How many times have you heard someone boast about the number of hits to their website? (I wont mention any names, but after reading this hopefully it wont happen again - so be sure to forward this to the offenders!) The reason many people look to this number is because it can be a sizable number for even the smallest website. Really when it comes right down to it, this statistic is rather pointless when you are concerned with analyzing, profiling and understanding user activity on your website. Here’s why:
- A Hit is created when any file is delivered to the browser
Anytime a user makes a request of a webpage the web server identifies the various components required to properly display the page and it is then rendered within the user’s browser. There in lies the issue.
- One web page can require the delivery of many (many!) individual files.
Depending on how the web page is constructed, the total number of hits can vary drastically. Here is an example of a very SIMPLE single page website. By simply typing in the URL and requesting the index page of this site, this action will result in A MINIMUM of 39 hits – FOR ONE PAGE!!!
It should become quickly evident why the number of hits doesn’t really provide any quality statistical information.
The next time someone starts in about their hits, try to explain this simple concept to them or send the this way for some education.