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Website Statistics Information:

All web hosting plans come with a powerful comprehensive website statistics programme, that can be used to analyse your website's performance.

Hosting plans will all come with AWStats (pictured) for free as standard. Some hosting plans also include Webalizer. Both are excellent programmes for analysing who has been viewing your website.

Statistics are updated daily by the webservers. Below are descriptions what the various statistics terms mean.

AW Stats Screenshot

[Click image above to enlarge]

Common Statistics Terms

Hits Requests by a person's browser for parts of your website. e.g. if you have an HTML page with 2 images, it will be 3 hits.  1 for the page itself and 2 for the images
Files Files sent to the user in response to hits.  e.g. if the user's browser requested the page described above, and the server sent the HTML and one image, but then the user clicked stop before the second image was sent, this would count as 2 Files.
Pages Page requests only.  The example above would result in a page count of 1.
Visits Number of unique Visits to your Website.  A user can have multiple Visits to your site.  An example appears in the indepth description below.
Sites Number of unique visitors.  If a user Visits your site multiple days in a month, this will count as multiple Visits, and also as one Site.
KBytes The amount of traffic your site has done.

More indepth descriptions from the Webalizer documentation:

The yearly (index) report shows statistics for a twelve month period, and links to each month. The monthly report has detailed statistics for that month with additional links to any URL's and referrers found. The various totals shown are explained below.

Any request made to the server which is logged, is considered a 'hit'. The requests can be for anything... html pages, graphic images, audio files, cgi scripts, etc...  Each valid line in the server log is counted as a hit.  This number represents the total number of requests that were made to the server during the specified report period.

Some requests made to the server, require that the server then send something back to the requesting client, such as a html page or graphic image.  When this happens, it is considered a 'file' and the files total is incremented.  The relationship between 'hits' and 'files' can be thought of as 'incoming requests' and 'outgoing responses'.
Pages are, well, pages!  Generally, any HTML document, or anything that generates an HTML document, would be considered a page.  This does not include the other stuff that goes into a document, such as graphic images, audio clips, etc...  This number represents the number of 'pages' requested only, and does not include the other 'stuff' that is in the page.  What actually constitutes a 'page' can vary from server to server.  The default action is to treat anything with the extension '.htm', '.html' or '.cgi' as a page.  A lot of sites will probably define other extensions, such as '.phtml', '.php3' and '.pl' as pages as well.  Some people consider this number as the number of  'pure' hits... I'm not sure if I totaly agree with that viewpoint. Some other programs (and people :) refer to this as 'Pageviews'.

Whenever a request is made to the server from a given IP address (site), the amount of time since a previous request by the address is calculated (if any).  If the time difference is greater than a pre-configured 'visit timeout' value (or has never made a request before), it is

considered a 'new visit', and this total is incremented (both for the site, and the IP address).  The default timeout value is 30 minutes (can be changed), so if a user visits your site at 1:00

in  the afternoon, and then returns at 3:00, two visits would be registered. Note: in the 'Top Sites' table, the visits total should be discounted on 'Grouped' records, and thought of as the "Minimum number of visits" that came from that grouping instead.  Note: Visits only occur on PageType requests, that is, for any request whose URL is one of the  'page' types defined with the PageType option.  Due to the limitation of the HTTP protocol, log rotations and other factors, this number should not be taken as absolutely accurate, rather, it should be considered a pretty close "guess".

Each request made to the server comes from a unique 'site', which can be referenced by a name or ultimately, an IP address.  The 'sites' number shows how many unique IP addresses made requests to the server during the reporting time period.  This DOES NOT mean the

number of unique individual users (real people) that visited, which is impossible to determine using just logs and the HTTP protocol (however, this number might be about as close as you will get).

The KBytes (kilobytes) value shows the amount of data, in KB, which was sent out by the server during the specified reporting period.  This value is generated directly from the log file, so it is up to the web server to produce accurate numbers in the logs  (some web servers do stupid things when it comes to reporting the number of bytes).  In general, this should be a fairly accurate representation of the amount of outgoing traffic the server had, regardless of the web servers reporting quirks. (Note: A kilobyte is 1024 bytes, not 1000 bytes)
Top Entry and Exit Pages
The Top Entry and Exit Pages give rough estimates of what URL's are used to enter your site, and what the last pages viewed are. Because of limitations in the HTTP protocol, log rotations, etc... This number should be considered a good "rough guess" of the actual numbers, however will give a good indication of the overall trend in where users come into, and exit, your site.

Common Definitions

A Site is a remote machine that makes requests to your server, and is based on the remote machines IP Address/Hostname.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator. All requests made to a web server need to request something. A URL is that something, and represents an object somewhere on your server, that is accessable to the remote user, or results in an error (ie: 404 - Not found). URLs can be of any type (HTML, Audio, Graphics, etc...).

Referrers are those URLs that lead a user to your site or caused the browser to request something from your server. The vast majority of requests are made from your own URLs, since most HTML pages contain links to other objects such as graphics files. If one of your HTML pages contains links to 10 graphic images, then each request for the HTML page will produce 10 more hits with the referrer specified as the URL of your own HTML page.

Search Strings are obtained from examining the referrer string and looking for known patterns from various search engines. The search engines and the patterns to look for can be specified by the user within a configuration file. The default will catch most of the major ones.

User Agents are a fancy name for browsers. Netscape, Opera, Konqueror, etc.. are all User Agents, and each reports itself in a unique way to your server. Keep in mind however, that many browsers allow the user to change it's reported name, so you might see some obvious fake names in the listing.

Entry/Exit pages are those pages that were the first requested in a visit (Entry), and the last requested (Exit). These pages are calculated using the Visits logic above. When a visit is first triggered, the requested page is counted as an Entry page, and whatever the last requested URL was, is counted as an Exit page.

Countries are determined based on the top level domain of the requesting site. This is somewhat questionable however, as there is no longer strong enforcement of domains as there was in the past. A .COM domain may reside in the US, or somewhere else. An .IL domain may actually be in Isreal, however it may also be located in the US or elsewhere. The most common domains seen are .COM (US Commercial), .NET (Network), .ORG (Non-profit Organization) and .EDU (Educational). A large percentage may also be shown as Unresolved/Unknown, as a fairly large percentage of dialup and other customer access points do not resolve to a name and are left as an IP address.  Countries that do not account for many hits to your Website are grouped together as Other in the pie chart.  They are further broken down in the table below the pie chart.

Response Codes are defined as part of the HTTP/1.1 protocol (RFC 2068; See Chapter 10). These codes are generated by the web server and indicate the completion status of each request made to it.

Version 5.91

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