Get your website statistics from your hosts web logs

Sometimes you just want to know how your site is doing.

Sometimes you just want to know how your site is doing.

Getting some metrics without the hassle of Google Analytics is nicely done with a application called GoAccess. This handy app reads your Nginx or other web server log files and pulls the nifty stats into a live web front end or static file.

Personally, I chose to export my web stats as a JSON file that I can grab later with a Python script.  

Here are the basics to get up and running with GoAccess.


sudo apt-get install goaccess

Well that was easy right?  The config file is mega-large, but the defaults will get you going.

Example Usage

Run it in a Terminal to view Nginx logs

$ goaccess -f /var/log/nginx/access.log

You will be prompted to select “Log Format Configuration”:

I used the first one as all the others didn't work.

terminal dashboard

Image taken from the GoAccess website

Output to static HTML file:

$ goaccess -f /var/log/nginx/access.log --log-format=COMBINED -o MyWebStats.html

Output to static JSON file:

$ goaccess -f /var/log/nginx/access.log --log-format=COMBINED -o MyWebStats.json

OK, now that you have your stats in a nifty file you can open the HTML page, or JSON file. As mentioned before, I am using the JSON output in a Python script.  Here is a quick and dirty script to get the "Total Requests" and "Unique Visitors".

Note: Replace $USER and the filename with the directory and file you exported to.

import os
import json

def get_stats():
    file = open('/home/$USER/MyWebStats.json', 'r')
    f =
    j = json.loads(f)
    run_date = j['general']['date_time']
    unique_visitors = j['general']['unique_visitors']
    total_requests = j['general']['total_requests']
    d = {
        "Total Requests": total_requests,
        "Unique Visitors": unique_visitors, 
        "Run Date": run_date
    return d

Here is what the output looks like:

{'Total Requests': 3020, 'Unique Visitors': 367, 'Run Date': '2019-12-07 23:41:19 +0000'}

You will notice that I do not get a lot of hits, so I really don't need something as robust as the other analytical tools.  I just want something to tell me if I am going viral or something.