Web Server logs are server log files of a web server.
A server log is a log file (or several files) automatically created and maintained by a server consisting of a list of activities it performed.
A typical example is a web server log which maintains a history of page requests. The W3C maintains a standard format (the Common Log Format) for web server log files, but other proprietary formats exist. More recent entries are typically appended to the end of the file. Information about the request, including client IP address, request date/time, page requested, HTTP code, bytes served, user agent, and referrer are typically added. This data can be combined into a single file, or separated into distinct logs, such as an access log, error log, or referrer log. However, server logs typically do not collect user-specific information.
These files are usually not accessible to general Internet users, only to the webmaster or other administrative person. A statistical analysis of the server log may be used to examine traffic patterns by time of day, day of week, referrer, or user agent. Efficient web site administration, adequate hosting resources and the fine tuning of sales efforts can be aided by analysis of the web server logs.
Web Server Logs analytics are performed on the values contained in the log file, derives indicators about when, how, and by whom a web server is visited. Reports are usually generated immediately, but data extracted from the log files can alternatively be stored in a database, allowing various reports to be generated on demand.
Common values usually found in a Web Server Log:
- Number of visits and number of unique visitors
- Visit duration and last visits
- Authenticated users, and last authenticated visits
- Days of week and rush hours
- Domains/countries of host’s visitors.
- Hosts list
- Number of page views
- Most viewed, entry, and exit pages
- File types
- OS used
- Browsers used
- Robots used
- HTTP referrer
- Search engines, key phrases and keywords used to find the analyzed web site
- HTTP errors
- Some of the log analyzers also report on who is on the site, conversion tracking, visit time and page navigation.
Source: Server log