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Access Logs

The server log refers to a single or multiple log files which can be created automatically and maintained by servers and which contain the list of activities that it has performed. A common instance of a web server log is one that maintains the history of the pages requested. The access log refers to the list of all such requests for individual files which viewers may have requested from any website. Such files will typically include HTML files, their graphic images as well as other associated files that might have been sent. This access log is also called raw data and can be subjected to analysis or summarized by other programs. So, access logs will basically inform you about the numbers of visitors going to a site’s home page for the first time, where these viewers have originated from such as their server’s domain name, how many requests have been made for each of the pages on the site, how frequently the pages have been used in terms of their daily, weekly and seasonal patterns.

The web server log basically keeps the history of page requests. Information about any request such as the client IP address, pages requested, date and time of the request, bytes served, HTTP codes etc are added to these files. Such information may be combined to form one file or they can be separated into separate logs like the access logs, referred logs and error logs. Server logs will not carry user-specific data. They are also accessible to webmasters only or those with administrative access. Analyzing such logs helps you examine the traffic patterns during different times of the day or week. This helps to improve sales strategies and administer the site efficiently because these will work as powerful marketing tools. So, marketing departments of organizations need to be trained to operate these tools.

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