An access log is a text file that contains a thorough report on all of the files accessed by your website visitors. All of the files which were requested in one way or another shall be included, so if you have a PHP script program and a visitor opens just the home page, for example, you may find plenty of files in the log. The reason is that there are resources on the home page which are embedded - parts of other pages, graphics, etc. These files will be listed within the access log, allowing you to get a full picture of the way your website functions. The info is in plain text format, so the logs are often termed "raw data" as well. An access log contains the name of each requested file, the path to it, the date it was accessed, and also the user’s IP address, web browser and OS. Additional information, like the referrer website, is usually provided too. A log file can be processed by various desktop apps for statistical purposes as an addition to the web statistics created by your website hosting server.