Understanding Website Statistics
Information about the operation of your site is critical
for decision-making. To obtain this information, you need
to analyze statistical data that is written to log files
in your home directory on the server:
- Error log - stores data about errors generated by the
server (e.g. Page Not Found error) or by your CGI scripts;
- Transfer log - stores combined data about every visit
to your site, including:
- Remote host IP (i.e. visitor's IP);
- Time of request (i.e. when visitor requested the page);
- First line of request;
- Error generated by request, if any;
- Size of message sent in response to the request;
- Referrer (i.e. from which page visitor was directed);
- Agent ID (i.e. type of browser or another agent and related
information, such as user's OS, etc.) ;
- Referrer log - stores the list of URLs from which visitors
are referred to your site; and
- Agent log - stores data about agents used to enter the
site -- such as browsers or any other Internet-based software
-- and all related data.
These are called raw logs which processed to obtain
readable information, usually in the form of tables and charts.
So, to start with your website statistics, check if stats logging
Enabling Stats Logging
To enable or disable writing to log files:
- Select domain Info in the Domain Settings menu.
- Click the Edit icon next to the Web Service field.
- On the page that shows, scroll down to the Settings section and click the ON/OFF icon next to the log files.
Viewing Raw Logs
Raw logs are difficult to read, but luckily you don't need to do this.
However, if you need to take a look at the logfile records:
- Select Quick access in the Account menu and click the Web Options icon.
- Choose the necessary domain
- Scroll down to Log files and click the View icon next to it.
- List of log files shows.
- Click the necessary file and all its records will show.
Note: Entering end in the Line Number field will show a list of records from the tail of a logfile.
Log analyzers parse raw logs to produce
visual reports in HTML format for viewing through a browser.
To enable these analyzers and view statistics reports for your sites:
- Select Domain Info in the Domain Settings menu.
- Click the Edit icon next to Web Service.
- On the page that shows, enable/disable the statistics package you want.
- Click the Apply link on the right of this domain.
- Click the View icon to go to the page of the statistics report.
This page is renewed once every 24 hours. Please wait till the next morning
to see the report to show up.
Urchin is a commercial (not free) web analytics software,
which can be available both for Unix and Windows hosted accounts.
Urchin is used on millions of sites worldwide, including over 20% of the Fortune 500.
Urchin will help you:
* Track overall site traffic, including unique visitors, referrals, domains, and search engines
* Analyze and improve the quality and loyalty of your site's traffic
* Make more money by maximizing the effectiveness of your search engine optimization and cost-per-click advertising
Urchin software analyzes your website log files and delivers fast, interactive reports and graphics on every
aspect of your website's traffic and visitors.
Urchin is easy to install and allows you to view reports in seven languages, with clear explanations of
what you are viewing on each report.
Urchin is an essential tool for web designers, marketing professionals, webmasters, and anyone interested
in the success of their web business. Urchin is modular, so you can buy the licenses that best fit your needs.
AWStats is a free web analytics tool, which can available both in Unix and
Windows hosted accounts. It generates web, ftp or mail server statistics into graphical web pages.
AWStats has a separate configuration file for each serviced domain. You can find this file in
your home directory <DOMAIN_NAME>/cgi-bin/awstats.<DOMAIN_NAME>.conf.
To protect your AWStats reports from unauthorized access, you need to configure access rules for
<DOMAIN_NAME>/cgi-bin/awstats.pl in the .htaccess file as suggested in AWStats