If you are managing one or more websites, you will want to keep an eye on them and make sure everything is running smoothly. Website performance affects not just how website visitors feel about the website but also how likely they will buy the services and products on the site they are visiting. Most website visitors will abandon a site if it doesn’t load with in 3 seconds. This will lead to lost sales and/or lost advertising revenue over time. Even the most patient site visitors in the world will not be able to buy anything if the site isn’t even up and running.
Unlike us humans, websites are restless. They are supposed to be up and running 24 / 7 making money for their master. It’s neither possible or feasible for us to stay up all week without sleeping and monitor websites manually. Instead, you need a robust and automated tool that monitor the websites for you. If you have a good monitoring system setup, you will minimize the amount of time that your website is down and be able to tell you how fast your site is running. Amazon, a company that is obsessive about analysing their own data, found that every 100ms slower their website resulted in a 1% drop in sales.
What to monitor?
As there are many different solutions that help you monitor your website, it should cover a few basics at the very least.
- Notify you when your website is down.
- Show you how fast your website is responding to requests.
- Notify you before your domain expires.
- Notify you before your security certificate expires.
As mentioned above, there are several tools to choose from - here are a couple different options:
If you manage an enterprise-class website and require the most granular control over website monitoring, Pingdom is a strong contender for your website monitoring tool. It offers frequent and comprehensive reporting and alerting. Its analysis is very rich and deep. For example, it can perform Real User Monitoring (RUM) with your websites, quickly measuruing how your website performs when real users visit and navigate around your site. Pingdom’s servers are also located all over the world, offering the ability to check your website from many different geographical locations.
- Pricing starts at $13.95/mo for 10 Checks.
- 1 minute checks
Another featureful solution is Site 24x7. In addition to the basic server monitoring features, it offers a set of features that are useful for running a SaaS, such as mail server monitoring, transaction monitoring and web form monitoring. They also have a Real User Monitoring (RUM) product as well. Site 24x7’s servers are also located all over the world, offering the ability to check your website from many different geographical locations.
Pricing starts at $9/mo for 10 Websites.
- Site 24x7
- Pricing starts at $9/mo for 10 Websites.
- 1 minute checks
If you need some basic website checks and alerts, you can look into StatusCake. They have a good free plan that helps you get started in monitoring. If you need checks for security certificates, then you’ll need to get one of their paid plans.
- Pricing starts at FREE for any number of websites.
- 5 minute checks (1 minute and 30 second checks are available on paid plans.)
UptimeRobot is also another simple and straight forward solution to monitoring your website. They also have a good free plan which you can update to a paid plan if you need faster checks or more advanced notifications.
- Pricing starts at FREE for 50 monitors and the paid plan scales based on the number of monitors you are using.
- 5 minute checks (1 minute checks are available with their paid plan.)
Nagios / Icinga / Zabbix / etc
If rolling your own monitoring makes sense for you, you might take a look at a couple opensource monitoring solutions. They typically started out by monitoring servers, but they can also be configured to monitor websites.
Of course our tool, Check Website, was built to help you monitor your websites. Our first version is focused on tracking domain registration and security certificate expiration dates; these are often easily forgotten and can be hard to keep track of in the same place. We also do basic website uptime checks as well. We designed our tool to be a dashboard for all your websites so you can keep track of things in one place.
- Check Website
- Pricing: $29 monthly for a virtually unlimited number of websites
This list of tools is not meant to be exhaustive, so if these tools don’t meet your needs, there are others out there that can. Feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions regarding website monitoring.