Should You be Monitoring Your Website?
Monitoring and alarm systems are everywhere. They are at your home, in your vehicle and in your computers. Securing these systems is a smart thing to do, but businesses often overlook adding monitoring to their websites.
Why You Should Monitor Your Website?
- Is your website responsible for generating leads or sales for your business?
- Do your employees use your website?
- Do you market your website?
- Do you have ad campaigns running for your site?
- Do your customers use your website for self-help customer service?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or if your website is an important or integrated part of your business, then you need monitoring.
Monitoring Can Help Identify Problems with Your Website as They Happen
If you wait for customers to complain about your website, your business has likely already been impacted without your knowledge. Monitoring can help identify many different types of problems early on, such as:
- Database problems (customers can’t submit orders or complete forms)
- Intermittent network problems
- Long page load times
- Missing pages
- Email Issues
- DNS Issues
- Hacked Servers
How to Monitor Your Website?
- You should have your website as the internet browser’s default webpage to load when you open a new window or a tab. This allows an every-day quick check.
- Signup for webmaster tools from search engines such as the Google Webmaster Tool or Bing Webmaster Center. Periodically login and check the crawling stats, page not found list, performance report, etc.
- Setup pinging from a pinging service or performance monitoring on various types of pages:
- A few pages from your website that are loaded from static files like login.html or thank-you.html
- A few high traffic pages that are pulled from database
- Long pages that usually take more time to load
- A page having a form, like contact us
- Page that after submission, sends an email.
There are many monitoring providers to choose from. We use a variety of services, but when we need a robust solution, we turn to fully featured monitoring services like dotcom-monitor.
How to Prioritize the Alarms?
After you have monitoring setup, you need to determine how to handle different alerts. Alerts are high, medium and low priority. A high priority alert may be that the website is un-reachable. A low priority alert may be slow page load time. I prefer to send the high priority alerts to my cell phone, medium ones to my email and lower ones are kept in my webmaster accounts that I periodically login and check.
Your website performance and availability should be monitored both by you and by a 3rd party in order to ensure that your website operates smoothly.