Friday, February 02, 2007
It All Adds Up
When I made my website, I looked around for a counter which not only offered some decent statistics, but which also allowed me to manipulate its colours because I wanted to embed it into a picture. The result is the ‘Mirror Mirror On The Wall’ counter on the be.bart page (which is desperately in need of an update, I know). Needless to say, it had to be for free too.
That’s how I ended up with CountStats.net. In the beginning, I was quite pleased with my counter. But after a while I noticed it had some quirks. For instance, every year in the beginning of the year CountStats throws away the statistics of the previous year. They don’t just throw away the numbers that are older than twelve months, they just throw away the previous year, apart from the total number of visits and page views.
When they do that, their whole system gets screwed up for a couple of weeks. So for days on end, your counter won’t move, or some statistics won’t be available. Some statistics never worked anymore at all since the first time they did this to me.
But even at the best of times, their counters can be very sluggish, to the point where your web browser just gives up and goes for a cup of coffee. So I started to suspect that the number of hits that my blog gets might be higher than they proclaim it is. To check this, I installed another counter and you can see the result at the bottom of the right column. Since January 10th the difference between the SiteMeter counter and the CountStats counter grew to more than 240 visits. According to CountStats, I had on average 22 people per day visiting my weblog, while SiteMeter says that it is almost twice as much (40 per day). CountStats says I had 25 page views in the last month, SiteMeter claims that I had 50 per day during the last month. On top of this, SiteMeter doesn’t count my own visits, while CountStats doesn’t have this option and includes them into its statistics.
To be fair, I did put the code for the SiteMeter code in front of a bunch of other things that link to external servers, while the CountStats thingy has to wait until all the others load before it can add to its stats. I don’t know if this can have an influence or not, so if there are any web wizards out there – your feedback is welcome.