Stats: Requests vs. Pages?

Hey guys,

I’m trying to figure out how many unique visitors my site is getting a day. What is the difference between “successful requests” and “Pages.” I think the “Pages” part is also referred to as “Successful requests for pages.”

For example, a typicle line in my stats is

Successful requests: 19,778
Successful requests for pages: 6,703

That’s quite a difference! What does it mean? Thanks!


I think requests are anything grabbed off the server, be it images / pages, So you’ve had 6,703

most likely I’m wrong so, Someone who knows stuff should be along shortly.

Esem has the right idea, but the requests for pages is still not truly indicative of “unique visitors.”

A visit to a page with 3 embedded graphics will generate at least 4 “requests” - one for the page, and one for each of the three graphics.

That said, the number of pages requested does not really indicate how many “unique visitors” have visited the page, because, without special programming (cookies, session, etc) the “stateless” nature of the web means you can’t differentiate between a single user visiting a page five times, or five visitors requesting the page one time.

You can get some indication of this by checking the IP address of the visitor making the request, but that is not completely reliable, as many (most) of your visitors will be coming to your site using a dynamic IP address assigned by their ISP (and it will re-assigned to subsequent users when no longer needed by a given user to whom it had been assigned).

Without programming to retain the “state” of a visitor, you can only guess as to the number of unique visitors, and your best tool for making this “guess” is the number of unique IP addresses visiting. Unlike page views, or requests, (both of which will always be higher than the actual number of unique visitors - page views being “higher” and requsts beng “much higher”), this number may be lower than the actual number of unique visitors because of re-used IP addresses (though it will also cause you to count robots and search engine crawlers as “visitors”)

Does that help explain it at all?


Or, IP address count may be higher than actual unique visitors due to visits coming through proxy or cache servers, which may rotate through several IPs for each visitor. It can also be lower than actual due to views through cache servers not making a separate request for each view (Visitor A gets counted, but visitor B, C, and D do not). Or it can be higher than actual due to a broken proxy/cache server requesting the same thing again and again (and again, and again…).

Also, some “pages” with unusual suffixes may or not be counted as “page views” depending on settings.

And some people disguise their User-Agent, so they appear as crawlers. Or erase cookies regularly…

Lies, damn lies, and statistics. :slight_smile:

You are welcome to a refund.-Michael;Comparing ‘DH of today’ with ‘DH of old’ does not serve much purpose.-Dallas

All that is so very true, and those are excellent points to make!

And that is particularly relevant when it comes to “web site statistics” :wink: