I can get some numbers from Google analytics, or even from Quantcast, but they never show the full picture, partially because it's difficult to get their code embedded in every page of PW.
The most accurate reflection of our traffic numbers comes from a simple program that reads the log files directly from our server.
An example from April 2015 (a slow time for us).
46,901,509 Hits (ambiguous, counts everything served by the server)
42,394,973 Files (files requested)
23,340,361 Pages (pages served, a better example of how much the site is being used)
7,649,321 Visits (includes repeat visits, but still a good overall idea of traffic).Adding some 2016 stats
A detailed explanation of each of the sections follows the graphics.
September 2016 Piano World Stats
Any request made to the server which is logged, is considered a 'hit'.
The requests can be for anything... html pages, graphic images, audio
files, CGI scripts, etc... Each valid line in the server log is
counted as a hit. This number represents the total number of requests
that were made to the server during the specified report period.Files
Some requests made to the server, require that the server then send
something back to the requesting client, such as a html page or graphic
image. When this happens, it is considered a 'file' and the files
total is incremented. The relationship between 'hits' and 'files' can
be thought of as 'incoming requests' and 'outgoing responses'.Pages
Pages are, well, pages! Generally, any HTML document, or anything
that generates an HTML document, would be considered a page. This
does not include the other stuff that goes into a document, such as
graphic images, audio clips, etc... This number represents the number
of 'pages' requested only, and does not include the other 'stuff' that
is in the page. Sites
Each request made to the server comes from a unique 'site', which can
be referenced by a name or ultimately, an IP address. The 'sites'
number shows how many unique IP addresses made requests to the server
during the reporting time period. This DOES NOT mean the number of
unique individual users (real people) that visited, which is impossible
to determine using just logs and the HTTP protocol (however, this
number might be about as close as you will get).Visits
Whenever a request is made to the server from a given IP address
(site), the amount of time since a previous request by the address
is calculated (if any). If the time difference is greater than a
pre-configured 'visit timeout' value (or has never made a request before),
it is considered a 'new visit', and this total is incremented (both
for the site, and the IP address).
The KBytes (kilobytes) value shows the amount of data, in KB, that
was sent out by the server during the specified reporting period. This
value is generated directly from the log file, so it is up to the
web server to produce accurate numbers in the logs (some web servers
do stupid things when it comes to reporting the number of bytes). In
general, this should be a fairly accurate representation of the amount
of outgoing traffic the server had, regardless of the web servers
Note: A kilobyte is 1024 bytes, not 1000 Total of unique sites
Total of unique sites gives the number of different origins for Internet users visiting the site. These are in fact the number of different IP connection addresses. Sometimes several Internet users have the same IP address, if for example they are connected to the Internet from within a company's IT network. Total unique URLs
Total of unique URLs gives the number of different “paths” used when visiting your site. In fact this number tracks each “hit” and so the paths to each file on the site are included. Total unique referrers
Total of unique referrers gives the overall number of unique referrers for the period. A referrer is a site that brought a visitor to your site by using a link. For example, if the website www.site1.com
has a link to the site www.site2.com
, and an Internet user uses this link, www.site1.com
will then be counted as a referrer for www.site2.com.
This information is of great interest in learning where Internet surfers who visit your site come from, or help you in particular to check your presence on different search engines.