Windows Statistics: AWStats vs Smarter Stats
Written by Noah S Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Log on to your Windows Hosting Panel through HELM. You will see the User Main Menu and will want to select the Domains Icon. It will then show you a list of domains that you control. Select the Domain that you will want to monitor with AWStats or Smarter Stats. At the bottom of the Domain Menu click on the Statistics Icon.
In the advanced statistics box choose the stat monitor that will work best for you and click the enable button. After enabling either AWStats or Smarter Stats, you will have the option of viewing the stats (a link appears below the box).
*Smarter Stats has an admin user and the password needs to be set before use. Click on the Change Password next to the Delete Button and set a password for yourself.AWStats will be described first followed by Smarter Stat and then a contrast of the two.
At the top of the page after arriving at the AWStats (see above photo) you can update your stats if the last one wasn’t recent enough. Right below the update button you are also able to choose which month and year you would like stats displayed from.
The picture is the navigation bar for you statistics. There are 5 categories for the statistics: When, Who, Navigation, Referrers, and Others.
When: Allows for a breakdown of when people visited the site. Breakdown ranges from hours to months.
Who: Shows who visited your site by country, host addresses or if it was a bot that visited the site.
Navigation: Displays the length of a visit, what pages were viewed, along with the operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac) and what browser they were using (Internet Explorer/Firefox). It can also display which files were accessed such as the exact images, and the CSS files.
Referrers: Displays how people came to find the website. It is broken down into which sites/search engines people linked in from and keywords/phrases, brought them to the site.
Others: This is for the statistics that don’t fit into any other category. Miscellaneous will tell which plug-ins where used by the browser visiting the website. HTTP Status Codes tells information about the browser. Only 4xx codes are error codes. For more information about the error codes go http://awstats.sourceforge.net/docs/awstats_glossary.html and scroll down.
An example of a AWStats page:
The AWStats page is a one page review of statistics gathered for the website.
- Design is simple and straightforward
- The presentation makes it easy to read and understand.
- To view all the stats one only needs to scroll down the page.
- The data cannot be customized or filtered in its display.
- There is only one style of graphs.
For an in-depth explanation of AWStats and its features please go HERE.
Smarter Stats starts by having you log in as an admin (shown on the right). After logging in the the top of the home page will display the edition of Smarter Stats you are using along with setting options.
Settings: Allows the user to edit their personal settings, such as password and some of the report settings. My Favorites is to setup and keep in one location the stats that would need to be tracked often (can be accessed in the left hand toolbar). My Filters removes data that the user chooses not to display in their reports.
Site Settings: Controls the users that can access the sites and control the log files with such features as time zone control or excluding certain rows.
To add a user:
As the admin user (Default is SITEADMIN) go to Site Settings and click on User Administration. This will display the current users. From here the users can be added removed or their permissions can be edited (not the default accounts).
Clicking on Add User will bring up the screen below where at users permissions can be edited. Enter a user name and a password. When you have finished click Save. (The main difference between a User and an Admin is that the User cannot filter and cannot add other Users.)
Smarter Stats Control Panel
The stats panel (shown to the left) at first glance has more options to choose from than the AWStats panel.
Standard Reports: Complies statistics that would be helpful in business functions such as CEO Overview and Marketing.
Data Mining: An in depth view into the web statistics of the individual files on the website.
Favorites: Stats that have been added for quick access
Files: What files, file types, downloads, directories, and more that have been accessed from the site.
Traffic: The traffic that the site experiences can be broken down hourly, daily, weekday, weekly or monthly. Also can display hourly and weekday averages.
Paths: How the visitors entered and exited the website.
Visitors: Details on the users that visited the site: Length of stay, IP addresses, type of visitor (bot), and more.
Referrals: URLs, Sites, Links, and In-Site that connect to the site.
Browsers: What operating system and the browser the visitor used to access the site.
Server Responses: What Error Codes, Server error, and 404 Page not found were displayed to the visitors.
Search Engines: The breakdown of the keywords/phrases used to find the website. Also includes what search engine was used.
Geographics: Where in the world your visitors come from. Broken down to Continents.
An example of a Stat page:
To the right is a sample stat page. In the far right column are options for displaying the data.
- Individual or custom ranges of dates can be set.
- The data can be formatted to appear as a different chart. Different types of data can be displayed. Filters can also be applied.
- The last section allows the page to be added to the Favorites. The data can also be exported or printed.
For an in-depth help with Smarter Stats please go HERE.
Comparing the Choices
Both AWStats and Smarter Stats give a good amount of statistics. AWStats is a simpler programs through and doesn’t give as much information as Smarter Stats. AWStats would be a good option for some one who doesn’t need multiple users and would just like a simple page of stats. Smarter Stats has more freatures; one of which is the option to add multiple users to account.
- AWStats is good for someone who wants the stats simple and straightforward with no customization
- Smarter Stats gives more control to the admin with multiple users and ability to view the data in different ways. Also allows the data to be export.