Hits vs Page Views…Are They The Same?
We usually get this question when someone has heard or read about the number of hits a website is getting in some cases, while they hear or read about the number of page views other websites are getting in other cases. It’s a great question, as it can get confusing when hearing so many different words being thrown around.
“Hits” and “page views” are not the same. A “hit” is when a request is made (by the system) for any file from a website. Each web page is made up of many files (pictures, links, etc.) When someone goes to a site, say our PleasureHorse.com website, the system requests not only the home page itself, but also all the files needed to make up that home page. Every graphic that loads onto the page is counted in the number of “hits.” So, going to just one page can create dozens of hits (just look at the number of graphics on our home page). If you go to our home page and are looking at it, that is considered one “page view”, but it could be 50 “hits.” If we used “hits” to tell people how much traffic we get, we could say we were getting 50 “hits” every time someone visited our home page – one page, one time.
Since a “page view” is the number of times a full page is viewed, it is a much more accurate representation of traffic when looking at how many times a banner ad, for example, is being seen. That is why we and most other website businesses use that metric when quoting traffic. If someone is quoting “hits,” be sure to ask them for the number of “page views,” as well. “Hits” and “page views” are very different.
There are other terms used, like visits and visitors and unique visitors, that are also good metrics we could discuss down the road.