How to view your website metrics on NOVA

SkyStra
Jul 6, 2020

Statistics are a great way to gauge your website traffic and learn more about your visitors. We provide an advanced statistics tool called AWStats where you can get website metrics. 

Awstats is exceptionally accurate as it analyzes server log files to produce various reports such as the number of visitors, duration, website referrals, most viewed pages, and so on. In addition to raw numbers, AWStats also provides pretty nice graphs and charts for certain metrics.

Let’s start!

Login into your NOVA Client Area, and under Your Active Services section, click on the cPanel icon next to your service.

Once in cPanel, click the Awstats icon under the Metrics section:

Locate your website, and make sure you click the View link next to the (SSL) version:
Side note – our system automatically installs an SSL on your website once your domain points to our Cloud. If for any reason you notice the padlock not showing, follow these instructions to redirect all of your traffic to HTTPS, which is essentially the SSL version of your site.

The Awstats page will load up with a lot of useful information about your website traffic. 

It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but don’t worry – we’ll explain each section in this article.

Links in the left frame allow you to jump to different options instead of manually scrolling to the page if you’re looking for specific information, while the detailed information can be found in the middle section of the page.

Date section

You can see when your website statistics were last updated at the top of the page, and you can choose a different report period if needed:

Summary section

Next, we have a Summary section that shows pertinent traffic metrics about traffic for the period you’re looking at: 

  1. Reported Period (current month unless you manually change it)
  2. First and Last Visit to the website for the period selected 
  3. Number of unique visitors for the month
  4. Number of total visits to the site, and how many visits per unique visitor on average
  5. Number of pages loaded during the visits, and how many pages per visit on average
  6. Number of hits (page requests), and how many hits per visit on average
  7. Total bandwidth used, and how much bandwidth was consumed per visit on average

Quick definitions

Unique visitor – a person who visits your website at least once during the reporting period. Each visitor is only counted once.

Visits – a session on your website, each time someone loads the page.

Pages – a number of different pages accessed by your visitors.

Hits (page requests) – any files that were requested on your website, including Pages.

Bandwidth – a total number of bytes for any content downloaded from your website (pages, images, files).

Monthly History section

Next is the Monthly History graph that shows each of the sections above for the entire calendar year. This helps you track traffic trends during the whole year to see if there have been positive or negative shifts.

Here you’ll find the following information:

  1. Month
  2. Total unique visitors for the month 
  3. Total number of visits for the month Total page loads for the month 
  4. Total page requests (hits) for the month 
  5. Total bandwidth consumed for the month 

You can also find totals for each month of the year at the bottom of the table.

Days of month section

Next, we have a Days of month graph that shows traffic for each day of the month and provides information on the number of visits, pages, hits (page requests), and bandwidth used.

This allows you to track daily trends, by checking the visitor traffic every day, so you can tell if you have a spike or a dip in the traffic.

Days of week section

The days of week section shows cumulative traffic for each day of the week:

This can help you determine the week’s peak days for visitors, so you can schedule your posts, news, updates, etc. to reach most visitors. You can also plan downtime better and perform maintenance on least visited days.

Hours section

The Hours section provides information on the total number of pages, hits, and bandwidth for each hour in the day. The report starts from midnight (00) to 23 (11 PM server time). This is also perfect for planning maintenance and updates you want to run on your site, as you can see when your visitors are normally not checking your site so you plan around the least disruptive times possible. 

Geographic section

Information under the geographic section uses several metrics to explain who visited your site and from where.

Locales help you determine where your visitors regions are from during the month you selected to view metrics for. 

You can see where your biggest audience is from, and that can help tailor your website content or ads to new locales and regions.

Maybe you have a big following in Canada and never knew it!

By default, Awstats show the top 25 locales, but you can click the Full list link in the header of the section to see detailed information.

Detailed information would include the locale that visited the website, the number of pages, hits, and bandwidth used. In addition to that, you can find a bar graph that shows a comparison between all these.

IP address section

The IP address section shows the top 25 unique visitors for the selected month and various other metrics:

  1. The IP address of the individual visitor
  2. Number of pages
  3. Number of hits (page requests)
  4. Amount of bandwidth consumed
  5. Time of last visit 

In the header of the section, you’ll find additional links to show the full list of unique visitors, sort the table for the last visit option, or show that only the visitors’ IP address couldn’t be resolved.

You can skip the Authenticated users section, as it isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. It shows only the authenticated users on your website and various metrics such as the number of pages, hits, bandwidth, and the date of the last visit.

Robots/Spiders section

The Robots/Spiders section provides information on all robots, spiders, and crawlers that visited your website. Search engines use automated programs (crawlers, spiders, robots) to explore the internet and collect all kinds of information about the site. It’s important to know what robots visit your website to customize and prioritize the search engine optimization for your website.

Navigation section

This section provides information on which pages your visitors checked, how they visited them, and how long they stayed on your website. Pretty useful metrics.

The Visits duration section shows how much time visitors spent time on your website. It shows information in intervals, from 0 seconds to 1+ hours. You can use this information to implement creative ways for your visitors to stay longer on your website by providing engaging content, contests, polls, pop ups, deals, discounts, etc.

File type and Downloads section

The File type and Downloads sections offer information on which file type (extension) was accessed most often, and if you have file downloads available – it lists them there. We rarely use these sections, and you most likely won’t either.

Pages-URL section

The Pages-URL section shows the most Viewed Pages on your site. It can help define which pages need to be optimized/updated more often to engage your visitors. The table also shows the full list of all pages and their visitors. In addition to that, you can sort by which pages are the first viewed (entry), or last viewed (exit) on your site.

In the table, you’ll find:

  1. The page URL
  2. How often the page was viewed
  3. The average size of the page requests response
  4. How many times the page was first viewed
  5. How many times the page was last viewed
  6. A bar graph that compares the viewed, average size, entry, and exit data 

The next two sections are Operating Systems and Browsers, and you can find your visitors operating system and browser they used to access your website there. This isn’t very useful nowadays, as websites are usually optimized for all modern browsers equally.

Connect to site from section

The Connect to site from section displays all referrers and their origin that referred to your website. It basically shows how well your SEO is working and how many people arrive via links from external sites.

It can be quite useful if you have any advertisements, affiliate links, or sales deals on other websites. If you’ve been running a backlinking strategy, this is a good place to grab metrics and see if it’s working or not! 

You can see how much traffic those ads, sites, and affiliates generate to determine if the campaign was successful.

Search and Miscellaneous sections

The Search and Miscellaneous sections display various less-relevant information. If you optimize your website for key phrases and keywords, you’ll find that information here. 

HTTP Status codes section

Lastly, we have an HTTP Status codes section, which can be quite handy at times. It shows a table with various most used HTTP codes and if they exist on your website. In this article, we’ll focus on a 404 HTTP status code that means that the page browser tried to access doesn’t exist. This isn’t good for any website as you don’t want your users to end up a non-existing page, so you can click on the 404 number in the first column and see a list of pages that are no longer available and fix them:

Awstats is pretty straightforward stuff when it comes to metrics. There are no bells and whistles, however, the raw data helps tremendously to learn more about your website visitors, understand where the traffic is coming from and ultimately help you better optimize your traffic and tailor your site to what it wants!