Aug 012009

In early June, I signed up for a business class shared web host account package with a good provider that offers support for several main sites and cPanel for administrative requirements. Part of this package was a separate view of AWStats for each of my main domains and sub-domains available from cPanel, with fully parsed data for each site. Coming from a hosting provider that didn’t have the first clue on how to configure their servers, this was a great feature and worked well for my requirements.

Now, the only problem was that cPanel on my shared hosting account can only have one login, and my associate (okay, my brother) is the owner of another site on my account, I wanted to give him access to his statistics data on the account, and I don’t mind sharing my credentials with him, but I wanted to make it easier for him to get the data he wanted to see about his site. So I went searching for a package that can supplement AWStats with good statistical and analytical views, without the need to log into the cPanel account. After a short research session on Google, I came across JAWStats

What is JAWStats? (An excerpt from the website)

JAWStats is a free web statistics and analytics package. It reads log files created by the ever-popular AWStats web statistics software and outputs the information in its own format.

After reading about the features on the website, this little statistics package appeared to be just the thing I needed for the task. I downloaded it, uploaded it to my server, unpacked it into its own sub-domain folder, and had it configured and running in just a few minutes. The documentation the author provides on his website is easy to follow and setup is as easy as renaming the configuration template file and editing some variables in that file to customize your installation.

What does JAWStats offer?

The website doesn’t currently offer a definitive list of features, so I’ve compiled a short list below:

  • Uses AWStats data – No need to reprocess logs, just point it at the AWStats data location in the configuration.
  • Web 2.0 based interfaces.
  • On-demand stats updates – An interface with AWStats interactive update feature allows your site administrator to update their stats on demand (AWStats must have this feature enabled for it to work).
  • Multiple site support – It can be configured to use the data from one or more sites on your host with an easy way to switch between them. Also a multi-site overview add-on is available as a separate download.
  • Multiple language support.
  • Summary in header with last update date and time, visitor count, unique visitor count, and averages.
  • Month view of visitors, page views, hits, and bandwidth statistics including bar graphs and calendar views.
  • All Months view with monthly and yearly counts including a line graph.
  • Hours view that shows popular site hours including a line graph.
  • Browsers view with grouping of browser families or individual browser versions including a pie chart.
  • Countries view all countries, grouped by continent, or individual continents, including pie chart. (AWStats must be configured to use a country database to utilize this feature)
  • File types view including pie chart.
  • Operating systems view grouped by families or individual OS versions including pie chart.
  • Pages view with top page hits, top bandwidth pages, top entry, or top exit pages, including pie chart.
  • Referrers view with search engines, top 10, top 50, all referrers, or domains, including pie chart.
  • Spiders view showing all search engine spider traffic with pie chart.
  • Searches view with keywords, key phrases, keywords tag cloud, and key phrase tag cloud, with pie chart.
  • Session view with pie chart.
  • Page status view with file not found (404) list and pie chart.

MAWStats – The Next Step

Now, the JAWStats project hasn’t seen a release since late January, 2009 (0.7 beta), but it’s very stable and useful in its current version. If you want more functionality (as I did), there is a (temporary) fork of the project called MAWStats which is being actively updated by another developer with the hopes of merging the code back into the JAWStats base at some point. MAWStats offers a few cool new features that aren’t included in the current release of JAWStats. Below is a list of some of these added features:

  • Support for AWStats mail server statistics.
  • Cities view with several groupings and pie chart. (City database must be installed and configured in AWStats for this feature to work.)
  • Organizations view with pie chart. (Organizational database must be installed and configured in AWStats for this feature to work.)
  • Visitors page with pie chart.
  • Replaced Flash SWF graphics with Flot javascript graphics.
  • Customizable visitor descriptions.

As I said, the developer is actively working on this project and has been participating in the community discussion boards on the JAWStats website. The current version of MAWStats is 0.72 which includes the features I listed above, and the developer has plans for more features in the upcoming 0.8 release. I’ve been using the latest version for the past few days and it has been very stable, and the developer has been very receptive to requests and bug reports on the community discussion boards.

Overall, both JAWStats and MAWStats offer a very nice statistics and analytics package.

More Info:

JAWStats is free software, distributed under the MIT Licence and developed by Jon Combe.

MAWStats is free software, distributed under the MIT Licence and actively developed by ???? (goes by Asaf in the community forums).

 Posted by at 11:11 am