In the world of website monitoring, not all services are created equal. When you pay for a company to monitor your website’s downtime, there are things that you should come to expect of that company and you should never settle for inferior service. There are five things that every quality website monitoring service provides, and you should demand each of these five things from any service you entrust with the monitoring of your website. If you aren’t getting all five of these things from your website monitoring service, it may be time to considering changing who you do business with.|
1. Acceptable and Customizable Monitoring Intervals
When a website monitoring service is keeping tabs on the uptime of your website, the interval at which the company’s servers actually check your website for downtime is a huge factor. For example, if a service only checks your site every 30 minutes, your website could technically be down for half an hour before you are made aware of the issue. If that downtime occurs during a peak traffic period, that half hour can lead to significant profit loss. On the other hand, if you are notified just seconds after your site goes down, you can go to work sooner to save your site’s profits (and reputation). That is why it is important to demand a website monitoring service that allows you to set the interval at which your site is checked and gives you the option to check your site as at least as often as every 60 seconds.
2. Multiple Server Locations
Some website monitoring services only have servers in a single location. What happens if the power goes out at that location? Then the monitoring of your website is nonexistent for the duration of that power outage. During this time, your site could go down and you would be none the wiser. This is why it is important to demand that your website monitoring service have multiple servers in multiple server locations. A website monitoring service that has servers spread out across the country (or even the globe) ensures that if the power does happen to go out at one server location, another location can kick in and continue to protect your site providing you with continuous protection.
3. Multiple Alert Methods
One of the goals of utilizing a website monitoring service is to minimize the amount of downtime that your website encounters. The sooner that you are alerted of a downtime issue, the sooner you can get to work fixing whatever is causing the problem or putting your failsafe plans into place. But what happens if you never receive the downtime alert? For example, what if you are only notified of downtime via an email address hosted on a server that has also been affected by the same downtime issue plaguing your website? You wouldn’t receive the alert until after the issue had been resolved, if you receive it at all. This is why it is so important that you demand that your website monitoring service send you downtime alerts via a number of methods, and not just via email. Quality website monitoring services will alert you via SMS text message and/or a phone call in addition to email. This ensures that even if your email goes down with your website, you’ll still be notified of the downtime nearly as soon as it occurs.
4. Avoid False Alerts
While you want to be notified each and every time your site goes down the very moment it goes down, you definitely don’t want to receive false alerts claiming that your site is down when it is actually up and running. After receiving too many false alerts, a “cry wolf” mentality emerges and the sense of urgency that should go along with such alerts diminishes. When a real downtime issue occurs, it takes more time than it should to get your site back online. As a result, you lose precious moments that could have been spent fixing the issue at hand and saving your profits and your site’s customer retention. It is very important that the only alerts that you receive from your website monitoring service are alerts pertaining to actual instances of downtime. Because of this, you need to demand that your website monitoring service put measures into place that ensure that false alerts are avoided at all costs.
5. Just Say No to DNS Caching
A number of website monitoring services rely on DNS lookups to check for website downtime. This means that if you have an outage that is related to your site’s DNS, you don’t find out about it until the time-to-live expires. The time-to-live could be a whopping 24 hours in some cases. This means that it is very possible, when using such a service, that you wouldn’t be notified of a website downtime instance until more than 24 hours after the downtime first occurred. To avoid such situations, you need to demand that your website monitoring service does not cache DNS lookups to detect website downtime. Instead, your service should do a fresh lookup each and every time your site is checked. This prevents the time-to-live lag from occurring should the downtime be associated with your website’s DNS.
Demand Nothing but the Best
There are a number of website monitoring services to choose from. There is no reason you shouldn’t demand the best-in-class when it comes to choosing the service that is right for your website. By keeping these five “must-have” features in mind, it will be easier to sort the good from the bad and determine which service will best meet your website’s needs.
Alertra is a leading provider of website monitoring and alerting services. We monitor the availability and performance of Internet-connected devices. Alertra website monitor provides timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. We offer monitoring service to all sizes of businesses right from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
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