This document contains step by step instructions on how to get a free personal website or business web hosting package, a free domain name and most importantly, how to turn your log files into valuable data using AWSTATS.
AWStats is powerful top notch full featured tool that allows you to generate advanced graphical web statistics. These graphical representations of web traffic is easily understood by anyone.
I’m using Hostgator’s Baby Plan for $6.36 per month plan to maintain a few sites and wanted to analyze my log files without having to pay for expensive statistical software. I know very little about Linux and was looking for a document that didn’t assume I could fill in the gaps!
Note: I was using 1and1, but their performance has been absolutely unacceptable and rankings have tanked, so I’ve move to Hostgator! What a difference!!!
There is a lot of information out there, but they all seemed to be missing bits and pieces. After a lot of reading, many emails and untold testing, I finally got it right. I have put it all into this easy to understand ‘hand holding’ document.
Cheap Web Hosting
To start, you’ll need a reliable web host and one of the best out there is Hostgator. Right now, they are offering a the baby package (don’t let the name fool you – it’s all you need!) for $7 per month (use coupon code twentyfivesakesalive for additional savings). This really is a win-win situation! There is no catch and it is truly a great deal!
Once you have your hostgator account, you’ll need to install some ‘terminal’ software on your computer to allow you to issue commands to the server. Visit SSH and download their free software.
Fire up the SSH Secure Shell (the software you just downloaded) and create a profile by right clicking on profiles and selecting Add Profile. Enter a name and press enter which will close the window. Again, click on profiles and choose Edit Profiles and select the profile name you created.
You’ll enter your host name and user name found at your hostgator account. Leave all the other values alone unless you have a special setup.
Personal web hosting – Installing AWStats
Once you’re connected to your free webhost, you’ll need to issue the following command ‘cd ..’. You’ll see something like
Record the information above for future reference.
Now type the following commands (without quotes) pressing enter after each:
“tar -xzvf awstats-6.3.tgz”
“ln -s awstats-6.3 awstats“
Now copy the cgi-bin and icon directories from the awstats/wwwroot directory and place them into the awstats directory. You can do this by clicking on the ‘New File Transfer’ window and maximizing it. Double click on the ‘awstats’ folder located in the right window, then double click on ‘wwwroot’, then click ONCE on “cgi-bin” (which highlights it) and holding down the Ctrl key, click on the ‘icon’ directory. Both ‘cgi-bin’ and ‘icon’ directories should be highlighted.
Right click and choose copy.
Click on the little icon with an up arrow on it (located on the toolbar right next to the house). This moves up back up one directory.
Now right click again and select Paste.
You have completed the file moves and will now modify your configuration files.
AWStats can analyze any number of websites. For this example, we’ll assume you are using only one site which we’ll call monetizers.com. We need to change the awstats.model.conf file located in the /awstats/cgi-bin directory.
You may need to right click and select refresh to see the two new directories you just added. Click on the “cgi-bin” directory and then right click on the “awstats.model.conf” file and select “open” to open it (use notepad if you need to).
Web Hosting – Change These Files
– Change LogFile value with full path of your web server log file (The text below is wrapped, but is really one line)
– Check LogFormat value. Put a # in front of the LogFormat=1 and enter this text below it:
LogFormat = “%host %other %logname %time1 %methodurl %code %bytesd %virtualname %refererquot %uaquot %other”
– Change DirIcons parameter to reflect relative path of icon directory. The text below is wrapped, but is really one line.
– Edit SiteDomain parameter with the main domain name or the intranet web server name used to reach the web site to analyze (Example: www.monetizers.com).
SiteDomain = “www.monetizers.com”
Now save the file AS awstats.monetizers.conf (replace monetizers with your website name).
Create a folder to hold your web server reports. Navigate to your website directory and create a new folder (right click and choose new folder) called mywebstats. MAKE SURE you go to your control panel (protected directory page) and protect this directory or others will see your stats!
Close the SSH secure file transfer window.
Now tell your new web server to create and update web site statistics 15 minutes after every hour, here is how:
Cron job examples if you need them.
In the SSH Secure Shell window, you’ll enter these commands exactly:
Crontab -e (this opens the scheduler window)
I (this tells the system to enter Insert mode)
The next command you’ll enter but replace the 0’s with your information and also the website name. The text below is wrapped, but is really one line.
15 * * * * perl /kunden/homepages/00/d00000000/
htdocs/awstats/cgi-bin/awstats_buildstaticpages.pl -config=monetizers -update -awstatsprog=/kunden/
Now save your cron job by doing the following:
Press ESC – Take you out of insert mode.
Type “😡“, followed by the RETURN key.
You should see something like “crontab: installing new crontab”.
You are all set! After 15 minutes past the next hour, you should be able to see your new stats by visiting http://www.yourdomain.com/mywebstats/awstats.[monetizers].html
Note: If you get a permissions error, it’s most likely the log file you’re trying to read does not exist.
If you need more information on setting up a cron job, visit this FAQ