Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Web Stats Demystified...hopefully

I previously posted some of my stats for my website and I got questions from Joan about what they

Successful requests for pages: - Someone clicked a link and they got what they wanted. A good hit in otherwords.

Average successful requests for pages per day: - Obviously the average amout of "good hits" I get per day.

Failed requests: - This means those page hits that result with codes in the 400's (error in request) or 500's (server error). They come about for a variety of reasons, but the most common are when the requested file is not found or is read-protected. I have a lot of these in my log because there are still idiot webserver admins who have servers infected with Code Red and Nimda! Yes, BOTH viruses are over a year old!! HEY MORONS! FIX YOUR SERVERS!

Redirected requests: - those with other codes in the 300's, indicating that the user was directed to a different file instead. The most common cause of these requests is that the user has incorrectly requested a directory name without the trailing slash. The server replies with a redirection ("you probably mean the following") and the user then makes a second connection to get the correct document (although usually the browser does it automatically without the user's intervention or knowledge). The other common cause of redirected requests is their use as "click-thru" advertising banners.

Distinct files requested: - This is simply the number of actual files downloaded. When you hit a website you are downloading a number of files. First is the HTML file itself. But once that file is read, it will load the various graphics and other necessary files in the background. It's transparent to users, so most people don't consider that when they hit my home page they are downloading at least 8 files and more than that if I have posted any pictures.

Distinct hosts served: - Each device on the Internet has a unique IP address. When the log says "distinct hosts" it's really saying distinct IPs. If a user is on dial-up and gets a new IP address every time they go online, they would be a unique/distinct host every time they visited my site.

Data transferred: - This figure gives me an idea of how much bandwidth my website has used (total per the number of days in the logs). Used with the Average Per Day (see below) I can show my boss and his boss that my website does not eat up much of our T1 line at all. 1.6 MBs per day is NOTHING! I bet as a company we average over 1 GB of data transfer every day. Granted we are a software company and we give our customers updates via an FTP server we host, but still, looking at that figure, I'm only 0.01% of the total usage.

Average data transferred per day: - See above

I hope that helps Joan.

Some definitions were copied from the Analog website (the log analizing software I use.)

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