including domain name



All about AWstats
Web Site Traffic (visitor) Log Analysis

  • How many visitors have viewed your site (per day, per month)?
  • Which pages are most popular?     Which files take the most bandwidth?
  • What browsers & OS are being used?
  • "How" viewers found your site?
  • What search terms were used to find your site in search engines?
  • What's the difference between hits and visits?

AWstats is our favorite of the web traffic analysis tools that SherwoodHosting offers free for you to analyze your visitor traffic.  The statistics analysis is re-run each night so you have an updated picture of your visitor profiles each next day.  End-of-month snapshots are kept and are accessible for the prior 12-month period.  If you need different parameter settings, you can always install AWstats (it's free!) on your own system (Windows, Mac, Linux, AIX, Solaris) and download your web site's log files and do custom analysis yourself.  However, the information we provide is likely more than you'll ever need (or want to try to absorb).

Some clients like to track the response to a mailing or other marketing. Others like to see what keywords (search terms) were used to find their web site. Be particularly careful not to confuse "hits" and "unique visitors" (although hits is a commonly used term and highly ambiguous, it is inflated for any useful interpretation of data other than trying to impress people how popular your web site is). For a small web site, 25-100 visitors per month may be quite good. Contact for information on how to drive traffic to your site through "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) techniques for your web pages.

Below is additional information and examples of AWstats.

Example of the first part of an analysis report:


How to view your own Log Analysis:


  1. Login to your Cpanel using your hosting account username and password
  2. Depending on which version of Cpanel you use, it may look different from the screen shots below. In any case, scroll thru the choices and click on "Web/FTP Stats"
  3. Then Click on AWstats, and then click on the magnifying glass icon in the row with the domain name you'd like to view.
  4. AWstats will show you the current month to-date (up until last night midnight), but you can choose other months (within the last 12 months)

(Step 2 above) Click on Web/Ftp Stats:

(Step 3 for some versions of cPanel) Click on Awstats

Explanation of Hits, Visitors, Unique Visitors, etc.

  • Traffic Viewed - Html (& PHP, etc) pages and images (& flash, MP3, WMV, etc) assets whose files were requested from http web accesses from our servers.
  • Traffic Not Viewed - Files requested by robots (search engine cataloguing - a good thing!), as well as other web sites showing images that reside within your own web site. (This is particularly worrisome for large numbers of audio and video files with large sizes that are shown as a part of someone else's site, but you pay the bandwidth quota charges for them.)
  • Unique Visitors - Even though a visitor may return to your site multiple times within one month (and even view the same page with possibly new updates on it/fresh content), this counts as one unique person visiting your web site in the given month.
  • Number of (individual) Visits - Even though several pages may be browsed, a given visitor for a specific time period of the visit counts as one visit.
  • Pages (displayed) - Number of html (htm), PHP, CGI, etc. web pages requested.
  • Hits - Number of URL web addresses requested from your web site, especially including html, php, all images (especially slices that make up a larger picture), etc.
  • Bandwidth - The total sum of all the file sizes for files displayed/transferred to and from our servers from your web site.

Note the differentiation between the terms "hits" and "visits."   One visit is counted when one computer accesses one or more of your web pages and/or images during a given time period-- this is a pretty accurate accounting of what you probably want to know about the browsing of your web site. Many commercial sites boast using the term hits, because one person visiting one page on a site could accumulate maybe 50 hits (due to a matrix of image slices used to build the graphics on a front page and navigation menus and rollovers).

See also hits


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