How to Choose the better Website Monitoring Service?

Website Monitoring is critical for your online business. When your site goes down, you need to know about it the moment it happens. Most businesses realize the value of utilizing a quality website monitoring service to keep an eye on the up-time of their sites, ensuring they are the first to know if and when site downtime does occur. What many website owners do not realize, however, is that not all website monitoring services are created equal. When you begin shopping for a website monitoring service, there are certain things you need to look for to ensure that you’re getting sufficient monitoring and protection.

Which Website Monitoring Service is Right for You?

If your site isn’t profit driven, you can get away with using passive monitoring. You’ll know when your site goes down and you’ll get reports regarding the reliability of your site. If, however, your site is profit-driven, then you need to be proactive in your website monitoring measures, not reactive. That is where real website monitoring comes into play. So how to choose better one among the myriad of website monitoring services available. Ask these questions to your provider.

Where Are the Servers Located?

When it comes to the inequality of website monitoring services, the number of servers and location of the servers is a prime example. Let’s say your website monitoring service has only one server and the power goes out at the server location? Your website isn’t being protected until the power goes back on. In the case of a severe storm or outage, that could mean days. You need one that has multiple servers across various locations. The more servers and the more spread out they are, the better.

Is Your Website Monitoring Service Caching Your Name Server Lookups?

To ensure that your site is up and running as it should be, your website monitoring service needs to check your name servers on a constant basis. If they are caching your name server lookups instead of actually checking them, it’s a gamble on how long it will take your provider to actually figure out that your site has encountered a problem. Instead of relying on their own technology to quickly inform you of a website outage, monitoring services that cache name server lookups must wait for your site’s time-to-life (TTL) to expire. In the best of situations, this will take a few hours. In many cases, it can take days. Do you really want to have to wait days to figure out what’s wrong with your site or that your site is actually experiencing a problem? If every minute of downtime equates to lost profits, hours or days of downtime are downright unacceptable. You need to make sure that you work with a monitoring service that doesn’t just cache name server lookups. Your provider should have the technology to accurately check the status of your site’s name servers around the clock.

How Often Do They Check Your Site?

Another thing to look for is how often your website monitoring service checks or “pings” your site. If it’s only every 15 minutes, your site could technically go down for 15 minutes before you even realized it. Good website monitors can check your site every minute if you choose. Look for a service that checks your site frequently so you won’t lose precious time during a website outage.

Is it an EMail only notifications service?

Many of the “free” website monitoring services out there (and even some of the paid services) only notify you via email when your site goes down. There are numerous reasons why this is a problem. First and foremost, if your site goes down at three in the morning, chances are you’re not going to be checking your email at that hour. That means your site could be down for hours before you wake up and see the email alerting you that your site has gone down. The problem is that these “free” services only communicate with you via email. That’s a significant problem when you consider the fact that it’s not uncommon for your site’s email to go down when you experience a site outage. This means you aren’t even notified of the outage until your email is back up and running again – which means your site is back up and running with it. When every minute could mean lost profits, this method of communication isn’t sufficient. You need a service that will not only provide you with email alerts, but will provide you with SMS text messages and phone calls as well. Only then will you know for sure that you will be notified the moment your site goes down and not after the problem has been resolved.

The second problem with email notifications is that if your site goes down, your email servers may very well go down with it. That means that you won’t even receive the email from your service provider until your email is back up and running and the outage has already been resolved. This is why it is crucial to select a website monitoring service that not only notifies you via email, but also notifies you via phone and/or SMS text message.

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