Wusage 7.1 Manual: Interpreting the Reports of Wusage


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Wusage 7.1 Manual

Interpreting the Reports of Wusage

Viewing Reports through the User Interface

If you have just finished generating statistics through the user interface (see the section), scroll to the very bottom of the page in which you watched the program's progress. If all went well, you will see two buttons at the bottom, after the words Analysis complete. Click on the View Statistics button to view the resulting reports in your web browser.

On the other hand, if you are currently looking at the main menu, enter the name of the configuration file and click the Open button. Then, from the main control page, click on the View Statistics button to view the resulting reports. If you receive an error message at this point, perhaps you have not produced any statistics yet! See the section.

Other Ways to View Reports

You can also view your reports by opening the the index.html (or index.htm) file in the report directory with your favorite web browser. If the report directory is in a location where it can be seen by a web server, you can access it by that means. Alternatively you can access it by opening the index page as a local file, if the machine running Wusage and the machine running the browser are one and the same. Note that the index page filename can be changed using the Name for Index File (indexname) configuration file option.

The Calendar of Reports

In Wusage 7.0 and above, clicking on the View Statistics button will open the Calendar of Reports. This page contains a traditional calendar, with links to reports for every time period (or epoch) that has been analyzed. A link to the cumulative summary report is also provided.

For your convenience, the calendar of reports begins with the most recent year's data.

Reports for individual quarters are accessed by clicking on the name of the quarter; for instance, click on Quarter 1 to see a report for the first quarter of a particular year. Reports for individual months are accessed by clicking on the name of the month. Reports for individual weeks are accessed by clicking on the number of the week; note the italicized numbers which appear to the left of each week of the calendar. Reports for individual days are accessed by clicking on the individual day.

Note that not every time period has a link to a report. This is because of the (keepreports) option, which limits the number of reports of each type which are kept on disk. This is done to limit the total amount of disk space used by the program's reports to a reasonable amount. If you created your configuration file using the Wusage 7.0 user interface, (keepreports) will default to 20. This means that reports are only kept for the most recent 20 days, weeks, months, quarters, and years. Notice that this ensures that relatively recent time periods are described in great detail, but more remote times are described in more general terms.

An "Epoch" Report

When you click on a day, week, month, quarter, or year, or on the cumulative summary report link, you will be taken to the report for that individual epoch (period of time).

The epoch report appears in two frames. In the larger frame on the left, you will see a section titled "Important Totals." Beneath this table is a section entitled "Executive Summary." These two sections contain the most essential information about your web server's performance during the time period in question. In the smaller frame on the right, you will see a link to the Calendar of Reports, followed by links to each of the individual sub-reports that provide a wealth of additional information about the time period in question.

First, scroll through the important totals and executive summary, and read the information provided. All of the essentials are there, beginning with the total number of individual visits made to the site. Notice that accesses and visits are not the same. bytes transferred is also a useful piece of information when evaluating how much bandwidth to buy (or charge your client for).

Depending on the nature of your server, some of the information provided may not be of interest to you. If so, you can turn off any individual report and the related items in the executive summary; see the topical configuration editor reference for more information.

Depending on your web server's quality and current configuration, some of the information necessary to produce certain reports and the relevant entries in the executive summary may not be available. For more information, see the (server) section.

Next, if you are looking at a report for an individual day, week, month, quarter, or year, click on one of the View Charts buttons in the Important Totals table. If you are looking at the cumulative summary report, these buttons will not appear. click on Calendar of Reports to return to the calendar, and then click on an individual day, week, month, quarter or year in order to reach a report in which the View Charts buttons are featured.

History Report

You will now see a historical bar chart, in which each data point is a single day, week, month, quarter, or year, depending on the type of report you chose to examine. If you do not have a large amount of log data, the historical bar charts covering months, quarters or years may not be terribly interesting. In this case you may prefer to return to the calendar of reports and select the report for a day or week before clicking on View Charts.

IF THE CHARTS DON'T APPEAR PROPERLY

If you see a broken image instead of a chart, you are very probably using an older web browser which does not support the PNG image format. Please upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or better, or to Netscape Navigator 4.04 or better, or to another browser that supports PNG images properly.
If you have more than one year of data, you will note that a separate set of bars are used to represent each year. This feature is called year-to-year comparison. When you create a configuration file using the Wusage 7.0 user interface, it is automatically enabled for the All Documents and Home Page Accesses history charts. This feature can be turned on and off through the Items to be Charted (totalsgroup) option.

Interpreting the Individual Sub-Reports

Next, turn your attention to the navigation frame (the smaller frame on the right). Click on the Accesses by Hour link to view the corresponding report.

