Terminology Poll: Sessions, Visits & Visitors

Our lifetime summary stats allow you to keep track of the number of Page Views, Unique Visits and Returning Visits since you added your project to StatCounter. These stats are independent of your normal log size, have no storage limit and are recorded on a daily basis, allowing you to see weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly totals.

If a visitor to your website has 5 page views in the morning, and returns to your website later that day for another 3 pageviews, we record this as 2 Unique Visits for that day. On another day, if you have 2 different people viewing your site in the morning, this would also be recorded as 2 Unique Visits.

Recently we’ve been working on adding a new stat to record distinct visitors to your site, so that in the above example, you’d see 1 visitor for the first day and 2 visitors for the second day.  The terminology between ‘Visits’ and ‘Visitors’ could be confusing though, so we are proposing to rename ‘Unique Visits’ to ‘Sessions’ in advance of adding the new stat. Let us know what you think in the poll below!

Current: Unique Visits (New Visitors stat will be in pink)



Proposed: Rename Unique Visits to Sessions


Note: Returning Visits hasn’t been shown in these screenshots, but it would likely be renamed to Returning Sessions.


We’d really love your feedback about what terminology you like the best and find easiest to understand. Please post your preferences in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Pick your terminology!

View Results

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[Update: Thank you for all the great feedback so far. It’s a difficult decision and it’s very helpful to hear your thoughts on the matter. Please keep the feedback coming.]


  1. Statcounter have been my major tool to get facts about website please continue the good work team.
    compliments of the season from Naija Qna Portal and Nigerian Technology You have done a good work please keep on doing it.

  2. Sessions rather than unique makes it easier to understand. But will take some getting used to.

  3. Hi

    Almost 5 years I’m a user of this statisticsprogramm, and till now I’m very glad that I changed from sitemeter to statcounter. I’m still using the free version, but I think it would be usefull to take the pro-version. Yearly not even 50$, I think it’s worth 🙂


  4. Hello, but did you try to use some plugin to help your blog get away from the spamer? Maybe you’ll have a test?

  5. Why don’t you consider letting each user change what they want to call it in a Configuration Setting… similar to the functionality of naming an IP?

    Currently you have;

    Page Visits
    Unique Visits
    Returning Visits

    Personally, I think that word “Unique” is confusing in that it can imply the number of ‘distinct’ sessions for that day. If I come in 100 times in one day, from the same device (cookie), you will report me as 100 Unique Visits, where in fact, I was only 1 distinct session. That being said, if I could change the name in the configuration, I would change “Unique Visits” to “Session”.

    Also, just to clarify, are “Returning Visits” counted as ‘distinct’ or as cumulative session (sorry, unique visits) for the day of someone (device) that have been there before? In other words, take my example above, if came to a site 1 time yesterday and 100 times today, would I show up as 100 Returning Visits?

    Finally, I would suggesting adding another metric, call it “Net New”. That would be a distinct count of people (actually, cookie-ed devices) that are totally new to the site, never having been there before, ever. To us, this count of incremental traffic is an important indicator of growth, SEO and marketing campaign effectiveness.

  6. Sessions, Visits & Visitors may look the same, but they actually not.
    The proposed name is very well for describing the correct situation.

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  7. I second JBR’s comment of 24 November with one minor emendation:

    Keep everything as it is now — but just add one new statistic for the new metric that you want to capture and display:


    That way you avoid confusion for everybody, while expanding the information provided.
    So it then becomes:

    Page Views
    Unique Visits
    Returning Visits
    Unique VIEWERS

    Calling the new metric ‘viewers’ addresses the objection made by Eoghan that ‘user’ might be construed as a logged-on user.

  8. happened to the all the data in the summary log?
    This is supposed to be unlimited but I can see no further back than about

  9. Statcounter is the best free widget for checking where my traffic is coming from. I have learned so much about what pages work for me and which ones dont.
    The change in terminolgy is a small thing when the whole concept is taken into account.
    People will adjust in no time.

  10. sessions can be confusing to non english people. but i find people usually get used to changes rather quickly. all in all it is a good idea as it fits better with other metrics.

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