What is Web Analytics (Web Log Analysis) – Web Log Analysis is the process concerned with the collection, measurement, analysis & reporting of user traffic insights for the purpose of understanding the workload across the website. In short Web Log Analysis is about gathering comprehensive data on end user access patterns, access times, traffic insights of customers/users accessing the system from different parts of the world, navigation pattern across the application, typical session duration, browsers used, platform used, etc. Web Log Analysis helps with obtaining a strong understanding of the usage profile of the entire web application. The web application could be an internally hosted application or an externally hosted application i.e. hosted on the internet for anyone to access.apache_web_logs

Analysis of Web Site Statistics: There are two main methods for performing website analytics – Web log file analysis and Script-based analysis. Every time a user visits a website, the web server has the ability to record all the relevant information about the user access request. This typically includes the time of access, types of files accessed & downloaded, browser used, operating system used, geographic location, IP address, bandwidth used, referring websites, HTTP response codes, Page Views, page processing time, search spiders, etc. All of this data is generally stored by the web server in a log files. Web log analyzers can then be used to interpret the data stored within the log files to obtain meaningful insights & stores them in a database to generate reports on demand. There are a few different Web Log File formats but some of the most common ones are – Apache log file formats like NCSA combined/XLF/ELF log format or common/CLF log format, IIS log file format like W3C log format, etc.MP-Google-Analytics-Abandonment

Alternatively, Script based analyzers use a JavaScript based tracking code to be added on every webpage in the website that needs to be included in the web analytics. This tracking code places a cookie on the visitor’s computer/device to track the webpage usage & captures the user access details. Java Script based analyzers e.g. Google Analytics, sends data for all of the metrics (outlined above) to a remote server generally in an asynchronous fashion ( to avoid penalizing end user performance).

Here’s a list of all the relevant tools : Link

Challenges: It’s possible that the traffic data reported by Log Analyzer tools are higher as they process the log file data from Web server which tracks every user interaction with the website whereas Script based Analyzers record data from pages that have JavaScript tracking enabled & captures user details who use cookie/JavaScript enabled browsers (so they rarely track 100% of visitors). There’s no right or wrong way or obtaining Web Site Usage statistics. We would recommend using a combination of the above techniques.

Ramya Ramalinga Moorthy (LinkedIn) is a Performance Architect with over 12 years of experience on Performance Testing with Ramyastrong understanding of Performance Engineering as a discipline. Ramya has great passion for learning and experimentation. She has been inspired by the work of Scott Barber, Dr. Daniel Menasce & Dr. Neil Gunther. Ramya is currently placed out of Bangalore, India & in her current role, she works closely with clients providing them the technology consulting from a Performance Engineering standpoint. Her area of interests includes training / mentoring apart from technical focus areas like capacity planning/sizing, performance modeling & workload modeling.

Thank You For Visiting & See You Soon

Practical Performance Analyst - NewsLetter

Signup and Stay In Touch

Signup to the Mailing List here at Practical Performance Analyst and Stay In Touch. We promise not to SPAM you.