Another small milestone for WUWT

Yesterday, almost unnoticed (except for Ric Werme in Tips and Notes) WUWT passed another mile marker in the travel of this blog.

Here’s the marker today:

75 million. The word “hits” isn’t really accurate, as it implies total HTTP requests of which there may be several in an HTML page (images, elements, etc). Whole technologies are dedicated to minimizing the number of HTTP requests per page.

The Blog Stats measure on the WUWT sidebar is actually full page views, not “hits” or HTTP requests.

Astute readers may notice this little smiley face at the bottom of each web page, which I’ve highlighted in yellow.

That little smiley face which is automatically inserted, besides denoting the general happy outlook of this blog, serves an important function. It is the last element in every page to load and gets logged by the statistics counter. What you see in the blog stats is the raw unadjusted page view count from, over which I have no influence or control.

The reason I point this out is that one well known paid disinformational blogger went ballistic the last time I announced such a milestone and proudly proclaimed that his blog “got more hits in a few months than WUWT did all time” (paraphrasing since I can’t find the blog post now). He put up a graph from his server log.

What he didn’t realize is that he was displaying his internal server log of HTTP requests, and it showed all the HTTP page requests, not full page views. Big difference. This Microsoft Tech net forum entry sums up the HTTP request issue pretty well:

The average number of requests per page during testing was four. Therefore, the ratio of requests per second (RPS) to pages per second (PPS) can be calculated as r=(p*4)+x where r=RPS, p=PPS and x=background requests such as requests for search queries and non-cached pages.

I don’t think that a general interner page would have only 4 requests per page. I validated that with a few sites:

  • · home page – more than 70 requests per page
  • · home page – more than 50 requests per page
  • · mysite on our intranet – more than 30 requests

For example, WUWT has a bunch of small images on the right sidebar, each of these requires a separate HTTP request. I count 24 images on the sidebar. The header image, plus any images in posts each count as an HTTP request, plus each post itself, drawn from the database, is an HTTP request, We typically have 15 stories on the front page. This sort of multiple HTTP requests per page is the same for most any blog.

Page views counted via the wordpress smiley, circumvent that problem.

So I figured I’d point all this out, lest the same erroneous hits -vs- page views argument be repeated again.

So while we are on the topic of smileys, let me just thank everyone for your continued support, with a hat tip to guest posters and those who leave comments in the Tips and Notes section. I especially thank our moderators, who toil in the background moderating hundreds, sometimes thousands, of comments per day.

For those that wish to help spread the message, here is what you can do.

  • Repost excerpts with links on your own blog, this help builds traffic and reach for WUWT. If you don’t have a blog, get one. It is free and easy.
  • If you can, please Re-Tweet and Facebook the WUWT posts – with the problems we are having with Google and Facebook, these help build rank.
  • Put links to WUWT in comments on other blogs (assuming they won’t be snipped). Some blogs, like the one I mentioned above are so threatened that the proprietor will delete the links because he doesn’t want to give any link backs.
  • If so inclined, visit the advertisers (such as the Amazon book links -soon to be a special subsection) and others shown here, they often have relevant and interesting topics, but sometimes it is just humorous bot context placement.
  • If something important moves you here to make strong comments, write letters to the editor to your local newspaper. There is a strong division between the blogosphere and the rest of the news reading world. Invite them in.

Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

[UPDATE] I trust Anthony won’t mind my adding this graphic, showing today’s reach for WUWT compared to ClimateAudit, RealClimate, and SkepticalScience. – w.

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April 14, 2011 10:56 am

If there is a smiley displayed on my page view I cannot see it. Perhaps I have some blocking software that prevents it.

Jenn Oates
April 14, 2011 11:02 am

Thank YOU for being here–this site is a huge resource to me as a high school science teacher trying to go against the climate flow in textbooks and the STAR test, which I finished administering for the year today. I have to tell my students that it’s bunk, but this is what they’ll expect you to say on the STAR, a heckofa way to teach science.

April 14, 2011 11:03 am

If you average 30 hits per page load and only have 75 million hits, then you only have about 2.5 million page loads. How can it be that small? Or am I missing something.

