An access log is a text file that contains a complete list of all of the files accessed by your website visitors. All of the files that were requested in one way or another shall be included, so if you have a PHP script program and a site visitor opens just the home page, for example, you may find numerous files in the log. This is because there are elements on the home page that are embedded - parts of other webpages, graphics, and so on. These files will be listed in the access log, allowing you to get a complete picture of the way your website performs. The data is in plain text format, so the logs are often called "raw data" as well. An access log shows the name of each requested file, the path to it, the date it was accessed, along with the user’s IP address, web browser and Operating System. More info, including the referrer website, is oftentimes included as well. A log file can be processed by various desktop applications for statistical purposes as an addition to the web stats provided by your hosting server.