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What is an access log and where do I find it? Question

An access log is a list of all requests for individual files that people or bots have requested from a website. Log File strings include notes about their requests for the HTML files and their embedded graphic images, along with any other associated files that are transmitted.

As log files are stored on a web server, you need to first access your server. You can do that as follows:

1. Using the control panel of your hosting provider

Some hosting platforms have a built in file manager. Look for something with a name like: “file management,” “files,” “file manager,” etc.

2. Using an FTP
You will need:

  • Any FTP client on your computer;
  • An FTP address, login and password to access the server via FTP. You can find these in the administrative panel of your hosting provider.

Open an FTP client, set a new connection to your server, and then authorize with your login and password. After you have entered a server file directory, you can get your access logs.

Here are the two most popular types of HTTP servers and locations where access logs can be found:

  • Apache /var/log/access_log
  • Nginx logs/access.log

Use the SEMrush Log File Analyzer to get a report on a website's crawlability from the log file. 

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