AWStats is a graphical traffic log included with most installed on most hosting platforms. It provides useful stats on visitors to your website on a real-time basis.
To access your AWStats, you’ll need to access the control panel for your hosting. For most accounts, this will be www.yourdomainname/cpanel. After logging in, you should see an AWStats icon. All hosting control panels are different so check with your hosting company if you are unable to find AWStats. HostGator and BlueHost, two hosting companies that I recommend, both include AWStats.
Here’s a video guide I created on how to read your AWStats.
From AWStats Glossary…
You can find full information on AWStats at the official website. On that site, there is a user guide with a glossary of terms. Here are few of the important terms to know when reading your traffic statistics
Unique Visitor: A unique visitor is a person or computer (host) that has made at least 1 hit on 1 page of your web site during the current period shown by the report. If this user makes several visits during this period, it is counted only once. Visitors are tracked by IP address, so if multiple users are accessing your site from the same IP (such as a home or office network), they will be counted as a single unique visitor. The period shown by AWStats reports is by default the current month. However if you use AWStats as a CGI you can click on the “year” link to have a report for all the year. In such a report, period is a full year, so Unique Visitors are number of hosts that have made at least 1 hit on 1 page of your web site during the year.
Visits: Number of visits made by all visitors. Think “session” here, say a unique IP accesses a page, and then requests three other pages within an hour. All of the “pages” are included in the visit, therefore you should expect multiple pages per visit and multiple visits per unique visitor (assuming that some of the unique IPs are logged with more than an hour between requests)
Pages: The number of “pages” viewed by visitors. Pages are usually HTML, PHP or ASP files, not images or other files requested as a result of loading a “Page” (like js,css… files). Files listed in the NotPageList config parameter (and match an entry of OnlyFiles config parameter if used) are not counted as “Pages”.
Addicted to Checking Stats?
Once you start checking traffic statistics with AWStats, it’s hard to stop. There’s no 800 number for this addiction so you’ll have to monitor it yourself. I find myself checking stats multiple times per day sometimes and have to remind myself that it’s often a waste of time. It’s fun to see the numbers especially when they are increasing but I have to remind myself that I am better off promoting my site for 15 minutes than reading my AWStats report for 15 minutes. I would say checking traffic statistics once per day is reasonable but if you can get down to checking it only once per week and spend more time on promotion, you’re going to like the results in your traffic report.