- Do you know how many people are visiting your website every day?
- Do you know where they’re arriving from, what pages they’re landing on?
- Do you know how long they spend with you once they arrive, and which page they leave from?
The simple answer is yes, you do!
All of that data is being recorded for you automatically in your server log files, and is easily accessible using the free tools in your LetHost cPanel account.
What is a server log file
Every time a users browser requests a file from your webserver (an image, a HTML page, a pdf… any file) an entry is written to the server log recording that activity.
Some of the information that’s stored includes:
- the date and time of the request
- the browser and operating system of the user
- the IP address the request came from
- the URL the request came from, and the destination URL on your site
That sounds pretty basic, but from that basic information we you cann glean a lot of valuable information about what’s happening on your website.
How do I access my web server log files
Your log files are accessible from a sub folder of your hosting account via FTP.
But raw log files aren’t all that useful on their own. They’re just a long, long list of information. What you need is some clever software to parse all that info and deliver something you can use.
Luckily your LetsHost Hosting Control Panel (CPanel) includes a few tools that do exactly that. Scroll down to the “Logs” panel and you’ll find Analog, AWStats and Webalizer ready and waiting to deliver more log-file information than you can shake a stick.
Each of the tools collates and presents data in a different way, so give them a whirl to see which you prefer?
How can analysing log files help make my site better?
Your log file can reveal tonnes of useful information about how many visitors come to your website, how they find you online, and how they behave once they arrive.
Over time the data from your log files can help give you a clearer picture of what people want from your site, allowing you to tailor your site content and structure to deliver exactly what they want, improving the user experience, and ultimately improving your bottom line.