Website statistics. Awstats and Adsense.

After years of relaying on Awstats for my web site statistics I also added Google Analytics. The final push came from adding Adsense. If I already have many external javascripts running on every page of my site, then one more makes no real difference.  What is the difference between Awstats and google analytics then? On both of them we get number of visits, unique visitors, pageviews, source countries (Awstats needs GeoIP plugin or similar), list of hosts visiting, visits duration, top pages on site, operating systems, browsers, source by search engine and external link, search keywords and I probably overlooked something. Basic stats are very similar. The results are not. As Awstats reads data from web server log files, it can also count direct links to files, and also bandwidth, which is inaccessible to Google Analytics. Those counters, hits and bandwidth are very important from server administration point of view.  Also Awstats provides graphs by days of week and hours, which are somewhat useful. For downtime planning for example. Awstats stops there unfortunately.  Google Analytics adds some more metrics. Bounce rate is one of more interesting ones. Of course, as Google has all the data on its search engine usage, it has some elaborate data there.There is more. A lot more. Also google has its webmaster tools. Those are worth looking at too.

What website statistics package is better? Awstats is more geared towards website administrators and Adsense towards content management. Each has its unique features and usages. I’ll keep my custom Awstats scripts but I tend to look at Adsense more and more.


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