This report presents a graph of accesses per hour, and a table of the same information, with the addition of bytes and visits information. The "bits per second" and "bytes per second" column are especially useful when evaluating the amount of bandwidth you have purchased from your Internet provider (or sold to a client). For more information about this report, and ways of customizing it, see the Report on Traffic by Hour (hours) option.

Next, if you are viewing a report for a week, month, quarter, or year, or the cumulative summary report, click on the Accesses by Day button to view the Traffic by Day report.

This report is similar to the hourly report, but due to the typically large number of scattered data points, each data point is given a simple tick mark. If there are enough data points, a seven-day moving average line is also displayed. This seven-day moving average provides a less "noisy" view of the overall day-to-day trend. If you are viewing the report for a single week, you will not see a moving average line because of the small number of data points. To learn more about this report and various ways that it can be customized, see the Report on Traffic by Day (days) option.

Now, click on the Top Documents link in the navigation frame to view the corresponding report.

This report displays the most popular documents on your web server, as determined by the number of accesses made to each. The 3D pie chart graphically displays the portion of accesses that were made to each of the most popular documents. The table beneath also provides bytes and visits information for each document. If the Chart Top Referring URLs by Document (referrersbydocument) option is turned on, a [Referrers] link appears next to each document. This link can be used to "drill down" to a list of documents that refer to the document in question. To learn more about this report and various ways that it can be customized, see the Chart Top Documents (documents) option.

To continue, click on the Top Entry Pages link in the navigation frame.

You are now viewing the Entry Pages report. This report lists the most common "points of entry" to your website. You may be surprised to learn which pages are most commonly the point of entry to your site, as this is often determined by the links that other site administrators choose to make. If the Chart Top Referring URLs by Document (referrersbydocument) option is turned on, a [Referrers] link appears next to each document. This link can be used to "drill down" to a list of documents that refer to the document in question. To learn more about this report and various ways that it can be customized, see the Chart Top Entry Pages (entrypages) option.

Next, click on the Top Exit Pages link in the navigation frame.

This report is the Exit Pages report. Here you will see a lists of the most common "points of departure" from your website. Since many users don't go past the first page of a site, it is not uncommon for some of these pages to also be common points of entry. If the Chart Top Referring URLs by Document (referrersbydocument) option is turned on, a [Referrers] link appears next to each document. This link can be used to "drill down" to a list of documents that refer to the document in question. To learn more about this report and various ways that it can be customized, see the Chart Top Exit Pages (exitpages) option.

To go on to the next step, click on the Documents by Directory link in the navigation frame to view the corresponding report.

Note that this report appears in a separate window. This is done because the report is large. For best results, leave this window open to minimize the time spent waiting for it to format each time you "drill down" from one directory to another.

This report displays the most popular items on your web server, treating all of the accesses to a particular subdirectory as a single item. The 3D pie chart graphically displays the portion of accesses that were made to each of the most popular items. The table beneath also provides bytes and visits information for each item. If the Chart Top Referring URLs by Document (referrersbydocument) option is turned on, a [Referrers] link appears next to each individual file, but not next to directories. Directories (folders) appear in brackets ([ and ]). This is done to signify the fact that they can be clicked on to "drill down" to a report for that individual directory, ranking its own contents in the same manner. To learn more about this report and various ways that it can be customized, see the Chart Documents by Directory (directories) option.

Return to the previous window and turn your attention back to the navigation frame. Click on File Types (extensions) to display the next report.

The File Types (Extensions) report presents a breakdown of the various types of files that were delivered by your web server. This can include HTML documents (.html), GIF, JPEG and PNG images (.gif, .jpg, .jpeg and .png), and Adobe Acrobat PDF files (.pdf).

Note that the most popular entry is typically "Directory (folder)". This is because many accesses to your web server retrieve the home page of the server, without specifying a file type for it, or the home page for an individual subdirectory, again without specifying the type. You may be aware that, on your particular server, directory home pages are always HTML documents, but this is not the case on all servers.

Note that the accesses and bytes columns would produce quite different rankings if used as the sorting order. This is because image files tend to be much larger than HTML documents. It is possible to choose either sorting order for this report, and for many other reports as well. See the Chart Top File Types (Extensions) (types) option for more information.

Let's move on by clicking on the Authorized Users link in the navigation frame.

This report lists the users who most frequently logged into your site using a username and password, under the standard "HTTP authentication" mechanism. If you do not use this mechanism on your web server, this report will be blank. That is normal and it is not cause for concern. For more information about customizing or removing this report, see the Chart Top Authorized Users (authusers) option.

Go to the next report by clicking on the Top Visitor Sites link in the navigation frame.

