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I have searched Webmasterworld on this subject and read this thread:
I thought it would be great to update the situation. It seems a lot has changed in this market.
What would be the best choice for a webmaster who want to analyse the logs of several customer's websites?
Would it be best to download their logs and analyse them locally? What would be the best choice(s) today?
Other 'ready to go' packages with all the functionalities required by a SEO webmaster are still welcome. A reasonable price for the software would be OK.
- FastStats (mach5software)
Fast stats really is fast. That's important if you have huge log files. Unfortunatly, if you do have huge log files (lets say 100meg+) you are going to have to have a pretty beefy system to deal with it.
WebTrends. Somewhat of a defacto standard at the corporate level. I find the interface confusing and the program slow. Reports are pretty and will pass muster with any client, but that's were the good stuff ends. Not real effective for the smaller sites and configuring it correctly to do what you want, can take days.
Analog. Barebones reporting of the big picture. Certainly does some things as well as the previous two. Downside is the speed. While faststats can dice the logs here in 15seconds, analog runs about 5 mins. Very hard to configure (no perty gui here) - but that's part of the fun. Some of the graphic addons are interesting too. Analog works good if you have many sites to generate reports for since you can easily script it.
SawMill. I'd not used it for over a year. I just dl'd a copy and it won't run. All I get is a dialog with my router address on it - not good.
I aim to note all the IP's of spiders.....weed out files requested that are not .htm .asp etc....and then get some macros/update queries for specifics about each page frequented/visitor movements etc.
The data is there.....I guess its just a matter of filtering out the junk you dont need and get that vital info you need. An example is the IP of the server, name of the server etc in the logs I have been getting....useless- so they are deleted.
Hopefullly I will get more exact stats working with "the lowest common denominator"
When FastStats reports something odd and I want a barebones look into my logs, I also use Windows Grep to get up close and personal with the individual lines in the logs.
I don't give clients the bare reports...much too geeky in most cases. What I do is ask them what their business questions are in ordinary English, and then I work to translate those questions into a configuration that will get close to what they're asking.
Fast Stats is indeed very fast so good for running regular reports, but does have it's limitations.
Web Trends is good for sending reports to clients especially if you stick that glossary at the end and it's also beneficial to be able to send the report as a doc as well as html.
We are big fans of Net Tracker. It can be configured to work on your server so if you host lots of sites you can upsell the package and enterprise licences come down dramtically in price as you go up in volume.
What I really like about them though is the support. Bearing in mind I'm a bit of a simpleton when it comes to certain technical skills the tech support guys phone me from the States (I'm in the UK) and will deal with every conceivable issue, help customise reports, deal with all the "can i do this, or that" questions, it's drillable and because it runs off the server the reports are always ready to view. If you rotate your log files every few minutes it can be virtually real time, or you can log on in the morning like I do and check overnight results.
It works on Linux, Windows pretty much any platform.
I understand there is a new version coming out real soon too.
But it's not free..... but then nothing worthwhile ever is apart from Webmaster World!)
They have a free "Lite" version which gives a basic picture and should be enough for people starting out in logs.
It is reasonably configurable, free, multilingual, accurate, shows robot visits, is regularly updated, and can be configured NOT to show Browsers used, and all the other techi stuff that is of interest only every 6 months, if updating a site for the latest demographics etc.
It took me a day to install, configure and test Analog + Report Magic. It's a good tool. However, although I remember most of my DOS commands and command line programming, the time it takes to reconfigure this for each site is too much asked for me. And I expected more details regarding referrers, search engines and search phrases. Maybe it's there, but I would prefer not to spend a week at learning and configuring a tool. Of course, it's free, so no complain!
> Log analysis tools for webmasters of several sites?
Almost forgot, you can set up 5 profiles (URL's) within your account for the above pricing. Each profile thereafter is $2.00 per month. Keep in mind that the Page Views applies to all profiles, its not 50,000 per profile. You can also set up access for your clients and the program will automatically send them a username and login, its really cool!