Terms and definitions

Agent: See User Agent

Arguments: A URL can optionally contain a question mark, and the portion of the URL to the right of the question mark is often referred to as the query string, search argument, URI query, or as the CGI argument. This portion is traditionally used to pass information to a CGI program for interpretation.

Browser: See Web Browser

Bytes: Bytes may appear as Bytes, KBytes (1,024 bytes), MBytes (1,048,576 bytes), GigaBytes (1,073,741,824), TeraBytes (about 1,099,511,000,000 bytes), or PetaBytes (about 1,125,899,900,000,000 bytes). Indicates the number of bytes of data transferred during the indicated time period or in response to requests that correspond to the current report entry. This total does not incude data sent as part of the HTTP headers.

Code: See Result Code

Cookie: An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in the user's web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as authorization) or to record the user's browsing activity. They can also be used to remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names, addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers. This information can be updated with each visit.

DNS: The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate to The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

DNS Lookup: the process of resolving an IP address (ie to a host name (ie example.net). DNS names are registered with the global name server. Most web servers can be configured to do DNS lookups on the IP address of incoming requests, but is more efficient to not have the web server do it. Either the web server or Summary can do the lookups. Someone must do the lookups if you want the Countries and Domains reports to work. If the Domains report is empty, it could be that DNS lookups are turned off both in the server and in Summary.

Domain: the part of the URL that identifies the sponsoring organization (for instance cnn or espn) and the type of sponsor (.com for commercial or .edu for educational). In Summary the domain name is considered to be the rightmost two or three segments of the name. Summary decides how many segments to use, in an attempt to make the domain name identify a company or organization. More segments might typically refer to a single computer, fewer to a country. Summary uses three segments when it suspects that two segments are indicating a country and for aol.com.

Download: A request for a file that is stored or decoded into a file in the visitor's file system, as opposed to being displayed on the screen as part of a web page. Summary uses the file name extension to determine if a request is a download.

Enter Point: The first requested as part of a visit. This is the point where a visitor enters your site.

Error: A request which resulted in an error code being sent to the browser. The most common error is code 404 - File Not Found. This usualy occurs when a request is mistyped. There are also many other possible causes of errors. Any HTTP result code, 400 or higher, is treated as an error.

Exit Point: The last non-graphic requested as part of a visit.

Extension: See File Type

File Extension: See File Type

File Type: in the name of the file, the suffix that describes the file type. .gif and .jpg are extensions for image files; .htm or .html are Web page extensions.

FTP: The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network. FTP is built on a client-server model architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. For example, you would use an FTP to upload your webpage from where you built it (like your computer at home) to a website (like this one) so that all of your friends and neighbors can look at it.

Group: A group is a set of requests that you define used in the calculation of visit values.

Hit, Request: Each time a Web server sends a file to a browser, it is recorded in the server log file as a "hit." Hits are generated for every element of a requested page (including graphics, text and interactive items). If a page containing two graphics is viewed by a user, three hits will be recorded - one for the page itself and one for each graphic. Webmasters use hits to measure their server's workload. Because page designs vary greatly, hits are a poor guide for traffic measurement.

Host: An Internet host used to be a single machine connected to the Internet (which meant it had a unique IP address).

HTTP: The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web., a standard method of transferring data between a Web server and a Web browser.

HTTPS: HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer. The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.

IP: The Internet Protocol (IP) part of TCP/IP is the principal communications protocol in the Internet is used to route a data packet from its source to its destination.

IP Address: An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. Every system connected to the Internet has a unique IP address, which consists of a number in the format A.B.C.D, where each of the four sections is a decimal number from 0 to 255. Most people use Domain Names instead, and the network and the Domain Name Servers handle the resolution between Domain Names and IP addresses. With virtual hosting, a single machine can act like multiple machines (with multiple domain names and IP addresses).

Keywords: Summary attempts to extract the search string used by a visitor at a major search engine to find your site. This information is extracted from the referrer. Each word of the search phrase is counted separately. A word that appears twice will be counted two times.

Log Analyzer: Log analysis software is a kind of analytics software that parses a raw log file from a web server, proxy server, media server etc., and based on the values contained in the log file, derives indicators about who, when, and how a server is visited. Log analysis can help to streamline, optimize, troubleshoot, and error-proof the servers.

Log File: A file created by a Web server, Proxy server or Media server etc. that contains all of the access information regarding the activity on that server.

Media server: A media server refers either to a dedicated computer appliance or to a specialized application software, ranging from an enterprise class machine providing video on demand, to, more commonly, a small personal computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage) for the home, dedicated for storing various digital media (meaning digital videos/movies, audio/music, and picture files).

Method: Each request contains a method. The most common method is "GET", which means simply get the requested item. A "HEAD" request means to get information about the item, such as size and last date modified. A browser will often keep copies of items in their cache and then use a "HEAD" method to check if the item has been modified since it was put in the cache.

ODBC: Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a widely accepted application programming interface (API) for database access. ODBC provides a standardized set of rules for getting information to and from a database. An ODBC driver is a software interface that accepts ODBC standard queries and then passes them through to the specific application, modifying where necessary to account for application specific database structure and format.

Operating system: An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Name OS is derived from the agent string and suffers some of the same "lying" issues that it does (see user agent, above).

Page: A request for a web page. Summary uses the file name extension to determine if a request is for a page.

