Page Hit / Web Request Data: Providing Valuable Information on Server Capability

In web analytics, a hit means a web request for files to the server hosting a site.  The web request could be anything as long as they can be found on the web page.  This means data layers on a web page can be hit by users thus communicating a direct web request to the web server.  These requests may include files such as an HTML page, a script, images embedded on the site, or multiple framed pages.  So, for every single page visit, several or multiple hits are occurring.  As the entire web page is downloading, different hit requests are being communicated to the web server.

In essence, page hits cannot determine the actual number of page visitors.  This means that companies cannot rely on page hit statistics because they could be misled by the numerous web requests relayed to the server.  Data on unique page views and page visits are more reliable indicators of website popularity.  Web administrators therefore should avoid referring to page hits to determine traffic.  Instead, they must use unique page views data to monitor their traffic activities.

However, page hit data or web request is very valuable for testing the capability of web servers to handle data throughput.  The page hit data could serve as the basis for server administrators for calibrating the capability of the infrastructure.  That’s because for every page hit, numerous data transfers are happening to and from the server.  Page loading therefore could be adversely affected if a web page has numerous file layers.  Web designers could adjust the number of files on a web page or the enterprise could improve the throughput capability of their servers.