log file & analysis reports
When you host a web site with us, a log file is automatically generated for you. A new
entry is made to the log file whenever somebody accesses anything on your site. Each
line in the log file corresponds to a single access, and gives information such as the
date and time of the access, the IP address of the person surfing your site, the exact
item they are accessing, the URL of the page that directed them to the item they are
currently accessing, the browser they are using, etc.
This log can be used by you to gauge roughly how many people are accessing your
site, what the most popular items on your site are, where people are coming from and
how they got to your site, what search engines they used to find your site and the search
terms they used, etc.
However, the raw log file isn't a whole lot of good on its own - its just a huge
jumble of text! To really get a handle on what is going on, you need a log file
analyzer. There are many such programs out there that you can download to your
personal computer. You then need to download the log file and run it through the
program. The biggest problem with this method is that you are required to
download the log file before you can do anything with it. These log files can
get pretty big, so it can take a long time to download them! And of course you
need to have the spare hard drive space, etc.
An alternative that we provide is a web log analysis report right on our
site. Instead of you having to download the file and run the analysis on it,
our system does the analysis and stores the report for you to view in your
home directory. This is a service that we provide free of charge, but you do
need to contact us to have us enable it for your account if you are interested
in it. (We do this because the report will take up a little room in your
home directory, and also because it takes some time to crunch through the
analysis, so if you aren't interested in it, we won't waste our server time
or your disk space quota on something that won't be used.)
The report is generated from the log files which are in your home directory, so if
you delete them, the data contained in them won't be in the report. The reports
are generated automatically, once per week. (Every Saturday morning) The
report itself can be deleted after you read it, and it will just regenerate the
Raw log files
Your raw log files are contained in the "
wwwlogs" subdirectory of your home
directory. They are stored in subdirectories based on the year and month,
as well as the name of your domain. For example, if we are hosting "
for you, the web log for March of 2001 would be located at
wwwlogs/2001/03/yourcomain.com_access.log. There will also be a link to the
current month's log file in the "
wwwlogs subdirectory, based on the name
of your domain (i.e.
Web analysis reports
The web log analysis report is in the "
reports" subdirectory of "
though you will most likely want to view it using a web browser. To view your report, you
would use a URL such as the following:
(Substitute your actual usercode for the "
usercode" text in the above URL.) Appending "
/wwwlogs/reports" onto your domain name will also work.
When you go to that link, you will see a list of the reports available for you to view (which will usually be just one, unless we are hosting multiple domains for you). Clicking on the report you want to view will bring up a usercode/password box. Enter your usercode and password to view the report. Note: viewing the report in this fashion is over an unsecured link, so it is possible for your usercode and password to be "sniffed". To prevent this, we recommend you set up an SSH tunnel to
www.twistedbits.net and access your report through that. So, if you were to
set up a tunnel from your local machine, port 80 to port 80 of
the URL you would use to view your reports would be:
(Once again, substituting your actual usercode instead of the "
usercode" text in
the URL above.) Or you could set up the tunnel to port 80 of your domain name and use a URL
For information about how to set up an SSH tunnel,
Note: To view the report over a secure SSL connection without having to worry about
setting up an SSH tunnel, you can use a link like this:
(Once again, substitute your actual usercode for the "usercode" text in the URL above.)
If something on this page is not clear
or if you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail us at