This week I am going to be telling you about something else I have come across over the past few weeks whilst I was updating our site and adding certain security measures and performance enhancements which is server resources.
This means how much resources are your server or shared hosting package actually taking up. We follow our traffic using Statcounter and always have done and whatever traffic it states on their dashboard is what we thought we were getting.
Whilst going through my server I noticed for the month we had a 50 GB bandwidth usage. Then I looked at the amount of traffic we received and it just does not add up.
50 GB of bandwidth adds up to roughly over 100,000 visits a month something which I thought was very wrong as we do not get that much traffic.
So I did some research online and read a lot about server resources and different traffic counters and I made a discovery which many people could already know but I was surprised at.
We use Cloudflare and they have a visitor’s area which shows stats that are completely different to what Statcounter says, I have added 2 images to show you the huge difference:
This is the Stat counter image above, a pretty normal month which usually shows each visitor reads at least 2 pages of our website so our content is getting read and is engaging to our visitors.
Here is the Cloudflare image of the stats they have tracked we have not altered anything in the above picture. They track crawlers bots and any threats we are having and as you can see in October we had a big jump on one day of crawlers and threats but we are happy to have Cloudflare take care of those but they are still a big drain on your server resources when you get attacked.
In the same 30 day period we had 113,129 regular traffic page views and on average 15,334 page views a day. I ask you why is there a difference between the 2 levels of traffic.
Well I did some reading and this is what I found out…..
Is it really this popular? I do not think it is but who could ever know. The Cloudflare tracking will track people that just load your website for 1 second then close the window, any downloads that have been going on and as we sell e-books this takes up quite a bit of bandwidth as well.
Many websites quote this type of tracking because they say it is more reliable than the traditional tracking scripts but we did not know about this and could be why some websites say they get thousands of impressions per month, but how reliable is it?
Cloudflare say it is very reliable but they would wouldn’t they!!!! We quote on our advertising page the statcounter graphic because that is what we have always used, but could we use the Cloudflare one and maybe get more advertisers but how do we know truthfully which is the more accurate?
Just go by bandwidth on its own and ours for October was 50 GB for our websites but just for this website it is 38 GB, here is a snap shot of October:
It is very hard to say if we are doing ourselves an injustice or if we are being truthful about our traffic using Statcounter. I like to think both are correct because the Statcounter one tracks if people read your website after it loads and Cloudflare tracks every time a page is loaded so it comes down to the question what constitutes as a page load/view?
As you can see there are many aspects to what affects your server resources and why sometimes it can seem pretty high. Now we know what resources we are using and having unlimited bandwidth seems to be a good thing for us and we are glad we went for one of the best VPS servers with Knownhost so we have plenty of room for our business grow.