Support » Plugins » stats plugin: visits = visitors?

  • Simple question but maybe difficult to answer: Are the “views” in the stats plugin visits or visitors? Can one visitor generate more then one visit of a single article? In which timeframe?

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  • esmi


    Forum Moderator

    I don’t have the specifics for the stats plugin but…

    Can one visitor generate more then one visit of a single article?

    Yes. But then “1 visitor” may actually be a number of different people who are using the same machine or just the same local ISP. All that any stats package can ever identify is a unique IP. If everyone used fixed IPs, things would be a lot simpler but many ISPs assign dynamic IPs with the same address being rotated amongst their online users.

    In which timeframe?

    Unique visits should normally be at least 30 mins apart. This to rule out any skewing due to multiple page refreshes or someone simply walking away for 5 mins to make a cup of coffee. But, personally, I’d still be wary of associating 1 unique visit with 1 unique visitor. At best, stats really only give a broad indication of site traffic and shouldn’t be taken too literally.

    After all, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. 🙂

    After all, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. 🙂

    =) Ok, thank you. But this is THE official wordpress stats plugin powered by Why are these things not documented somewhere? At least if “view” means really a view or a visitor.

    Does someone has specific information about this?

    The Stats plugin aims to be as useful as possible while remaining as simple as possible (and free) so we decided not to count visits or visitors. MarkDK, it says “views” so it means “views” and not something else. I see no reason for confusing it with “visits”. If you can show me where the plugin gave you the idea that “views” might mean “visits” I’ll fix it.

    If you look closely, there is no such real thing as a view or a visit or a visitor in the data we record. These are all made-up terms we use to describe technical events as though they were the real human events which they are designed represent. To be technically accurate, the plugin would say “script executions” instead of “views”, but that would not satisfy most users.

    Basically, a view is counted when a browser displays a page and executes a script embedded in the page. There are failures, exceptions, and duplicates. There are many subtle technical factors that result in a thing being counted or not and the factors change with the internet ecosystem. I will not attempt to explain them further. If you are interested, you should learn the ins and outs of various browsers and read the stats javascript code.

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