I have my own server (with root access).

I need statistics of users who visit my website etc etc...

I have looked at an app called Webalyzer... Is this a good choice?

I run apache2 on a Ubuntu 9 system...

If you know of any good statistics apps for servers please let me know.

And a follow-up question: All statistics are saved in log-files right? So how large would these log-files become then? Possibility to split them would be good, dont know if this is possible with Webalyzer though...

  • Use Google Analytics, it does everything without even involving your server. – Artelius Jun 8 '10 at 7:29
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    @Artelius: Which is both good, and bad. :-) – T.J. Crowder Jun 8 '10 at 7:46

The Webalizer is very good at mining your Apache logs for stats -- who visits, from what IP addresses, a breakdown of the kinds of domains those IPs reverse-resolve to (.com, .net, .co.uk, .ru, etc.), what their browsers claim to be (which is usually, though not always, what they actually are), what operating system the user is using (again, provided the browser is reporting it honestly), etc., etc. It's completely non-intrusive; nothing special on your web pages, no additional requests to external servers on every page load, etc.

Google Analytics, on the other hand, works at the client level. Every page on your site calls out to Google Analytics via a script tag so that they can capture this information for you (and a great deal more besides). Dead easy to use, but it does incur that extra request to their servers on every page load. Also, note that some advertising blockers will also block Google Analytics; and GA requires Javascript, which some (though not many) may have turned off.

Those would be two of the big ones, each with its different approach. The Webalizer being entirely local (and therefore private) and non-intrusive may be appealing; the scope and analysis features of GA may be appealing.


Google analytics

To handle large log files, you might want to look into log rotators: http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/how-do-i-rotate-log-files/

  • Definitely Google Analytics. – Finbarr Jun 8 '10 at 7:33
  • I agree. Keep in mind that if your site is hosted outside the states, then loading the external js can slow your site down (as it does with mine) but its only a minimal delay. – Christian Jun 8 '10 at 7:54
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    It's recommended to load the script asynchronously so it won't block page load: code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/asyncTracking.html – digitaldreamer Jun 8 '10 at 8:00
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    Why do you all agree on using GA? You are saying yourselves that it slows down page-loading, and it requires js turned on, and it might even be blocked by some ad-blockers... Seems Webalizer is better suited for the task. – Anonymous12345 Jun 8 '10 at 11:17

There is a local, Open-Source, PHP-based alternative to Google Analytics named Piwik that is still under heavy development but already worth a close look.

  • I am using Piwik on one of my own projects. Works well. It still has way to go to be as powerful and fancy as GA though. – Gordon Jun 8 '10 at 8:30


While webalizer has seen some activity recently, AWStats provides more information for managing both the site, as well as monitoring server capacity.

Google Analytics best function is for marketing, if you are looking to manage the server, I'd suggest the Google Webmaster tools


Analog is pre-packaged for for Ubuntu. It is easy to setup and works reasonably well with minimal setup. Report magic can be used to improve the format of the output.

The data from which the the statistics are found in /var/log/apache. They are automatically rotated and compressed for you by logrotate. The size of the files are dependent on the number of queries, the log format, and the size of URLs on your site. Unless you have a very busy server they should not be very large.

awstats is also packaged for Ubuntu, but is not as easy to setup. It does retain statistics in its own log files. I claims to be able to track visits.

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