Frank Reviews AWStats

With me being a web guy for nearly 30 years, I’ve used a lot of tools. AW Stats has been a long time favorite. It was created in September of 2003 and I’ve been utilizing it for just about that long for myself and for my clients. What I’ve found over the years is, it’s reliable, readily available, and free!

AW Stats is generally installed in the control panel of most web hosting services. Maybe you’ve seen it and just never realized the valuable tool it really is. In the article in this edition of Traces, I wrote about the information you can glean from your website stats and how it can help you improve many areas of your website. So let’s dive in…

What is AWStats?

When it comes to your website, have you ever wanted to know who visits, from where, and what they like most. Well, AWStats is your magic 8-ball with all the answers. It’s a free tool that reads through your web server logs (those are like diaries of your website) and tells you all sorts of cool stuff about your visitors. Take a look at all these areas, and you’ll quickly see how useful this information is.

Super Cool Features of AWStats

Visitor Counting: AWStats counts how many people visit your site and how many are first-timers (unique visitors), repeat visitors, and the number of pages they’ve visited.

Visit Durations & Patterns: It tells you how long people stay and when they love to visit. It also keeps track of when they visit, how long they visit, and where they’re visiting from. Knowing this information helps you understand more about the prospects visiting your web page.

Visitor Information: You get to know which countries your visitors come from and what devices they use such as phones, tablets, or computers. Also, you can see what operating system on those devices they’re using. This information helps you know what devices and systems you should be optimized for.

Popular Pages: Ever curious about what parts of your website people love most? AWStats shows you the most viewed pages. This can be eye opening because they could be reaching pages you were unaware of such as

download pages. Or maybe they’re not finding the pages you want them to find which gives you understanding on linking strategies and improved menus.

Worms and Robots: Sounds like a sci-fi movie, right? But here, it’s about spotting sneaky software that tries to harm your site or those automatic robots that visit. This can also be good to see if the major search engines are spidering your site which gets your pages indexed in the search engines.

Recently, a friend had an issue with consuming bandwidth which was causing upgrades to his hosting account. (Some hosting provides a limit on bandwidth and overages cost more.) By looking at their AW Stats information we could see an unknown bot had been poking around his site using an enormous amount of bandwidth. By discovering which bot the culprit was, we could then block it saving dollars every month for my friend!

Search Engine Insights: Learn what words people type in Google or other search engines to find your website. By knowing what words got them to your website, you can expand on those words and ones similar to it to improve your marketing; not just on your website but in your email campaigns, and social media as well. Work smarter, not harder. Right?

File Types and Errors: You’ll see what kind of files people download and if they hit any ‘Page Not Found’ errors. Imagine discovering that people were going to pages that you were thought were there. Sometimes a simple typo will cause a page not to be found or linked to properly causing trust issues with a potential customer and very possibly lost sales.

Screen Sizes and Tech Stuff: Find out what size screens your visitors use and whether they can play videos or use Flash on your site. As a web guy this is one area I look at to know that I’m using the right images and formats for the website and know how to best test moving forward.

Why AWStats Rocks for a Web Guy Like Me

  • Versatility: AWStats can read logs from many types of web That’s like speaking lots of languages!
  • Easy Updates: Updating stats is a breeze, even right from your web browser. It’s like getting your game scores updated in real-time.
  • Unlimited Log Size: Have a super busy website? No problem. AWStats can handle it, no matter how big your visitor log grows.
  • User-Friendly: Even though it’s super detailed, it’s pretty easy to It’s got just one main configuration file.
  • Cost Effective: You can’t get any better than free. As I mentioned, it’s usually included in your web hosting And if it isn’t, it can be added fairly easily. It is open source so everyone has access to it to use.

AWStats is a powerful tool that acts as an informative source for understanding your website’s traffic. It’s like having a detailed record of everyone who visits your site. With my extensive experience in web development and web site building, I have found AWStats to be a dependable resource. It’s a free tool that offers a wide range of features, providing valuable insights that can assist you in enhancing your website’s appeal and user experience.

This tool is particularly useful for anyone interested in learning more about their website’s visitors. It gathers and presents data in a clear way, helping you understand who is coming to your site, what they are looking at, and how they found your website. These insights are crucial for making informed decisions about how to improve your site, tailor content to your audience, and optimize the overall user experience.

In conclusion, if you’re serious about your online business and staying ahead of the game, AWStats is an excellent tool to consider. As I mentioned, I have been using this tool for as long as I can remember and it still ranks near the top of my favorites.

It offers a comprehensive view of your website’s performance, helping you become more informed about your audience and their interactions with your site. By knowing more about your website visitors you can adapt your marketing to them directly, which should increase sales. By using AWStats, you can make data-driven decisions to enhance your website’s effectiveness and user engagement. This one web guy highly endorses it as in invaluable tool for your online business!

Frank Reviews AWStatsYou may remember seeing this sign at school or even a workplace, and this is what AWStats does for your website!

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Frank Deardurff

An early love for graphics brought me online over 20 years ago which lead me to consume a vast knowledge in marketing, conversion, design and various types of web technologies. That information led to becoming a web master, serial entrepreneur, author, coach, trainer and That One Web Guy!

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