Michael D Smith
April 14, 2011 11:08 am

Who would have guessed to look at Joe’s place from the description above? A search of “WUWT hits” will yield:

April 14, 2011 11:11 am

*Too Long, Didn’t Request [smiley] 🙂
75,000,000… a nifty milestone indeed. Congrats, Anthony! Here’s to another 75,000,000

April 14, 2011 11:17 am

I especially thank our moderators, who toll in the background…
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls….” : > )
[Fixed, thanx. ~dbs, toiling mod.]

Lew Skannen
April 14, 2011 11:18 am

Nice milestone. It looks like WUWT is firnly planted on the web and is here to stay for a while.

April 14, 2011 11:20 am

One blog that is full bore CO2 is man kinds fault has a poster, Ludwig , he and the person who runs that blog have had a real problem with how they count things. Now that they are a 9,000,000 comments and declineing others have done studies on how the stats from that blog are highly inflated.
Best to be very very honest with counts and facts.

Earle Williams
April 14, 2011 11:24 am

I stumbled onto your blog back when you were first looking at the Stevenson screens un-whitewash and have been a regular visitor ever since. I estimate my number of HTTP requests must be on the order of 50,000.

Fernando (in Brazil)
April 14, 2011 11:26 am

We have another problem….75.000.000….hide the increase.
Message received loud and clear

Pablo Barham
April 14, 2011 11:29 am

Great job Anthony! I really think this is a great blog, keep up the good work, it’s my main source of information for climate change.
Luck for the future!

April 14, 2011 12:05 pm

@APACHEWHOKNOWS I do not know what happened to Charles Johnson, somebody must have slipped something into one of his drinks about 3 years ago. Up to then he was not totally off the wall. Since then he has been. Oh well. It is the right of every man to demonstrate that he is a true idiot. Charles does it well these days.

Don K
April 14, 2011 12:06 pm

No big deal, but as with ShrNfr, there doesn’t seem to be a smiley on this page on my PC. I looked through the html and nothing jumped out at me as an attempt to put one there. The last things rendered on the page seem to be two divisions called “site-info” and “site-generator” within a div called “footer”, but with all the css and javascript, an attempt to post the smiley could well be buried somewhere in there.

April 14, 2011 12:23 pm

Congrats on the new milestone, Anthony and team.
There is NO smiley at the bottom of any of my pages either. Am I being deprived of something? 🙂

April 14, 2011 12:25 pm

I always wondered why there was a smiley face at the bottom of the page. Kudos to all the commenters that make it well worthwhile to scroll down to the bottom of the page 😉
Thanks Anthony, mods and contributors to this site!

April 14, 2011 12:26 pm

Regarding the smiley, I scrolled right down to the bottom and there, under the solid black line, was a minute smiley, but without a yellow background.

April 14, 2011 12:28 pm

In the words of Bart Simpson ‘I can’t help but feel partly responsible !
Congrats Anthony – still my favourite blog after four years.

April 14, 2011 12:31 pm
very exploitable. a little code to generate new random numbers and call for just the smiley would add as many hits as you like. it could even be done with html/java to automatically reload the smiley on a browser.
so don’t get too excited about stats. we know what one can do with stats.
keep up the good work. that’s what makes wuwt great.
if you were a minority of one you’d only seem more heroic.
[Reply: What you don’t see – and what can’t be gamed with fake stats – is the actual number of reader comments over the past four years: 576,000+. ~dbs, mod.]

April 14, 2011 12:45 pm

Well, it´s there… at least for me. But I found it because I looked hard, for sure.

Martin Hale
April 14, 2011 12:46 pm

Obviously AW will have the final word on the question about the smiley, but it might well be a single-pixel graphic which is not noticeable under normal viewing. You’ll note that he mentioned in the text above that he had highlighted said graphic with yellow, which I took to mean that he did that for the purpose of making it visible.
Again, I’ll defer to Mr. Watts if the answer turns out to be something else. But I know a lot of websites use single-pixel graphics for a variety of purposes.

Martin Hale
April 14, 2011 12:55 pm
Out of curiosity, I looked at the images on this page and near the bottom of the list is the image “botd.gif” which is a 1px by 1px image. My bet is that’s the counter they use.

