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The Local On-line Newspaper for Ross-on-Wye with a World Wide Circulation

Issue No. 63 [Back Issues]
27th September 2005

This Week - [Flavours of Herefordshire Award - RiB Presentation - Pram Pushers' Pub Crawl]
[Bridstow Crossing - Keeping up with the Joneses - JKHS Trainee Teachers - 1,000th Child - Ross Live!]
[Topical Photography - Nature Watch - Cutting through the Poop]
[Classified Advertisements] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map]

Topical Photography This Week

Continuing the new school year first timers. Pictured above are the new children who joined pupils at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Ross and below, those new to Gorsley Goffs primary.

If you have a wheelchair or scooter stored away at home which you no longer require, Ross Shopmobility is a worthy cause which is being set up at the Ryfield Centre. Pictured below are Dennis Humble and Christine Cutter with two wheelchairs kindly donated by 'Carers Action'.


Ross-on-Wye Nature Watch

Ref: DSC_0263

Above: The Brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus Photographed in Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye on Thursday, 22nd September. Staff at Wyedean Wholefoods (pictured below) were surprised to find several Brown long-eared bats hiding in the shop's outside shutters on arriving at work in the morning. Several of the creatures flew away when disturbed by human activity but two remained, spending the daylight hours asleep outside the shop.

The Brown long-eared bat is widespread across Britain and has a surprisingly long life span - thirty years has been recorded. A result of visiting health food shops, maybe?

Ref: DSC_0266

Becoming Internet Aware - Cutting through the Poop Regarding Website 'Hits'

Earlier this year, the owner of a local hotel phoned me and said, 'My web site is down, what can I do. It has 17,000 visits a day and I am really worried.'

The web site in question was actually nothing to do with me but, at the time, the lady could not get hold of the designer because his web site was also down. This does happen - all web servers have a hiccup at some time or another and it was just unfortunate that her provider is a nine to five, five days per week person and her problem occurred on a Friday night.

'Where did you get this '17,000 visits per day' information?' I asked.
'The designer sends me a monthly email telling me how many hits I have had,' she replied.

I had to smile. Why would 17,000 people per day visit a website with just a couple of pages of information about the accommodation on offer in a very small rural hotel? The truth is, they wouldn't - the provider of their web site had been bullshitting her about the effectiveness of his product and, not being internet aware, she had been taken in by it!

Every day so far this September, on average this web site, '' has had 89,824 'hits'. What most providers trying to look big don't tell you is that, what is usually termed a 'hit', is a line generated on the server log and is not necessarily a person visiting the web site.

For, dividing that figure by a 15.972 will give the average amount of pages viewed per day by an actual person, which is 5,590. Dividing that figure again by 9.914 will give the actual amount of individual people visiting the web site.

Between the 1st and 20th September 2005, on the average day, 608 people visited and viewed 5,590 pages of the web site.

As for this lady, whose web site has absolutely dozens of tiny graphic files on the pages of her site, which would each generate a line on the server log, she may well have 17,000 'hits' but I very much doubt if in reality her site has as many as 20 visitors per day.

On most pages of there is a counter at the bottom of the page, showing actual human page views. This is under reading by many hundreds of thousands because for years I had it set to only count unique visitors to the 'Home' page of the site and I do not want to lose this information. The counter also has to access an independent server to work and this is not always successful, so on average, it only counts about half of the visitors to this web site, as opposed to my very accurate server log. Watching this counter will give some idea about the true amount of pages of this site which are viewed every day, but it is under reading by quite a considerable amount.

The only true way to judge how many actual visitors are seeing your own web site, other than thoroughly analyzing the server log (if you have access to it) is to insist that its designer adds an independent counter, such as the service provided by This will also tell you where the visits to your web site are coming from and show you which advertisers are cost effective and which are only good at the sales patois.


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