Web Server Statistics with AWStats

Collecting statistics about a website is one of the most important evaluation techniques you can use to determine its effectiveness and reach. Although there are many online services, such as Google Analytics, that offer third-party statistical analysis, you or your clients may prefer to have in-house statistical software run from your dedicated server. Running your own software is usually faster and more secure.

AWStats is a free and open source log file analyzer for servers that can run from within a web browser and from the command line. It presents web graphics for log file statistics and works with major web servers, such as Apache, WebStar, Microsoft IIS, and other web servers, mail servers, and ftp servers.

Statistics gathered include: number of visits, unique visitors, visit duration, authenticated users, hits and pages per day of week and hour, domains, countries, hosts, most viewed (entry and exit) pages, file types, web compression, operating systems, browsers, robots, worms, search engines, HTTP errors, bookmarked, screen size, plugin support, and load balanced servers ratio.

AWStats is a CGI script that requires Perl to run. This makes it cross-platform and able to run on a variety of Linux, Unix-like, and Windows operating systems. It analyzes log files in real time and can provide updated statistics for all of your websites. For servers with virtual hosts, AWStats can collect statistics for each individual site.

You can download the source for AWStats from the project’s website, and many Linux distributions provide installation of packages for the software in their repositories.