You are now viewing a report which ranks the visitor sites (IP addresses or computer host names) which most frequently came to your web server during the time period analyzed. The pie chart will show the sites that accessed your web server most. If your site is highly popular, it may be that no one site qualifies for a pie slice. If that is the case, you may wish to turn off the pie chart. This and many other customizations are easily accomplished; see the Chart Top Sites (sites) option for more information.

The next report is the Top Visitor Domains report. Click on the Top Visitor Domains link in the navigation frame to access the report.

Very important note: the domains report will not produce useful information unless either (a) full host names already appear in your log files, or (b) the DNS Resolution (IPs->Names) (dns) option is set to on. Setting this option to on greatly increases the time required for analysis. You may prefer to turn off this report if your logs are large.

This report which ranks the top-level Internet domains which accessed your web server most often.

That is, all .com sites are under the com heading. All sites which are part of national domains are under various continent headings, as determined by the (domainsgroups) option; however, please note that com is not a national domain and is not restricted to the United States. If you would prefer to see second-level domains included in the report, such as aol.com and earthlink.com, see the Subdomain Detail: 1 for 'com', 2 for 'company.com', (subdomainlevel) option. For more information about all aspects of this report, see the Chart Top Domains (domains) option.

Now, move on to the Top Users report. Click on the Top Users link in the navigation frame.

If your web server does not log user-identifying "cookies" as part of each log entry, this report will be empty, or it will contain incorrect information. If this is the case, you can turn off this report. See the Chart Top Users (Determined By Cookies) (users) option for more information.
The Top Users report ranks the individual users who accessed the site most often during the time period analyzed, as determined by HTTP "cookies." This report can be customized in many ways. See the Chart Top Users (Determined By Cookies) (users) option for details.
The next two reports are intended for use with proxy servers. if you are not analyzing the logs of a proxy server, you may wish to skip the next two reports. You can turn them off, if you wish, using the Chart Top Proxy Sites (proxysites) and Chart Top Proxy Domains (proxydomains) options.
The next report is the Top Proxy Sites report. Click on the Top Proxy Sites link to display this report.

This report ranks the external sites which were most frequently accessed via users of your proxy server. If this report is empty, your server is probably not a proxy server, and you may wish to turn off this report. For more information, see the Chart Top Proxy Sites (proxysites) option.

Please note that frequently accessed remote documents appear in the Chart Top Documents (documents) and Chart Documents by Directory (directories) reports as well. The Chart Documents by Directory (directories) report is a particularly powerful way to "drill down" from a remote site to its individual files.

Next is the Top Proxy Domains report. Click on the Top Proxy Domains link to display this report.

This report ranks the external top-level domains which were most frequently accessed via users of your proxy server. If this report is empty, your server is probably not a proxy server, and you may wish to turn off this report. For more information, see the Chart Top Proxy Domains (proxydomains) option.

Following the proxy reports is the Top Web Browsers report. Click on Top Web Browsers in the navigation frame to display this report.

The Top Web Browsers report provides a ranking of the web browsers ("user agents") that were most often used to visit your web server. Note that all forms of each major web browser are conveniently aggregated by major version number. This allows you to clearly distinguish Netscape 4.x, Internet Explorer 4.x, and so forth without sorting through many individual minor releases for different platforms. This information can be extremely important to web designers, who need to know which advanced features can be safely used without alienating a significant proportion of the web server's audience. The nature of the grouping can be changed using the Top User Agents Report: Patterns (useragentgroups) option. For more information about this report and the many ways it can be customized, see the Chart Top Web Browsers (useragents) option.

Now, move on to the Top Operating Systems report. Click on Top Operating Systems in the navigation frame to display this report.

The Top Operating Systems report provides a ranking of the operating systems, such as Windows 95, Macintosh, and the X Window System (Unix and relatives), that were most often used by visitors to your web server. Note that all forms of each major operating system are conveniently grouped together. This allows you to clearly distinguish Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, MacOS, and so forth without sorting through many individual minor releases of different platforms. The nature of the grouping can be changed using the Top Operating Systems Report: Patterns (osgroups) option. For more information about this report and the many ways it can be customized, see the Chart Top Operating Systems (os) option.

Next is the Referring URLs report. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Top Referring URLs to display this report.

The Referring URLs report lists the outside web pages that directed the most accesses to your site. Each entry in this report appears here because a link somewhere on that page points to a page on your web server. This report can reveal a great deal of information about the way your site is viewed by the outside world. For more information about this report, see the Chart Top Referring URLs (referrers) option.

After the Referring URLs report, we move on to the Referring Sites report. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Top Referring Sites to display this report.

The Referring Sites report is slightly different from the Referring URLs report. All references generated by different pages on a single site are accumulated as a single figure. This allows you to easily sort through the noise of individual referring pages to determine which websites are driving the most traffic to your server as a whole. For more information about this report, see the Chart Top Referring Sites (referringsites) option.

