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Tim Hibbard CEO for EnGraph software

In CNN's article about .NET 3.0 RTM, they quote Ben Noonan from Burton Snowboards:

Now that our pages are enabled with Atlas, we've seen nearly double the traffic.

That is a misleading statement.  By nature, adding AJAX elements to your site is going to increase traffic.  Every page that loads asynchronously (where the initial page load is just the structure and then the data loads in front of your eyes) is charging many more hits to the server.

For example, on Where's Tim, I initially load the map and the buttons, then everything else is loaded asynchronously.  My actual location, miles traveled, list of cool people that link here, weather, traffic.  All those charge a hit to the server, so every time Where's Tim is loaded, it's at least 5 hits to the server.  And if you are viewing flickr pictures close to my location, I go out to the server every time the maps moves to collect the pictures in that area.  So when I say that Where's Tim gets 4 million hits per month, that really doesn't mean much.  The number of visits is what really counts, and that's about 8000 per month (35,000 on a dugg month).

We need to rethink our benchmarking statistics for web traffic.  Hits mean nothing in Web 2.0.  Let's talk number of visits, or better yet visits per user.  That is a stat that should go up.  AJAX doesn't increase your traffic, it brings people back because the page responds better and feels like a desktop application.


Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 8:04 AM Where's Tim | Back to top

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