs: The number of unique URLs at your site accessed during the report period.

    The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or Web address identifies the location of a file on the Internet, such as a Web page or an image on the page. The information is sent to the Web server whenever a user follows a link on a Web page or types a URL directly into the address bar of the Web browser.


  • User Agents: The record of the unique programs and devices used to access your site.

    User agents include:
    • Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox

    • Search engine spiders, such as those from Yahoo! and Google

    • Download managers

    • Text-to-speech and similar readers


  • Usernames: The record of usernames that accessed your site during the report period.

    Log files record access by authorized users (any user with access to password-protected Web resources, such as site members or administrators).


  • Visits (Also called Sessions): An attempt to measure the number of times visitors go to a Website during the report period.

    As page requests are made to the Web server from sites, the server records the IP address and the time which elapses between requests from that IP address. If the time between requests exceeds 30 minutes, FatCow Web servers record a new visit for that site.

    Example: Someone visits a page at your site at 1:00 p.m. and then requests another page at 3:00 p.m. The server records two visits.

    Note: Due to the limitation of the HTTP protocol and other factors, the number of visits should not be taken as absolutely accurate. Rather, it should be considered a very close estimate.

Updated 10/21/14


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