April 14, 2011 1:04 pm

Congratulations Anthony!
I had to scroll all the way down (normally don’t) and there wasn’t a yellow smiley face for me either. There was what appeared to be a white on white smiley face as all I could see was the eyes and mouth.
REPLY: I used the yellow graphics highlighter on my example, to make it more visible – Anthony

April 14, 2011 1:04 pm

Well, it is not a Drudge report, but for climate science, it is #1! best place to get the english version of the science behind the debate. Congratulations! And keep those counters humming!

April 14, 2011 1:24 pm

I scrolled all the way down as well. Reminds me of the “lick your elbow” trivia! 😉

April 14, 2011 1:59 pm

At less than 300 unique visitors a month on my personal site, all I can do is laugh! It’s way too incomparable to cry!
Congratulations once again!

Lew Skannen
April 14, 2011 2:38 pm

I just had a look at the article you mention (kindly linked by someone above) and it was hilarious. They seem to have abandoned all pretence of being a science blog anymore and just morphed into full time hissyfitting and gripe-technology. You really have gotten under their skin!
To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke, up until I saw that article I was feeling pretty good.
But after reading all the venom directed so pathetically at WUWT and realising how much this must be eating up the poor sad individual who generates it … I felt … even better!

April 14, 2011 2:45 pm

Congrats again, Anthony! I also want to give a massive thank-you to your terrific moderators, who have on several occasions quietly and uncomplainingly fixed up some of messed up offerings. I bet we readers and comment-writers have no idea of the scope of your work behind the scenes. You guys are the greatest!

Sceptical me
April 14, 2011 2:47 pm

I do not see any smiley at the bottom of my page.
But I do use firefox Ghostery to block any trackers that might haunt the page being viewed and be interested in my online activity, also NoScript, pre-emptive blocking to eliminate unapproved scripts.
I suspect that my visits may not be contained in your statistics.

Bob Diaz
April 14, 2011 3:59 pm

… and the hits just keep on coming!!! 😉

April 14, 2011 4:53 pm

WUWT Team is the mostest with the bestest.
May you continue to live in interesting times!

April 14, 2011 5:27 pm

“Yesterday, almost unnoticed…”
Others noticed, as well. From the George Mason U thread:
jorgekafkazar says:
April 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm*
melinspain says:
April 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm
“Enhorabuena D. Antonio 75 millones y contando….”

Si. Muy bueno! Gracias.
* The counter was a little over 75 million at that time.

April 14, 2011 5:30 pm

I wonder if the author of Climate Progress is honest enough to acknowledge the probable spike in “hits” to his/her blog as a result of the link from WUWT :-)?

Pamela Gray
April 14, 2011 6:33 pm

Anthony, you obviously forgot to homogenize and grid-fill those stats. Plus exactly when did all this start and is that the proper starting point? After all, raw data has NOTHING to do with the much more important value enhanced final product, don’t ya know.

Brian H
April 14, 2011 8:48 pm

I d/l’d the smilie, and it came in at 50 bytes.
<img src="URL_here_with_NO_spaces_at_all…Just_paste_over_this_message!” alt=”” width=”” />

Brian H
April 14, 2011 8:49 pm


Brian H
April 14, 2011 8:50 pm

Nope, the CA Assistant Greasemonkey image script doesn’t work here. Oh, well.

April 14, 2011 10:03 pm

I see the smiley face, and have for years. There were even a few comments about it when the theme changed to Twenty Ten. It’s only a 6×5 pixel image, I assume so that browsers that don’t fetch 1×1 images because they’re typically up to no good will download this one.
I also remember when we got excited over even new millionth hit.
Good job, all.

April 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Great product from the free market, WUWT. The truth shall make you free. Thanks, Anthony, moderators, contributors, commenters for a unique contribution to the U.S., Western Civilization, and all those who value the essential contribution to freedom of the scientific method.

Steve in SC
April 15, 2011 2:11 am

Well, I have been reading almost every post and about 90% of the comments.
There are a few trolls but by and large this is a pretty darned informed readership you have here Anthony. (pats self on back) Then again, its the content that attracts such a diverse bunch of experts. You are to be congratulated Anthony.

April 15, 2011 6:01 am

Congrats! Though the smiley looks more like an embarrassed frog to me….