Page Views: A hit to any file that is classified as a Page. Contrast with Hit, which counts files of every type.

Path: A sequence of requests for non-graphics in a single visit. Summary only keeps track of the first three requests, the last request, and whether there were more than four requests in the path or not.

Plugin: An add-on for the visitors browser that allows the browser to display additional types of content.

Protocol: The Internet Protocol is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet. Most commonly HTTP/1.1, or HTTP/1.0 (indicating different revisions of the HTTP specification).

Proxy Server: In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server and the proxy server evaluates the request as a way to simplify and control its complexity. Today, most proxies are web proxies, facilitating access to content on the World Wide Web and providing anonymity.

Range: A range of values for the quantity in question, for which a number of occurrences will be reported. For example, in the Hits per Visit report a range of "8-15" indicates all visits with between eight and fifteen hits inclusive. The "Count" column then shows how many visits were in that range.

Region: A region of the Country. For example, California, United States or Greater London, United Kingdom.

Referrer: The web browser generally provides the most recent previous URL when making a request; this is called the referrer. There are two major kinds of referrers. Each graphic on a page will show that page as its referrer. When a visitor clicks on a link that points to a page at your site, the URL of the external page containing the link is sent as the referrer.

The referrer information is not always included in the log file.

Request: When you type a URL into a web browser, it sends a request for the item named by that URL to the server. Request can mean the entire request or specifically the name of the item contained in the request.

Relative URL: The Internet address of a page or other World Wide Web resource relative to the Internet address of the current page. A relative URL gives the path from the current page to the destination page or resource.

Result Code: The HTTP result code returned by the server. Common codes include 200 - OK (everything went fine) and 404 - Content Not Found.

Robot: See Spiders

Robot.txt: The robots exclusion standard, standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize web sites.

Search Engine: A search engine is a tool that helps you search for particular topics on the Internet. Many search engines use different search methods and thus achieve different results. Some search engines are specialized and focus on very specific areas such as education or law. For example, Google, Bing or Yandex.

Search Engine Robot: See Spiders

Search Word: See Keywords

Server: A specific physical server, ie the machine the server software is running on. The server may be determined by a field in the log files or by the name of the directory/folder containing the log file.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a TCP/IP protocol used in sending and receiving e-mail. First defined by RFC 821 in 1982. Client applications mail applications typically use SMTP only for sending messages to a mail server for relaying. For retrieving messages, user client usually use either IMAP or POP3 protocols.

Spiders: A Spiders (or "bots", "Web crawler", "Web robots") is an Internet bot which systematically browses the World Wide Web, typically for the purpose of Web indexing (web spidering). Web search engines and some other sites use Web crawling or spidering software to update their web content or indices of others sites' web content.

Time zone: Is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Most of the time zones on land are offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by a whole number of hours (UTC-12 to UTC+14), but a few zones are offset by 30 or 45 minutes. Most World Wide Web servers record hits or requests in local time where the server is located. Microsoft IIS servers use GMT by default.

Top Level Domain: The last component of a domain name. For example the domain "example.net" has a top level domain of "net". There are many two letter "country code" top level domains, and only a few longer ones. There is currently a movement to increase the number of longer, non-country, domains.

Unique Hosts: The number of distinct IP addresses and host names making requests. This may be used as a rough estimate of the number of distinct people accessing your site, even though it does not exactly correspond to people. There are two major reasons why this number does not directly count people, and some other minor ones. Some accesses are made through proxy servers or NAT gateways, machines that have a single IP address but may be in use by multiple people. AOL and some of the other large service providers always route requests through proxy servers. Dial-up connections usually have a different IP address each time you dial-up, so a single person accessing your site over the course of several different dial-up sessions will have several different IP addresses.

URL: Universal Resource Locator is a means of identifying an exact location on the Internet. For example, http://www.statspire.com/ is the URL which defines the use of HTTP to access the Web page default.htm in the /html/info/ directory on the Statspire Software website. As the previous example shows, a URL is comprised of four parts: Protocol Type (HTTP), Machine Name (statspire.com), Directory Path (/html/info/), and File Name (default.htm).

User: The server can be configured to require authorization, the entry of a user name and password, to access a page. The Auth. User is simply the string typed into the name field of the authorization dialog. This name is not present for pages which are freely accessible and does not necessarily have anything to do with the actual name of the person making the request.

Visitors: A visitor is a host that has made at least 1 hit on 1 page of your web site during the current period. If this host make several visits during this period, it is counted only once. A Visitor is a construct designed to come as close as possible to defining the number of actual, distinct people who visited a website. If it is possible, for definition of Visitors employ cookies to maintain tallies of distinct visitors. The period shown by Log Analytics Sense reports is by default the current 30 min.

User Agent: The fields in an extended Web server log file indicating the browser and operating system. This allows the web site to customize content for the capabilities of a particular device, but also raises privacy issues.

Web browser: A web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. The name of the web browser used to make the request. This is derived from the agent string, and suffers some of the same "lying" issues that it does (see user agent, above). Summary decodes the all of the standard methods of partially hiding the identity of the browser. The major web browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari.

Web server: A web server is a computer system that processes requests via HTTP, the basic network protocol used to distribute information on the World Wide Web. The term can refer to the entire system, or specifically to the software that accepts and supervises the HTTP requests. Apache, IIS and Nginx are the most used web servers on the Internet.

Whois: WHOIS (pronounced as the phrase who is) is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information.