Using Tools to Assist in Log Analysis

Now that you have a basic understanding of what you can expect to find your log files, take a look at some tools that can help with the analysis of log files.


In many web hosts, you'll find a handy application called AWStats. This GNU/GPL tool is written in Perl. Following are a few of the things you can review with AWStats:

  • Visitor data (such as number of visits, duration of visit, last visit, unique and authenticated visitors)
  • Days of the week and rush hours with pages, hits, and so on
  • Errors that have occurred
  • IP addresses of visitors
  • Browsers used by visitors

AWStats is one of the better tools to use for your SEO, and it supports several file types.

Take a look at a few features included with AWStats. Figure 8-3 shows a visual look at visitors to a website. In this case, 668 unknown (unresolved to domain) and 572 unique visitors have hit this website. You can also see the bandwidth the visitors consumed and their IP addresses.

Figure 8-3: Visitor information delivered by AWStats


Month-over-month views are valuable in measuring traffic, gauging bandwidth, and counting pages/hits. This is important for your security because if you see a sudden jump in bandwidth as shown in Figure 8-4, but you do not see an equal jump in traffic, someone may have hacked your server.

Figure 8-4: Month-over-month view of traffic

As shown in Figure ...

Get CMS Security Handbook: The Comprehensive Guide for WordPress®, Joomla!®, Drupal™, and Plone® now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.