Saving Log Files

If you have ever noticed that your server’s disk space is getting low without an explanation, large log files may be to blame. Your server saves a variety of information in these log files, and over time, they can become quite large.

Log files can contain site statistics, such as how many hits you have received and error log files will contain all of the most recent errors that have occurred on your website. These can include 404s, error messages from scripts that are not functioning correctly and much more.

Most hosting companies allow log files to be appended each time new information is collected on your site. This means that each time something new happens, this information is added to your existing log file. If you have a very busy site, these files can quickly become bloated.

If you have noticed a critical loss of disk space, you may need to delete these log files before you go over the disk space limit set by your hosting company. You can accomplish this by logging into your server, either through FTP or by your control panel’s file manager and deleting these files. The location may vary, depending on your hosting company, so you may need to verify where they can be found.

Some hosting companies do not allow access to these files. If this is the case, you will need to make sure that the regularly delete these logs to ensure that you don’t run out of space. You can contact your hosting company to see if they follow a regular schedule for deletion to make sure that if you need to save this files, you can do so before they are deleted.

Is it important to save these log files? This will depend entirely on how you plan to use your log files. If you are using them to collect your site’s statistics, it is important to keep them for at least a month, if possible.

You will need to have a program that can analyze these log files for you, such as Analog or Webalizer. You can then save the outputted HTML file so that you have a record of your statistics and then delete the log files once this has been completed.

Error logs can be useful for debugging scripts, or checking for dead links on your site. You should keep these files for at least a month as well, so that you can go through them to see if there are any hidden problems on your site. This type of log file does not grow as quickly as other logs, which will give you some leeway.

Log files can be the key to discovering more about your site’s functions, but they can also cripple your site very quickly. By properly maintaining your log files, you can get the information you need to make your site run at its best, and still maintain the amount of disk space that you need.

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Posted on 12/15/05 8:19 PM

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