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Awstats Statistics


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Being uninformed I would love a clear understanding of the statistics I see on the cpanel using awstats. Could some one explain the differences of the catagories: unique visitors, number of visits, pages & hits. I believe my understanding of them is a little fuzzy. :)

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Great idea Mitch... these terms can be pretty confusing no matter which package you use.


We have the head of the Internet Sales department where I work running around bragging to all the CEOs about all the hits he gets for our website but there's about 50 "things" on the main page. The CEO's don't know the difference and neither does this guy but we keep hearing how much money he's making the company. <sigh>

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How accurate (I don't mean is it perfect, but is it close) is the average Session Duration of someone viewing your site stat? For example, does it count someone who comes and visits just one page but stays 10 minutes to read it all? I tried reading the doc linked above, but it only confused me more:)

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It should be accurate. It starts timing from the moment a visitor enters your site to when they leave. If I click a link to your site the time starts. When I click a link or type a URL in my browser to leave the time stops. The only time this does not count is if I visit your site at 11:58 in the evening and leave 5 minutes later. AWStats can not calculate that because of the date rollover.

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  • 1 month later...

I understand that dial-up lines could create an artificially high visitor count, but what about AOL users who all appear to come from the same IP producing an artifically lower visitor count?


We're trying to guage the success of our marketing efforts, and REALLY need reasonably accurate visitor counts.




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...what about AOL users who all appear to come from the same IP producing an artifically lower visitor count?

Great point Dorsey! As you know, AOL has a bank of IP addresses that any person could be coming in on at any given time. if 5 people come in on the same AOL IP address it will appear to Awstats to be a repeat visitor and not 5 unique visitors.


One thing you could do is to drop a cookie on their machine and use that to count unique visitors versus repeat visitors. It is not perfect either because they could have cookies turned off or they may have cleared them out between visits, but it may get you closer than ip counting.


Other than that I can think of no foolproof way to do it although there are packages that use combination of things. I suppose you could use IP and user agent for example to identify some of these false-repeats if the 2 visitors are using different agents. Still, most on AOL will be using AOL's agent.


Another problem is that AOL may have locally cached your site's pages and when a user requests your site they may get it from AOL's cache and not from you at all so you'll never see that hit.


Yet another issue is that at my workplace, for instance, we use NAT so we are not accessible from the outside world unless extreme measures are taken to do it on purpose. This means if all 500 of our users go to your site they will all appear to come from the same IP.


There's a good bit of info at: www.pdxperts.com/article-tracking.html


It appears from some brief investigation that it is assumed impossible to get a precise count because of these issues. All you can do is get close and there are some tools you can use to help (that are probably expensive) or maybe you can find or write some that suit your needs relatively cheaply.


Best wishes.

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This forum is awesome! I learn something new every time I log on. I did not know anything about the awStats, but thaks to that facey tutorial by Deverill, I now at least understand what it is all saying.


This new enlightenment has led to a lot more questions...



I have just completed my frist web site (www.venuechicago.com) and need some suggestions for improvement.


I made it for this event management company and now I am trying to use it and create a marketing campaign around it.


The main objective of the site is to bring in new customers. I want to utilize the data that has been compiled through awStats in order to find some leads to new customers.


Deverill, you said that by inserting a cookie through your website, you can track different unique users that log on to your site. Is there any way to use this to find out who is logging on to my site so I can contact them for business? Is this ethical? How do I use these cookies (are there any tutorials on creating these cookies?)?


I'm so exited about this it's not even funny. There's so much more I want to ask, but I'll focus on one thing at a time. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'll do the rest. Keep up the good work guys!


Rock Sign


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A cookie is a small bit of data you can put on a visitor's computer if they have their browser set to allow it. You can only read what you have written... you can not read other cookies placed by other web sites, nor can you read something you did not put there in the first place.


To use a cookie to track uniques you would simply add a cookie to their computer that says "Been there - done that" and then every time someone comes to your site check for the cookie. If you see it then they're a repeat. If not then they are either unique or they erased your cookie or it was never accepted in the first place.


There are tons of tutorials on cookies out there. Just go to google and search for something like "cookie tutorial php". I recommend PHP because it has some stuff built in to make it pretty easy to use cookies and it's a pretty easy language for anyone starting out new to web page programming. You'll have to look through the tutorials and see which make sense to you. I look at them sometimes and go "huh?" and then go to the next one I find and say "Oh, why didn't they say that!".


Ask away! That's what we are all here for! I only ask that you break separate topics up into separate posts in the most appropriate sections so it stays clear. We don't need to confuse the issues and get all mixed up. :P


Oh yes, one last thing. Credit where it's due - the tutorial was written by Mitch (Cerealkeeler)... and a grand tutorial it is! Thumbs Up

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Doggone it! See what happens when I post in public after about 10:30PM! :P I missed the last line of the POST by Mitch that says:


(many thanks to Critical Mass for this tutorial!)


1,000 apologies Rob!


It's still a grand tutorial though! :dance:

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