Sitemeter vs. WordPress stats

According to my Sitemeter graphic at the bottom of the page, I just got my 2500th page hit. However, WordPress stats shows that I have over 3800 hits. I started the WordPress stat plugin several weeks after I started the Sitemeter thing, so what gives? Why would they be so dramatically different?

7 thoughts on “Sitemeter vs. WordPress stats”

  1. They filter what they count as a “hit.” Some are only unique addresses, some ignore search spiders, etc. It’s hard to make much out of hit numbers as they’re 90% or more automated search things. My old band had a site that showed hundreds of hits a day but in reality it was more like 15 actual person-hits a day. Goofy internet.

  2. Counters are tricky. Sitemeter counts loads of their graphic, which is crap. WordPress counts your own views, so every time you look at your site or whatever, it counts it as a hit. Your best bet for getting close is to take the WP total and subtract all the loads you think you’ve made — or switch to ExpressionEngine. =)

  3. Good — they finally updated it, then!

    What’s been a boon for me, is the Time ON Site stat. Back when Safari introduced tabbed browsing, I noticed an increase in traffic. As I looked into it, I found I would get a site load, but the visit would only be a few seconds. Come to find out, it was due to my site being part of someone’s bookmark group, and they were doing just what I do: I open a bunch of tabs at once (like my Mac News tab or my Blogs tab), read the ones i want, and just close the rest.

    So, since my page loaded, I got a hit count — even though no one was really reading anything on my site (or they were just doing a cursory glance to see if anything was new, which doesn’t really count IMHO). That led me to being more interested in the time on site stats, so I’m able to see what pages people are reading, and how long they’re spending time reading. That’s the best indicator, to me.

    That said, you can probably chalk up some hit from me due to the above scenario. I open around 25 blogs with one click, and shoot through them all — all on different systems at different times of the day, from different IPs. So, I give several blogs “hits” that aren’t really page reads — know what I mean?

    Google is working on “fixing” this with their stat functions, but they haven’t totally nailed it yet. I think someone should make a counter that lets you set a time threshold, so you could say if IP 12.12.12.12 visits and stays for 10 seconds, then count it as a hit.

    That’s the only way to get a true feel for whether or site is being read, or just pinged by random loads or bot searches (that’s a whole other crap topic, as they often flood the more a site is exposed).

  4. Another thing to think about is that a lot of people read blogs using RSS readers like Google Reader, Bloglines, NetNewsWire (this is what I use) or whatever. I don’t think that these statcounter things take feeds into consideration. I have noticed that the little feedburner thing at the bottom of the page has grown from 8 (when I started) up to 40 as of this morning. I don’t know how it measures that, since it fluctuates a little during the day.

    I like seeing how people find the site. Most of the searches are for things like “CAGED guitar scales,” “DIY tap tempo,” “Song of Hope tab” or lately “Radiohead 2008 tour review.” I haven’t gotten any searches for crazy stuff yet.

    Anyway, it’s just cool to see that more people are finding the site. Regardless of what the actual numbers are, it’s obvious that the site is growing. Hopefully, people are getting something out of my rambling.

  5. Al lot of my recent search keywords pertain to the “Godin 5 Kingpin”, which is the Godin 5th Avenue guitar, which is something I’ve never written about. Craziness.

  6. Feedburner counts your subscribers to your feedburner feed. If you aren’t using the Feedsmith plug-in, you should use it. It will automatically count people who subscribe to people who subscribe to your natural feel or your feedburner feed. it redirects subcribers to your feedburner feed.

    That being said, feedburner can be a bit wonky at times in terms of count. It’s kinda like the fat percentage readings on scales. a good guide but not perfect.

    I do like the things like feedflares that you can add though. Very cool stuff.

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