Any request made to the server which is logged, is considered a ‘hit’.The requests can be for
anything…html pages, graphic images, audiofiles, 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.
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 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. What actually constitutes a ‘page’ can vary from server to server. The default action is to treat anything with the extension ‘.htm’, ‘.html’ or ‘.cgi’ as a page. A lot of
sites will probably define other extensions, such as ‘.phtml’, ‘.php3′ and ‘.pl’ as pages as well. Some people
consider this number as the number of ‘pure’ hits… I’m not sure if I totally agree with that viewpoint. Some other programs (and people refer to this as ‘Pageviews’。
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).
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 default timeout value is 30 minutes (can be changed), so if a user visits your site at 1:00 in the afternoon, and then returns at 3:00, two visits would be registered. Note: in the ‘Top Sites’ table, the visits total should be discounted on ‘Grouped’ records, and thought of as the “Minimum number of visits” that came from that grouping instead. Note: Visits only occur on PageType requests, that is, for any request whose URL is one of the ‘page’ types defined with the PageType and PagePrefix option, and not excluded by the OmitPage option. Due to the limitation of the HTTP
protocol, log rotations and other factors, this number should not betaken as absolutely accurate, rather, it should be considered a pretty close “guess”.