Karen Ajluni wrote:
> I just moved our organization’s website over to Network Solutions from
> Earthlink a few months ago. Network Solutions uses the webalizer tool,
> whereas Earthlink has their own “Urchin Reports.” After moving over our
> site, the web tool showed the average number of “visits per day” to our
> site at about 350. Prior to the move, when using Earthlink’s tool, the
> number of “visitors per day” consistently averaged at around 1,000. Has
> anyone else experienced something like this and can explain the
> phenomenom? Obviously, it must be something in how the different tools
> work and count visitors? But, what? I would LOVE to have a somewhat
> intelligent explanation to give my supervisor!
i believe that part of your "problem" is in the words "visits" and "visitors"... one really can't count either for
various reasons... each connection, could be counted as a visit because each one is complete and whole all on its own...
webalizer and other tools can only "guesstimate" by using a period of time... all the connections from one ip during
whatever timespan you choose are counted as one "visit"... if you reduce that time period, you'll get "more visits" in
the stats... if your time period is too long, you'll have too few...
think of it like this... i go by your site and stop at the main/initial page... you get a tally of all my connections
for the html page and each of the graphics... now, say that your time period is set for 10 minutes... i leave my browser
sitting on your initial page and go to a meeting... when i get back in an hour, i start browsing your site... i click on
one link... your stats will now show that as another visit and may show that i came by twice... but i didn't... i never
left... so, i'm browsing your site and doing whatever... that takes me say 15 minutes... well, you have a 10 minute time
period set and my last 5 minutes will be counted as an additional visit...
does that make sense? it isn't as easy as it was years back before the internet and browsers... nothing quite like the
old BBS days where you looked at your logs and saw a connection for one person from initial modem handshake to session
termination and modem disconnect... webalizer and other products do, generally, allow you to select your time period for
this/these stats... the key is to get it adjusted properly for traffic and functions on your site... if you didn't
adjust that parameter at the old hosting company, and it is set different with the new one, then those stats will
definitely be off...
the only other way to get a closer count is to have some kind of counter that is requested... then instead of looking at
visitors to the site, you look at visitors to each page that carries the counter... however, this method also has
problems because each refresh could (and does in most cases) increment the counter... counting visits and visitors is a
best guess estimate function... you should also be able to get your logs from your host and then you could also process
them yourself and pull other stats... you just have to know that stats can _say_ many things but that doesn't mean that
what they are saying is accurate or not...
hope this helps... i'm sure you'll read other similar messages to this... hopefully it'll all be clearer...
(@@) Waldo Kitty, Waldo's Place USA
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