An access log is a text file that contains a thorough list of all the files accessed by your site visitors. All of the files that were requested in one way or another will be included, so if you have a PHP script program and a website visitor opens just the home page, for example, you may find plenty of files inside the log. The reason is that there are components on the home page which are embedded - parts of other webpages, graphics, and so forth. All these files will be listed within the access log, allowing you to get a detailed picture of the way your website functions. The information is in plain text format, so the logs are sometimes described as "raw data" too. An access log provides the name of each and every requested file, the path to it, the date it was accessed, as well as the user’s IP address, web browser and Operating System. More information, like the referrer website, is oftentimes provided too. A log file can be processed by various desktop apps for statistical purposes as an addition to the web statistics provided by your server.