AWStats is short for Advanced Web Statistics and is an open source web analytics reporting tool. Unlike Google Analytics, AWStats isn’t a marketing tool but it does allow you to get a good understanding of visitor numbers from both humans and robots, and how much bandwidth is being used. It is a tool for network administrators more than marketers. AWStats won’t help you with understanding your visitors’ behavior, nor measure the effectiveness of your SEO or marketing campaigns.
Awstats counts visitors based on their IP address. So, it is not following a user who visits from multiple locations, or who has a dynamic IP address (i.e. AOL users). Essentially, it counts multiple users from the same IP address as being the same visitor.
AWStats updates every 24 hours.
Understanding your AWStats Dashboard
Last Update – Right to this label, you will see the date and hour of the last time when your statistics have been updated. Next to it you can find a convenient “Update now” link. By clicking it, you will update your statistics and receive up-to-date information.
Reported period – In this drop-down menu you can select the period you want to receive information for. If you wish to check your yearly statistics, you can select “- Year -“.
Summary – This table shows in summarized format the visits on your website for the selected period of time. The table has two rows – “Traffic viewed” and “Traffic not viewed”. Next to the “Traffic viewed” column you will see the visits registered from regular viewers. Those numbers can be associated with real people. On the other hand, next to “Traffic not viewed” you will see the visits to your pages that include search robots, crawl bots or replies with special HTTP status codes (i.e. pages that were not found, etc).
Unique visitors – Under this column you will see the number of unique IP addresses that have accessed your website. This number can be associated with the different people that have browsed your website.
Number of visits – This column shows the total number of visits to your website. If a certain person reads your pages every day he/she will add to this number on each visit. Right under it, you will notice the visits/visitors ratio. It can be useful to determine how many of your users are returning to your website.
Pages – This field shows the number of different pages that were opened on your website from your visitors.
Hits – Under this label you will see the number of accessed files that were recorded for your pages. For example, if your index.php file includes four other documents, when the index file is accessed, it will generate a total of 5 hits.
Bandwidth – Each file of your website has a certain size. For example, if your index.html file is 100KB, each access to your website will generate 100KB of bandwidth. The size of all files downloaded from your website is added to this number. Below it, you can find the Bandwidth/Visit. It provides you with information on how much data each visitor downloads on average.
Under this table you can find the same information displayed per different time frame. The “Monthly history”, “Days of month”, “Days of week” and “Hours” categories provide you with useful information of when your website has been accessed the most. Those tables include the same fields explained above.
Countries (Top 25) – Next to this label, you will see a list of the 25 countries from which your website has been accessed the most. You can click on the “Full list” link in order to check all the countries that you have visitors from.
Hosts (Top 25) – In this part of the Awstats tool you will see a table of hostnames or IP addresses that have accessed your website. If you recognize an extensive number of visits from a certain IP address or a network, you can block the access to your website from it to prevent a possible DoS attack against your site.
Authenticated users (Top 10) – This statistic shows the number of visitors that have accessed your (if any) password protected directories.
Robots/Spiders visitors (Top 25) – As you probably know, search engines use bots to index websites on the Internet. Those visits to your website are recorded and shown in this category.
Visits duration – This statistic shows the average amount of time that your visitors have spent on your website.
Files type – Shows a list of the most accessed file types on your website.
Pages URL (Top 25) – The pages in your account that were accessed by your visitors. This statistic provides you with useful information about which part of your website is most viewed.
Operating Systems (Top 10) – In this field you will see the operating systems that your website has been accessed from.
Browsers (Top 10) – Shows a list of the browsers that were used to access your pages.
Connect to site from – If your website has been reached from a link in another page, this URL will be recorded here. From this part of the statistics you can receive useful information which sites refer most users to your site.
Search Keyphrases and Search Keywords – Here you can find the list of keywords and keyphrases that you have set in your pages and check the way they have been scanned by the stats engine.
HTTP Error codes – A list of the HTTP error messages that your visitors have received. For example, if someone browses to a non-existent page in your site, it will add to this number.
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