Website Statistics

Knowing statistical data about your website is extremely valuable. You can use your stats to see the effect your marketing has on your site, your most popular pages and where your traffic is coming from. All this information can then be used to improve the parts of your site that are not performing as well as you would like.

AW Website statistics
AWStats are provided free to all flymedia customers with our hosting packages.
AW Stats website

Google Analytics
We can also add Google Analytics code to your pages if you prefer. This is a free service provided by Google. They say: Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyse your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you're more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.
Google Analytics website

There are differences between these two statistics options. AWStats generally shows more traffic than Google Analytics. The basic reason for this is is the way they collect data.

AWstats (Advanced Web Statistics) is an open source log analyser written in Perl that can use a variety of log formats and runs on a variety of operating systems. AWstats was designed with the main purpose to inform system administrators rather than website business owners, web marketers and web analysts, which basically means that making sense of AWstats data for marketing/business purposes is not very straightforward. Moreover, the reports are extremely basic and just spit out raw data which doesn't tell you an awful lot about the website dynamics and stats that matter to improve your efforts.

AWstats processes the log files that most web servers churn out by default and organises the data in a bunch of basic reports. This tool was designed for the needs of "Way back when..." so it'll be of limited use. One major difference between data collection methods of AWstats and GA, is that the first logs data on the physical webserver, whereas GA logs data on the site itself and stores the information in a remote location (on Google's servers).

Should you compare figures of AWstats and GA like with like, you'll notice that AWstats figures will be much larger. An important reason for this is the fact that AWstats detects search engine bots that access ("crawl") your website to learn more about its content, link structure etc., whereas GA can't detect this type of traffic. These days, crawl stats are far less important than back in the day, and information on how search engine bots see your website is readily available from the major search engines, once you sign up to look into these services. Examples are Google Webmaster tools and Yahoo! Site Explorer.

AWStats Explained - Basically

Unique Visitors
The number of people visiting your site, ignoring multiple visits by the same person.

Number of Visits
The number of visits to your site, including multiple visits by the same person.

Pages
The number of pages viewed.

Hits
The number of files served, this includes pages, graphics, media files.

Bandwidth
The amount of data transferred from your site

Days of Month
The number of visits per month. See the most popular date.

Days of Week
The number of visits per day. See the most popular day.

Hours
The number of visits per hour.

Robots/Spiders Visitors
The number of search engine spiders crawling the data on your site for inclusion in their search engines.

Visits Duration
How long people spend on your website.

Page-URL
The most popular pages on your site.

Operating Systems
The type of computer operating system that your visitors use. Do your visitors use a mac or PC?

Browsers
The type of website browser that your visitors use. This helps build your site for all users.

Direct Address/Bookmark
The number of people who simply type your domain name into their web browser.

Links from Internet Search Engine
Which search engines are sending traffic to your site.

Links from an External Page
Which sites send traffic to your site.

Search Keyphrases and Keywords
The search keyphrases and keywords that people use in a search engine to find your site.

A more in depth explanation can be found here