The request for and delivery of a file (such as a Web page) on a server. Each element of a requested page (including graphics, multimedia, and the HTML file itself) is counted as an individual hit. So, if a Web page contains five graphics, then accessing that page will generate six hits. Hits were originally used to determine the amount of traffic a Web site received, but since businesses eventually needed to isolate the exact number of times a Web page was requested (in order to charge for ad banners), the method of counting hits was tossed aside. Instead, businesses count the actual HTML page requests.
There was also a time when, in an effort to say that such-and-such Web site got more hits, programmers and designers were told to add as many elements as possible, to make the number of hits look higher. In actuality, all this trick did was slow down the download speed of the pages. "Hit," as a verb, can mean "press down," as in, "Hit any key."