In this article, we will talk about AWStats and Google Analytics and how they affect you and/or your business.

Why even compare them?

If you strip away all the features, they both do roughly the same thing; track visitors as they visit your website. However, they show and analyze the data in different ways.

Why does Google Analytics and AWStats report different numbers?

There is a number of reasons the results may be different. One of the major reasons is because Google Analytics uses JavaScript to report the tracking information. Because some visitors may have JavaScript disabled, those visitors may not be reported by Google Analytics.

Also, “visitors” is a term that AWStats uses differently than Google Analytics. Because of this, the numbers may also appear to be different between the two systems. AWStats pulls visitors directly from the server logs and is the most accurate, while Google Analytics is very good at business analytics.

What is the best option for me?

This depends on what you are looking to get from your logs. If you are a person looking for more detailed information about the network, and bandwidth usage, AWStats is your best bet. However, if you are more focused on the business aspect of your website and how to grow your company, Google Analytics gives you much better information regarding the demographics, behavior and traffic sources for your visitors.

In conclusion

If you are a business looking for detailed information about how your visitors behave on your website, we highly recommend that you look into Google Analytics. If you don’t need detailed demographics about your visitors and just want to track basic page views and bandwidth, AWStats may be all you need.

Both solutions are free, and AWStats comes enabled on all of our hosting products. If you are interested in trying Google Analytics on your website, please see our other articles on the subject by clicking here.