Monday, January 12, 2009

Hit counters

Well, having got over that hurdle, I can now do my New Year review of hit counters.

I have three in my sidebar: a simple number counter, which does not differentiate between my own visits and those of others (currently not appearing for some reason); a Sitemeter, which does distinguish, (and also gives lots of other interesting information), and a Neocounter, the one with all the pretty flags continuously scrolling upwards.

I started the Sitemeter at the same number that my Hit Counter had reached, so that I could compare them. What this revealed was that nineteen days after starting neck and neck on 5th December, the Hit Counter was reading 29115, and the Sitemeter only 28832. This means that in that short time I had made 283 hits myself, in the process of composing and editing my posts. It scarcely seems possible. That is far more than I would have imagined. That cuts the vanity in this counting business somewhat!

I installed the Neocounter on 25th September, because I thought it would be fun to know how many different countries visited my blog. It is quite exciting to look each day and see the numbers rise, and to see strange countries popping up that you hardly knew existed. But it is equally infuriating, because the flags scroll so slowly, and you have to wait and wait till it comes round to the top again. I decided to leave it running for three months and then see what it had shown me. After that I would take it down again. So on Christmas Eve I sat down and managed to list all the countries as they scrolled by - by dint of taking screen prints and saving them in Word. This is what came up:

The total for the three months was 2197 visits from 79 countries.
UK headed the list with 908 visits .
US came next with 657.
Australia third with 117.
Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India and the Netherlands, in descending order were between 65 and 21 visits.
Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Spain, Indonesia and New Zealand came in at 17 down to 12. The rest of the countries ranged from 9 down to 1, with 26 of them showing 1 hit only.

I decided to leave the Neocounter in my sidebar until it clocked a total of 80 countries, which it did before the New Year. Today it has reached 82. Shall I list all the countries for your edification? Perhaps not. But I bet you'd have a job to think up 82 countries off the cuff, without a prompt!


Ruby Isabella said...

Hi Judith,
We came third! Yay! It might not be the olympics but I still feel proud. 82 countries is pretty impressive.

Masjenka said...

Dear Judith, the 22 Belgian hits are probably ours. A month ago I discovered your blog and liked it at once. For your honesty for instance, among other good reasons.
I showed it to my father and said: 'See dad, this is the thing to do to stay fresh and alive'.
Thank you Judith.

Judith said...

Hullo, Masjenka, it is good to have you visit. I lived in Belgium (Wezembeek-Oppem near Brussels) for three years in the 1970s, and studied Flemish for two years. I am afraid I remember very little now though. I visited your blog, but was unable to read it, so I got Google to translate it into English. However the English is so bad that it is no pleasure to read, which is disappointing for me.

It is really nice that you have identified yourself in this way - I wonder if anyone in the other countries will do so. It would be wonderful to get a message from Kasakstan or the Cayman Islands.

Masjenka said...

Never mind Judith if you can't read my blog. I presumed that would be the case and I'm ever so surprised you even tried to learn Flemish, of all damned languages! Brave girl! The English language is an advantage in reaching more readers. 82 countries is impressive indeed.
Main thing is: we can read your blogs. Your Growing Old Disgracefully approach is both witty and honest, an inspiration to a 48 year old baby. And most certainly to those over 75, like my parents, whose circle of soulmates gets narrower. You know what I mean..

You definitely leave your trace Judith, don't you worry about the number of hits or comments.

JackP said...

Hiya Judith,
'tis the 'summer angels' photo guy here ... as I work in IT, I just wanted to explain something about 'hit counters'.

When you visit a web page, there may be many items included on that page, which can each be identified by a separate web address (e.g. every image will have its own address). Each of these counts as a 'hit'.

It is therefore possible for someone to have 30 hits from 1 visit to a page, if it has a lot of images. That's why it's better to rely on counts of the number of visitors, which is usually based on the IP address of the computer visiting your site (not an actual postal address, more of a unique identifying code - sorry if this is horrendously patronising, I don't know what you're like with this IT stuff!)

However, to add some confusion to the mix, some hit counters actually count only certain types of hit (e.g. html pages, and not images), so you get a closer approximation to 'pages read' with that.

If you start with the theory that it's as clear as mud, you won't go too far wrong!

Judith said...

Hullo, Jack, it's good that you are visiting. And thanks for your explanation. Clear as mud, pretty much, as you say. But my Sitemeter does appear to count in 'Visits' and 'Page visits', so it maybe doing better than the plain hit counter. The visitor details include a 'domain name', which I suppose is the IP address.

I gather then that if I have ten blog posts on one page, each of which has its own address, that page alone may yield 10 hits, plus any for pictures I have included.

It's a good lesson in setting much store by any of it, I reckon!

Judith said...

"... NOT setting much store ..." was what I meant to say of course.