What does Flywheel count as a “visit”?

Updated on June 18th, 2021

Flywheel determines which plan you require based on the amount of traffic to your site. Specifically, the number of “visits” to your site in a given month.

Flywheel defines a visit as a unique IP address logged in a 24-hour period.

Essentially, Flywheel counts the number of distinct IP addresses that arrive at a site in a given day. This is the number of visits for that day. All daily values for the entire month are then added up, which determines number of visits for your site during the monthly period.

Flywheel believes that this is the most fair and transparent way to measure traffic.


To help ensure accurate visit counts, Flywheel ignores IP addresses from known bots, spammers, and attackers. More on that below.

Does this count as a visit?

  • A person arrives at your site and loads a page: Yes, that counts as a visit
  • That same person clicks a link that opens another page on the same site: No, that’s the same IP address, it won’t be counted as a second visit
  • That same person loads your site in a different browser: No, because they are still accessing the site from the same IP address
  • That same person goes into their office and loads your site: Yes, because they are accessing the site from a new IP address
  • That same person visits your site a week later: Yes, because Flywheel resets visits every 24 hours

How many pageviews does a visit equate to?

Flywheel’s visit count does not differentiate between someone who visits your site and views one page and someone that views a hundred. Both cases count as “one visit” to your Flywheel site. So, the number of pageviews could be many times the number of visits, depending on how many pages your visitors view each time they browse your site.

Why not calculate using pageviews, visitors, or some other metric?

As previously mentioned, there are many ways to measure legitimate traffic. Visits (as described above) is a reliable metric for Flywheel to measure on the server side without having to inject any code into your site, which could potentially slow it down.

Can I view a report of my usage?

Yes! You can view information about the number of visits on your site and other site statistics on the Stats tab of your Flywheel dashboard.

Wait—my visitor count on Flywheel doesn’t match Google’s. Why is that?

You’re right – Flywheel and Google visitor counts will likely be different, and that’s to be expected. There are several reasons for this, but the (relatively) short answer is: we’re counting different things, using different methods, for different purposes.

Flywheel and Google’s tracking tools utilize totally unique algorithms, and while both aim to be as accurate as possible, visits are tracked for different reasons, which will result in different data outcomes. Google Analytics’ goal is to provide marketing analytics, while Flywheel’s goal is to track legitimate traffic resulting in use of server resources.

To get technical: a big reason for the disparity is that Google uses JavaScript-based tracking, meaning Google counts page loads in a JavaScript-enabled browser. Google may not track a visit if the whole page (or at least enough of it to get to the analytics script) doesn’t load, if JavaScript is disabled, or if the request is not loading in a browser window. Flywheel would still count this as a visit.

Another important note: Google can’t track any visitor who uses an ad blocker extension or a browser that blocks trackers (like Brave, Firefox Focus, or certain versions of Safari). By most estimates, at least 25–30% of web users implement an ad blocker of some kind. Since Flywheel is still able to track these visits, they will apply to your overall visit count.

In summary, Flywheel and Google (and all analytics tools) employ unique calculation methods because they have unique tracking goals. Depending on the situation, one may tabulate visits that the other does not.

What do you remove from your visit tracking?

There are two types of visits we remove from visit tracking:

First, we remove any traffic from visitors whose user agent doesn’t look like a web browser. A user agent is a self reported piece of data included in the web request that identifies the “agent” the request is using to access the site – for example, which browser is being used. If it doesn’t look like a browser is hitting your site, we conclude it is not a site visit, and this won’t count against your plan limits.

Second, we evaluate the remaining pool of requests and ignore any that appear to be bots or crawlers in an effort to track human visitors only. We use an intelligent algorithm to filter bots and crawlers instead of relying on potentially outdated bot lists.

Still need help?

As always, if you have any questions pertaining to visits or how Flywheel calculates them, don’t hesitate to contact support!

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