Next, we move on to the Referring URLs by Document report. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Referring URLs by Document to display this report. Note that this report appears in a separate window. This is done to minimize the time that must be spent reformatting this page each time you choose to "drill down" to it by clicking on a [Referrers] link in one of the other reports. For best results, keep this window open.

The Referring URLs by Document report is large because it lists the external pages which linked to every page on your web server. This feature allows you to discover the source of outside interest in any page on your site. However, because this report is large, some users choose to turn it off. The report is presented in a simple way to avoid the considerable delay caused by formatting tables in most web browsers. For more information about this report, see the Chart Top Referring URLs by Document (referrersbydocument) option.

Now, let's look at the Referring URLs by Document Not Found report. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Referring URLs by Document Not Found to display this report. Note that this report appears in a separate window.

The Referring URLs by Document Not Found report lists the external pages which linked to pages that do not actually exist on your web server. This feature allows you to discover the source of broken links to your site. For more information about this report, see the (referrersbydocumentnotfound) option.

The Search Keywords report is one of the most intriguing. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Search Keywords to display this report.

The Search Keywords report ranks the search phrases which were most frequently used to reach your site via many different Internet search engines, such as Altavista(tm) and Lycos(tm). Wusage is aware of a large number of search servers; this set can be edited using the Search Server Templates (searchservertemplates) option. For more information about this report and ways to customize it, see the Show Top Internet Search Keywords (searchkeywords) option.

Now move on to the The Search Servers report. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Search Servers to display this report.

The Search Servers report ranks the search servers which were most frequently used to reach your site. Wusage is aware of a large number of search servers; this set can be edited using the Search Server Templates (searchservertemplates) option. For more information about this report and ways to customize it, see the Show Top Internet Search Servers (searchservers) option.

The Search Keywords by Server report is next. Turn your attention to the navigation frame and click on Top Search Keywords by Server to display this report.

The Search Keywords by Server report ranks the search keywords which were used to reach your server from each of the many Internet search servers of which Wusage is aware. This report allows you to distinguish the habits of Altavista(tm) users, for instance, from those of Lycos(tm) users. Wusage is aware of a large number of search servers; this set can be edited using the Search Server Templates (searchservertemplates) option. For more information about this report and ways to customize it, see the Show Top Search Keywords By Search Server Used (searchkeywordsbyserver) option.

Now, let's look at the Documents Not Found report. Click on the Documents Not Found link in the navigation frame.

The Documents Not Found report ranks the most frequently requested documents that do not exist on your web server. This information is a helpful means of locating broken links, both on your own server and outside of it. For more information about this report and ways to customize it, see the Chart Top Documents Not Found (notfound) option.

The next report is the Example Visits report. Click on the Example Visits link in the navigation frame to display this report.

The Example Visits report gives us a glimpse into the typical experiences of visitors to the site. Each example visit shown is a complete list of the steps that were followed, from one document to the next, by a particular visitor. The examples are chosen at random, from the many different paths that were followed and visitors who chose to follow them. Note that visitors are identified using as much information as possible; if your web server logs feature site addresses, web browser information, operating system information, authorized user names, and user-identifying "cookies," then all of these are used as part of the visitor ID. For more information about this report and ways to customize it, see the How Many Examples? (examplevisits) option.

Now, move on to the Top Trails Followed report. Click on the Top Trails Followed link in the navigation frame to display this report. A trail is a unique path among the documents on your web server, followed during one or more visits. This report ranks the most popular trails that met a minimum standard of length. This report, together with the Example Visits, Entry Pages and Exit Pages reports, is a useful source of information about the habits of typical visits to your web server. For more information about this report, including information about how to customize it, see the Chart Top Trails (trails) option.

Last but not least, consider the Trails With Documents of Interest report. To display this report, click on the Trails With Documents of Interest link in the navigation frame.

This report is similar to the Top Trails Followed report. However, this report lists only trails that include at least one document matching one of the Patterns and Regular Expressions specified through the Top Trails-With-Certain-Documents Report: Patterns (trailswith) option. By default, Wusage does not configure any patterns for use with this report, so the report you see will most likely be blank until you add patterns of your own. For more information about this report, including information about how to customize it, see the Chart Top Trails (trails) option.

Conclusion

This concludes a brief tour of the reports generated by wusage. Many configuration options are available to change, customize and elaborate upon the reports you have seen, and we invite you to examine the topical configuration editor reference.
Previous: Working With Wusage: Generating Statistics
Next: Receiving Reports by Email
Table of Contents
Topical Configuration Editor Reference
Alphabetical Configuration Editor Reference
Alphabetical Configuration File Reference
Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

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