How to view web server logs in Plesk

While old versions of Plesk provided access to simply download log files, newer releases like version 12 and newer, include a completely revamped log viewer that’s actually quite handy!

Why would you want to view the logs?

You might want to view your web server (apache or nginx) logs for a number of reasons. Here’s just a couple of ’em!

  • You’re getting a web server error (e.g.: 404, or 502) when visting a webpage that should be working, and you want to see a more detailed error
  • You want to monitor visitors to your website in real time

Here’s how to find the logs in Plesk 12.5

  1. Log in to Plesk
  2. Choose “Logs” under the domain for which you wish to view the log entries

In the upper right corner you can filter which logs you’re seeing by clicking the arrow beside “All Logs”. For example, if you’re looking to monitor traffic in real time, you can either leave it as is, or only check off the logs with the word “access” in them to avoid seeing errors and warnings. On the other hand, if you’re trying to troubleshoot an error, then you want to avoid seeing ‘access’ entries and only see errors, so check off only those that have the word ‘error’ in them.

You may also wish to filter by error code. For example if, when visiting the page you’re having trouble with, you get an error 502, look for the text box at the top of the list that says “Code” and enter “502”. When the log listing refreshes, you should now be seeing only those log entries that resulted in a 502 error code.

What do I do with this list?

Take a look at what remains in the list of log entries and see which of those might correspond with the action you or your visitors are taking which results in an error. For example, if you attempted to login to your site 5 minutes ago and it presented a 403 error, take a look at the point in the logs from 5 minutes ago and see what log entries match.

Tip: keep an eye out for timezone differences! The bottom of the log represents the most recent entries and should roughly match your current time. So if the most recent log entry says 10:31 am and your clock shows 11:31am, you’ll need to adjust by an hour when searching for specific log entries.

The log entry will very likely reveal more details than the web server error page does. You can then use these more descriptive errors by searching our knowledgebase, or searching google to find a solution. If you can’t find a solution with a search for the provided error text, you can also create a support ticket and include the log entry there (please be sure to only include the latest entry, if it repeats) and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Examples:

Jordan is a computer, security, and network systems expert and a lover of all things web and tech. Jordan consults with project management for software companies. Jordan is a founder and managing partner at Websavers Inc.

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