What are log files, and how do I use them?
We've prepared a separate help topic that describes the basics of log files and how FastStats can help you use them.
I get an error from FastStats that says there is no referrer information. How to I get FastStats to recognize my referrer information?
If you are receiving this error and are not using an Apache server, there is little you can do, other than to try to get your Web Hosting provider or Webmaster to switch your log files into Combined Log File format. The referrer information is simply not in the log file.
Apache web servers often store the log file data in separate files, generally called 'access.log', 'agent.log', and 'referer.log'. You must configure FastStats to recognize these files. To do this, simply edit your report and check the "Apache multiple file format" button (on the second page of the report wizard). You can read more about configuring the Apache web server for use with FastStats.
FastStats reports that my IIS log files are unrecognized. How do I fix this?
You can read more information about configuring IIS.
Is there a way to use report filters?
Yes. This is new to version 2.1. Here is a tutorial on using filters.
Is there any way I can automatically run a report from the command line?
FastStats can automatically run a report from the command line. This feature is useful if you are using scheduling software; you can configure FastStats to download, analyze, and export your log files every day at, say, midnight.
To use this feature, simply type the following:
FastStats.exe /AUTOREPORT "Report Name"
FastStats will automatically run your report. Note that if the report name is enclosed in quotation marks ö you should include quotation marks too. The "Report Name" should be the name of the report as listed in the Report List dialog. FastStats will not close after the report has been processed.
The times reported in my log file are off by several hours. How do I adjust them?
It is common for the time data in your log files to be recorded in an inappropriate time zone. To correct this, FastStats allows you
to add or subtract an offset to the hour recorded in the log file. This problem is common if a thirty party hosts your web site; the third partyâs servers may be located on the opposite side of the country, and in a completely different time zone. You can adjust the offset to any value between -12 and 12. The best way to determine the offset for your log files is to examine the times recorded near the beginning of your log file. If you know what time your web-hosting provider generates the log files, then you can just subtract to determine the offset. It may take some experimentation. Note that some servers record their log files in GMT time (which is 5-8 hours off times in the continental US).
To change the offset, go to the Report menu and choose Options.
The dates reported in my log files are grossly incorrect. I think FastStats might be confusing the day and month. How do I fix it?
You should check your log files; the time data may be written in European (DD-MM-YY) format. FastStats, by default, reads log files in United States (MM-DD-YY) date format.
To change the offset, go to the Report menu and choose Options. Make sure "All log files are in European date format" is checked. The changes will take effect when the report is regenerated.
What are the various directories that have been created in my FastStats directory?
If you have told FastStats to download your log files from an FTP server, FastStats will cache the log files that have already been downloaded onto the hard drive. The log files (both compressed and uncompressed, if applicable) are stored in subdirectories of the main FastStats directory. The name of the subdirectory corresponds to the name of the report the log files are from.
Why can't I edit Word Documents exported by FastStats?
FastStats uses the document protection feature of Word to prevent exported Word Documents from being inadvertently modified. To unprotect the document and allow the document to be modified click the Tools menu in Word and choose Unprotect Document.
Analyzing only a Certain Range of Dates
Often, you only want to analyze, say, the current month of log files. There are several ways to do this:
Often, the filename of a log file includes the date in it. You can use wildcards in FastStats to only analyze a certain month. Take, for example, a directory that contained the following log files:
Note that the first two digits after 'ex' seem to contain the month, the second group of two digits contain the day name, and the third group of two digits contain the year. To include only log files from the month of October, you would tell FastStats to analyze log files that matched the wildcard ex10*99.log. Similarly, you can analyze the first 10 days of October by using the following wildcard: ex100?99.log. This wildcard will match only the days of the month whose first digit is a zero (i.e. October 1st through 9th).
This is the fastest way to include only certain dates, as FastStats can get information about the information inside the log file by only looking at its filename (and not reading in the contents). However, this method is not very flexible.
FastStats lets you filter by a range of dates. You should tell FastStats to analyze all of the log files, but you should click the 'Filter' tab while editing a report. Add a filter for the 'Range of Dates' you desire.
How Do I Move FastStats To Another Computer?
There are several stages of the transfer:
Downloading FastStats onto the New Computer
You should download and install FastStats onto your new computer. You can download the latest version of FastStats.
Copy the Reverse DNS Data Files
FastStats 2.0 and later store information on IP addresses they have looked up in a file called reversedns.dat. This file is always created in the same directory as the FastStats.exe file. Unless you changed the installation directory, both the FastStats.exe file and your reversedns.dat file should be stored in C:\Program Files\Mach5 Software\FastStats (click here to automatically go to that directory on your hard drive). You should copy the reversedns.dat file to the FastStats directory on your new computer.
