Awstats Glossary – What does it all mean?

What do all these terms in Awstats mean? #

Unique Visitor:
A unique visitor is a Computer that has made at least 1 hit on 1 page of your web site during the current period shown by the report. If this computer makes several visits during this period, it is counted only once.
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 the entire year. In such a report, the period is a full year, so Unique Visitors are the number of People/Computers that have made at least 1 hit on 1 page of your web site during that year.

Number of visits made by all visitors.
Think “session” here, say a unique IP/Person/Computer accesses a page and then requests three others without an hour between any of the requests, 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)

The number of “pages” logged. Only files that don’t match an entry in the NotPageList config parameter (and match an entry of OnlyFiles config parameter if used) are counted as “Pages”. Usually, pages are reserved for HTML files, CGI files or PHP files, not images nor other files requested as a result of loading a “Page” (like js,css… files).

Any files requested from the server (including files that are “Pages”) except those that match the SkipFiles config parameter.

The total number of bytes downloaded.

Entry Page:
First page viewed by a visitor during its visit.
Note: When a visit started at the end of the month to end at the beginning of next month, you might have an Entry page for the month report and no Exit pages.
That’s why Entry pages can be different than Exit pages.

Exit Page:
Last page viewed by a visitor during its visit.
Note: When a visit started at end of the month to end at the beginning of next month, you might have an Entry page for the month report and no Exit pages.
That’s why Entry pages can be different than Exit pages.

Session Duration:
The time a visitor spent on your site for each visit.
Some Visit durations are ‘unknown’ because they can’t always be calculated. These are the major reasons for this:
– The visit was not finished when ‘update’ occurred.
– The visit started in the last hour (after 23:00) of the last day of a month (A technical reason prevents AWStats from calculating the duration of such sessions).

A Tool that is used primarily for scraping an entire site. These include for example “teleport”, “webcapture”, “webcopier”…

Add To Favourites:
This value, available in the “miscellaneous chart”, reports an estimated value of the number of times a visitor has added your web site into its favorite bookmarks.
The technical rule for that is the following formula:
Number of Add to Favourites = round((x+y) / r)
x = Number of hits made by IE browsers for “/anydir/favicon.ico”, with a referer field not defined, and with no 404 error code
y = Number of hits made by IE browsers for “/favicon.ico”, with a referer field not defined, with or without 404 error code
r = Ratio of hits made by IE browsers compared to hits made by all browsers (r <= 1)

As you can see in the formula, only IE is used to count reliable “add”, the “Add to favorites” for other browsers are estimated using the ratio of other browsers usage compared to a ratio of IE usage. The reason is that only IE does a hit on favicon.ico ONLY when a user adds the page to its favorites. The other browsers make hits on this file also for other reasons so we can’t count one “hit” as one “add” since it might be a hit for another reason.
AWStats differentiate also hits with error and not to avoid counting multiple hits made recursively in the upper path when favicon.ico file is not found in a deeper directory of path.

HTTP Status Codes:
HTTP status codes are returned by web servers to indicate the status of a request. Codes 200 and 304 are used to tell the browser the page can be viewed. All other codes generate hits and traffic ‘not seen’ by the visitor. For example, a return code 301 or 302 will tell the browser to ask for another page. The browser will do another hit and should finally receive the page with a return code 200 and 304.

All codes that are ‘unseen’ traffic are isolated by AWStats in the HTTP Status report chart, enabled by the directive ShowHTTPErrorsStats. in the config file. You can also change the value for ‘not error’ hits (set by default to 200 and 304 with the ValidHTTPcodes directive.
The following table outlines all status codes defined for the HTTP/1.1 draft specification outlined in IETF rfc 2068.
They are 3-digit codes where the first digit of this code identifies the class of the status code and the remaining 2 digits correspond to the specific condition within the response class. They are classified into 5 categories:

  • 1xx – informational
  • 2xx – successful
  • 3xx – redirection
  • 4xx – client error
  • 5xx – server error
1xx class – Informational
Informational status codes are provisional responses from the web server… they give the client a heads-up on what the server is doing. Informational codes do not indicate an error condition.

100100 Continue
The continue status code tells the browser to continue sending a request to the server.
101101 Switching Protocols
The server sends this response when the client asks to switch from HTTP/1.0 to HTTP/1.1

2xx class – Successful
This class of status code indicates that the client’s request was received, understood, and successful.

200200 Successful
201201 Created
202202 Accepted
203203 Non-Authorative Information
204204 No Content
205205 Reset Content
206206 Partial Content
The partial content success code is issued when the server fulfills a partial GET request. This happens when the client is downloading a multi-part document or part of a larger file.

3xx class – Redirection
This code tells the client that the browser should be redirected to another URL in order to complete the request. This is not an error condition.

300300 Multiple Choices
301301 Moved Permanently
302302 Moved Temporarily
303303 See Other
304304 Not Modified
305305 Use Proxy

4xx class – Client Error
This status code indicates that the client has sent bad data or a malformed request to the server. Client errors are generally issued by the webserver when a client tries to gain access to a protected area using a bad username and password.

400400 Bad Request
401401 Unauthorized
402402 Payment Required
403403 Forbidden
404404 Not Found
405400 Method Not Allowed
406400 Not Acceptable
407400 Proxy Authentication Required
408400 Request Timeout
409409 Conflict
410410 Gone
411411 Length Required
412412 Precondition Failed
413413 Request Entity Too Long
414414 Request-URI Too Long
415415 Unsupported Media Type

5xx class – Server Error
This status code indicates that the client’s request couldn’t be successfully processed due to some internal error in the webserver. These error codes may indicate something is seriously wrong with the webserver.

500500 Internal Server Error
An internal server error has caused the server to abort your request. This is an error condition that may also indicate a misconfiguration with the webserver. However, the most common reason for 500 server errors is when you try to execute a script that has syntax errors.
501501 Not Implemented
This code is generated by a webserver when the client requests a service that is not implemented on the server. Typically, not implemented codes are returned when a client attempts to POST data to a non-CGI (ie, the form action tag refers to a non-executable file).
502502 Bad Gateway
The server, when acting as a proxy, issues this response when it receives a bad response from an upstream or support server.
503503 Service Unavailable
The web server is too busy processing current requests to listen to a new client. This error represents a serious problem with the webserver (normally solved with a reboot).
504504 Gateway Timeout
Gateway timeouts are normally issued by proxy servers when an upstream or support service doesn’t respond to a request in a timely fashion.
505505 HTTP Version Not Supported
The server issues this status code when a client tries to talk using an HTTP protocol that the server doesn’t support or is configured to ignore.