Awstats vs. Google Analytics



Awstats vs. Google AnalyticsIf you have looked around in your hosting control panel you might have noticed a logs section area. The availability varies from one host to the next, but Awstats and Webalizer are both fairly common, and usually available. You might even find Analog stats, which is basically text based stats without the pretty pictures and graphs.

Both Awstats and Webalizer are fairly decent. However, depending on what you are analyzing they may not be so accurate or useful. For instance the number of unique visitors, number of visits, pages, and hits will always be larger in Awstats when compared to Google Analytics . This is because your web hosting server is counting all traffic including bots, even annoying bogus traffic.

Most people don’t realize this and probably don’t pay a lot of attention, but if you look closely at the following image where I have highlighted in red you will see that it says:
Note viewed traffic includes traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.

Awstats

And, believe me some sites get a lot of bot traffic.

Note:
These are not my stats by the way. They are just some samples I am using for reference.

Each and every site is different, but you might expect 60%-90% of the numbers reported in AWsats to be bots. So if Awstats says 1000 unique visitors for the month most likely it is more like 100-400 real visitors. If you had 2000 visitors in Awstats it might be more along the lines of 200-800.

You can get much more accurate traffic reporting for your website with Google Analytics, which uses javascript (JS). Since real visitors are likely to be using a javascript enabled web browser the statistics tend to be more accurate at reporting real visitors.

You can also compare your daily or monthly visitors, pageviews, etc. in Google Analytics to Awstats. When doing so you can usually get a fairly good idea of what percentage are bot visits.

For example if Google Analytics reports 10,000 unique visitors, and Awstats says around 100,000 you would have a high amount of bot traffic or around 90%.

In a Google Analytics account you might see visitor/traffic like this:

Google Analytics Stats

Note:
Again, these are not my stats. They are just some samples I am using for reference.

Awstats does provide great statistics and it can be very helpful. I just wouldn’t get too excited when you see the numbers it reports until you compare them to Google Analytics to get a better understanding of what the number of real visitors are.

Both are definitely worth exploring, but unless we start seeing bots with javascript capabilities Google Analytics will be much more accurate in terms of real traffic visitors.

Awstats will track each and every hit to your site though. When I say hit I don’t mean pageview. I mean each and every image file, javascript file, css file, etc. that needs to load. For example, if your homepage has 20 images, 3 javascript files, and 2 css files that load in order to display it that would be a minimum of 25 hits. Also, images can be theme related too, not just the ones that you might have added or uploaded. So there could be a lot more hits than you realize.

If you don’t have a Google Analytics yet head on over there and get started.

If you are using WordPress you can add Analytics to your website with this easy to use plugin:
Google Analytics for WordPress

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (183 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.