It is critical for every business to have a reliable website monitoring service to ensure the steady performance of their websites. Generally, some site owners depend on hosting providers for checking their website availability and uptime. It's not a wise idea to depend on hosting providers for tracking site uptime, as in many cases they over rate their uptime capabilities. Some poor quality hosting providers keep the site owners blindfolded about downtime issues and wouldn't even inform them when the site is down. To give a better experience to website customers it is necessary to choose a good website monitoring service that has robust features.
With the right monitoring service, the site will be consistently tested for uptime & performance and the site continuity is ensured without any downtime issues. While searching for a monitoring service, it is better to consider quality and reliability as primary aspects over other parameters. It is essential to choose a company that has comprehensive features to support their customers with quality service.
Let us go through some of the features that you need to look for, while hiring a website monitoring service.
Capability to monitor from multi locations
When monitoring services have servers at one location, there will be less possibility of continuous monitoring of websites. Often, when issues happen such as power outage at that place, your site will not be watched for downtime issues. That is why, it is important to choose a site monitoring service that observes websites from multiple servers placed across different locations. If there is an issue at one server location, the site will automatically get continuous protection from servers at other locations.
Frequency of monitoring
The intervals at which the websites are checked for uptime/downtime & performance is called monitoring frequency. The faster the monitoring frequency is, the better would be the service for your website, which means the more number of times websites are checked or tested. For instance if the frequency is set for every 30 minutes, the service would perform the check for every half an hour. In the meanwhile, if there is any issue, you would not be aware of it. There is also a misunderstanding that monitoring service with shorter intervals are relatively expensive. It is true, the quality service will not be available for free because it requires additional resources to consistently check the websites. But, the amount that you would be paying for monitoring service will be obviously less when compared to revenue losses that the business would incur during few minutes of downtime. Hence it is wise to determine what your needs are and choose a service with customizable monitoring intervals.
Flexibility in alerting methods
The sooner you get alerted about the website issue, the faster you would look into the problem to resolve it. The service should give the flexibility to choose your own alerting methods. If alerts are sent through different types of communication methods such as email, SMS and a phone call, then there is less possibility of missing the downtime alerts. A quality website monitoring service will use effective notification methods, so that the customers would not miss the message regarding downtime issue. If website owners fail to receive notification through one method, the service will use other sources to notify the problem.
Step-by-step transaction monitoring using custom scripts
Very few monitoring services use this advanced method of multi-step monitoring using custom scripts to pinpoint the sources of transient problems in website applications. Since websites need a series of user interactions for login and other transactions, it is important to make sure different components that make up your site are performing well. This type of transaction monitoring is more helpful for online businesses which use login forms, shopping carts, checkout processes and other account validations in their websites.
Ability to tag the devices
This is one of the important features to look for in monitoring service as it helps easy operation of devices from the dashboard. By creating tags for devices, you can easily identify the device and stop or start its service at the time of maintenance. With the help of tags, you can group the devices that are critical for website working, and keep a tab on them by generating reports frequently.
No false alerts and DNS caching
Many times, monitoring services send alerts as soon as they figure out the issue with the website. But a quality monitoring service will double check the issue from multiple checkpoints to make sure the alert they are sending is a valid one. They do not trouble site owners with false alerts and create unnecessary problems to them. It also happens sometimes, that your site is having downtime issues and you do not know about it for days. This is because some services use DNS caching for determining the site availability. It is wise not to choose the provider that uses DNS caching to monitor websites because it will not give the right data on site's uptime.
Ability to implement webhooks
It is an advanced feature in monitoring service that helps to automate the processes when downtime happens for the website. By customizing the webhooks, you can redirect the site to any external URL or a backup IP if there is an issue with primary hosting service. This way it helps business owners to keep the site up and running for the users until the site downtime issue gets resolved.
Keywords: Alertra.com, check website status
By: Davis J Martin
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