Copy Your Existing Reports
This is the most complicated step. Future versions of FastStats will be able to do this step automatically. This step is recommended only for advanced users.
FastStats stores information about your reports in the Windows Registry. You can access the registry by clicking the Start button, clicking Run, and then typing "regedit". Press Enter. Then navigate the "keys" (they look like directories) on the left of the screen and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mach5 Software\FastStats\. Select the FastStats folder on the left. Go to the Registry menu and then click "Export Registry File". Tell regedit where to save the file. Make sure to end the file name in a .REG extension.
Copy the .REG file to your new computer and double-click on it. It should automatically run and restore all of your old FastStats reports and settings (including your registration code). If double-clicking on the .REG file gives you an error, you should load regedit on the new machine, click the Registry menu, and then choose "Import Registry File".
Can I Schedule FastStats to Automatically Generate Reports at, say, Midnight?
Yes, you can. Scheduling is not built into FastStats, but FastStats can be scheduled by other 3rd party programs. We recommend using the Windows Scheduler (available with Internet Explorer, we believe), and the Windows NT AT.EXE scheduler. Note: Mach5 Software cannot provide support for 3rd party scheduling programs.
You most likely want to export .HTML or .DOC reports to your hard drive or a FTP site. Here's how to set up a FastStats report so that it can be scheduled:
1. Start FastStats
2. Select the report you want to schedule. We will be modifying this report to automatically export a report -- you may want to click Copy Report and edit a copy of the report.
3. Click Edit Report.
4. Click the Export tab, select Automatically Export Report and then click the Export Options button.
5. Choose HTML
or Word and click Next. (CSV is generally not really
appropriate for automatic export).
6. Click Location.
7. Choose either
Save the report to my hard drive or Upload to a FTP server.
Most of the time, your web site is accessible via FTP -- by uploading
your file via FTP, you can often publish reports that are then accessible
over the web.
If you choose
"Save the report to my hard drive"
Click Browse and select a file to save the report to.
If you choose
"Upload to a FTP server"
Type in the name and path of the FTP server you want to upload
the files to. You should first type in the ftp server name, follow
it with a slash, and then enter the path you want to save the report
to, relative to the login directory. For example, you should enter
You must also
specify a username and password for the FTP server. If you would
like to log in anonymously, type ãAnonymousä as the username, and
enter your e-mail address in the password field. Note that on most
servers, an anonymous login will not enable you to upload files,
and FastStats may report an error.
FastStats can replace special characters in the filename with
the current day, hour, month, year, etc. FastStats recognizes the
following special characters:
24 hour format). From 0 to 23.
month. From 01 to 31.
century (i.e. 99)
with century (i.e. 1999)
Note that case
does matter. For example, %m is different from %M.
if you specified ãc:\reports\website-stats-%m-%d-%Y.htmlä, it would,
depending on the date, evaluate to something like: ãc:\reports\website-stats-02-14-1999.htmlä.
Tip: programmers may recognize this formatting from the strftime
function. Any valid formatting strftime string will work here.
8. Click Ok
until you are back to the main FastStats Report Picker screen.
your 3rd party scheduling tool to run the following:
FastStats.exe /AUTOREPORT "Report Name"
automatically run your report. Note that the report name is enclosed
in quotation marks ö you should include quotation marks too. The
"Report Name" should be the name of the report as listed
in the Report List dialog.
FastStats Show Visitor's Screen Resolutions?
No, it does
not. Many customers who ask us this question are using web counters
that do show this information. These web counters require you to
can then gather data about your visitor's screen resolutions and
not track screen resolutions for a variety of reasons:
is a log file analyzer, not a page counter. It can track requests
you get statistics for .GIF files or .EXE downloads).
slows the web browsing process down, commonly causes errors, and
is not universally supported by older browsers. Web page counters
or are running older web browsers.
- A record
must be inserted into the database for every hit on the web page.
Log files are written by the web server and are extremely fast.
- Most web
counters require that you place an image on your web page. This
is viewed by many people as unprofessional. We won't pass
judgment, but we'd like to note that neither Microsoft, Netscape,
or Yahoo have counters on their home pages! Your web server silently
and efficiently logs web server requests, which are then analyzed
Web Hosting Provider Doesn't Provide Log Files. Can I use FastStats?
you can, thanks to our partnerships with two excellent sites:
Webdesign - Check out the "Bennie Webdesign Stats
v2.1" listing at the bottom of the page. This is a Perl script
that generates log files.
Tracker - a tiny bit of code on your web page lets you
generate full-featured log files.
are free, and we encourage you to check out both web sites.