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