fter months of evaluating commercial analytics programs we found no better value for our client then AWStats. This is a fantastic open-source application written in Perl. Most of the major players are moving away from bulk hosting analytics. For example web trends now requires you pay licensing per visitor in your reports. Basically the more successful your site, the more money they want from you. Sounds like a scam doesn’t it?

AWStats is completely free, and you’re welcome to make changes to fit your needs. For example we can generate lists of bandwidth users without having to go into each profile. This summery page has been in invaluable asset. Although not the prettiest interface in the world, AWStats offers most of the information my clients want in an organized fashion. Below is a list of the best feature over our old solution web trends 6.0.

Daily Incremental Updates
This is probably the biggest change for our clients. Now rather then waiting for a report every month, clients will be able to check statistics every day. Also we can process logs right on the server since AWStats on reads the part of the log it needs.

Efficiency / Speed
This application is really just a huge Perl script and has very little overhead. We’re able to process logs for 300 popular websites in a few minutes every night.

3rd Party Plug-ins
There are tons of extra features you can add to AWStats including tracking users by city and state using geo plugs. There are also tooltip options to make things easier for clients to understand.

Once we create a profile for a specific website, everything is automatic. Using webtrends 6.0 we’d have to make sure the FTP worked so it could download / upload logs and reports. We also don’t need a dedicated server to run reports. Everything can be done on the web server.

In closing I recommend awstats to anyone looking for a stats application. There are other free solutions available, but none come close to the functionality, usability, and efficiency of AWStats

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