What is web-log analytics?

The web-log analytics is an alternative way of tracking website visitors. Unlike the most common method of using a JavaScript code installed on your website, it captures data from a log file stored on a web server.

Each log file contains information about a visitor and his or her session, and Piwik PRO can access this information. Here’s how the process looks like:

  1. A visitor comes to your website, and the browser sends a request to the web server to load the site.
  2. The web server stores this information in its log files.
  3. The logs are transferred to the server where Piwik PRO is hosted.

Because web-log analytics is a different method, collected data may be different from what you can capture with the tracking code. But this route is an option when you look for an ultra-secure solution.

Here are some basic pros for analyzing web logs:

  • You don’t need to install a tracking code on your website. Data-sensitive businesses like banks, healthcare, or the government choose this method to secure data privacy.
  • Tracking blockers don’t affect collecting data via web logs.
  • You can import historical data anytime. File logs sit on a web server until they are deleted.

Here are some basic cons for analyzing web logs:

  • You need to be a technically savvy person and have access to the web server to use this method.
  • The tracking code can collect more data, for example, a page title, screen resolution, custom dimensions, ecommerce data, and the like.
  • You can only use Analytics with web logs. Tag Manager, Audience Manager, and Consent Manager will not work with this method.

For more about web-log analytics in Piwik PRO, read our developers documentation.

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