April 15, 2011 6:02 am

“That little smiley face which is automatically inserted, besides denoting the general happy outlook of this blog, serves an important function. It is the last element in every page to load”
Er, I’m afraid not. Just because it’s the last thing on the page doesn’t make it the last thing to load. It loads about halfway through, at least for me. Might vary for others depending on latency, because not all the content is on the same server. It doesn’t make much difference in any case, because I can’t see that it matters whether it loads last or not.

April 15, 2011 6:46 am

Hmm. Don’t see a smiley at the bottom, prb’ly because I have to turn off javascript w/my dialup connection to keep page-loading-time reasonable. Many sites slow to a crawl w/javascript on. Sorry, Anthony. At least I have images turned on for your site!
One of these days, I’ll get a high-speed connection…

April 15, 2011 6:57 am

25 more visitors to my site and I’ll pass One Thousand! lol I’m feeling giddy already. I have a jug of cheap wine that I’ll swill upon passing that great milestone. Just think, according to my math, I’ll pass 75 million in about 2000 years! (You will note my poor math skills)
Seriously though, that is a stagerring number Mr Watts. Well done sir, and thank you.

Steve C
April 15, 2011 9:13 am

Congratulations, Anthony, guests, mods, everyone involved! That’s a lot of enlightenment, even for the World’s No.1 Science Blog.
And it’s possible you’re not counting me, as well. Like Sceptical me, I use most of the Firefox blockers and have never seen the smiley. If there are many like us, you may in fact be celebrating a bit later than you oughta.

April 15, 2011 9:18 am

Adam says:
If you average 30 hits per page load and only have 75 million hits, then you only have about 2.5 million page loads. How can it be that small? Or am I missing something.
Yes, you are. Read the article again – Anthony has specifically addressed the issue of counting “hits” vs. page loads, and the count is of page loads. At 30 hits per page, that would equate to 2.25 billion http requests (i.e. “hits”)
On another note – that traffic graphic is rather interesting. It shows WUWT leading by a modest amount at the start over the other climate blogs. Then we see a VERY sharp spike in late 2009 (climategate, obviously), followed by a decline in readership on all four blogs.
What’s most telling, however, is that while the other three have declined to their pre-climategate levels, WUWT remains much higher than previous levels.
I’d love to see how those blogs hide THAT decline 🙂

April 15, 2011 12:12 pm

Congratulations Anthony – the quality and ethos of this site makes you one of a handful of must-reads – your success is much deserved. Thank you.

April 15, 2011 1:41 pm

Gnomish says:
April 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I’m pretty sure it’s not as simple as you suggest because the HTML you displayed is actually generated by the following WordPress script and includes security measure so that any requests not generated from their servers would not count. Sites used to use simplistic approaches but like you noted, they are easily manipulated and become meaningless. This is still not foolproof but much better than the old days.
It’s not a big deal but I didn’t want others to get the wrong impression.
If WordPress lets me post it, here is the code that creates the smiley as best I can tell without spending more time…


April 15, 2011 3:19 pm

Congrats, Anthony!
I fooled with “noscript” and determined that if you block scripts from, you get no smiley. Kinda obvious, but confirmed.
I wonder if it means you’ve failed to count any of us paranoid geeks who surf with max protection.
Speaking of which, I’ll bet you folks who never scrolled down all the way have never seen those numbers printed on condoms, either. /old joke
Annnd speaking of “max protection,” your site looks really good, and works just fine with all the barriers up, when I surf. That means you “degrade gracefully” when scripts fail. Good work!

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
April 15, 2011 5:43 pm

If you want to look at the bare smiley (and verify you can load it), here it is without the tracking info:
It’s only 6×5 pixels, easy to miss. At the normal size I view the site, I don’t even see a “smiley,” just two dots over a dash. If you can’t see it now then increase the size a few times, Ctrl w/ + works, see if you can see it then. BTW Ctrl w/ – (dash) shrinks, and on my machine Ctrl w/ mouse scroll wheel adjusts both ways.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
April 15, 2011 9:25 pm

Congratulations, Anthony and moderators! Job well done, and there is still much to do.
I found WUWT while investigating Climategate, and never returned to my pre-Climategate warmer beliefs….the sound basis in science that you, your mods & participants foster keeps me coming back, it’s a pleasure to be here.
BTW, anyone see what’s been going on in the Arctic? What happened to the NSIDC’s “melt season”? Ice extent now is within 2 S.D. ! Arctic temps have been very low lately, see:

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