Site Stats

Being the obsessive person that I am, I spend a lot of time on this blog. Being the monomaniacal person that I am, I spend a lot of time on this blog checking my Site Stats. So I spend a lot of time scrutinizing graphs like the one below.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the silliest one of them all?

All this not-terribly-well-spend time led me to wonder: how accurate is WordPress’s Site Stats? The question that most maniacs (like me) want to get answered when they look at their stats presumably is, “How many people read my blog today?” That is, how many unique pair of eye balls (although we don’t discriminate against Cyclopses) landed on our site today? I think it must be darn near impossible for WordPress to identify people — the best it can probably do is count unique IP addresses. In fact, WordPress is rather clever in that, once I sign in to my account, it stops counting me as a visitor to my site*.  This is only fair I suppose; otherwise, I’d spend even more time here, flattering my ego.

However, how clever does WordPress have an incentive to be? It surely understands that all of its bloggers prefer to see more visitors rather than less. Why wouldn’t WordPress show its users as many “hits” as possible and completely give up the game of identifying those hits as unique? Why wouldn’t it, while blocking spam comments from one’s site, continue to count the spammers as legitimate visits?

What do you think? Do you guys happen to know what exactly it is that WordPress do?

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*It still does count that very first visit right before I sign in as a hit, however.

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3 Responses to Site Stats

  1. Esa says:

    What I can’t figure out is the fact that the number of blocked spam doesn’t match the number of views. But then I can’t tell the difference between a widget and a menu, either.
    I am IT-echnically illiterate.

  2. Diary entry #1038, Revelations # -1: I figured out that WordPress counts “clicks” and not unique eyeballs. This means that if somebody visits this blog and reads 2 posts on the Home Page, this counts as one visit, but if the same person reads the same 2 things by visiting each of those posts individually, this counts as 2 visits. This makes the Site Stats essentially meaningless, the same amount of meaning as it always had to all but the most obsessive among us.

  3. As of January 2013, WordPress has started counting “visitors” in addition to “views”.

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