How do you know when your website goes offline?
An uptime monitoring service will quickly give you the heads up when your website is experiencing technical difficulties. Alternatively, some web hosting providers continue to monitor your uptime and downtime and work on getting your site back up before you or your clients see there’s a problem.
For online businesses, having your website online is, of course, critical; but you can’t stare at your monitor watching your site all the time, or spend your hours mashing the F5 key to try and reload it.
Having a command centre and monitoring team may be a feasible idea for large organisations to monitor their web applications availability but this isn’t really an option for smaller operations such as small-medium business, non-profit organisations or micro-businesses. Websites can fall over for various reasons including your database going down or your site being hacked. Another all-too-common reason for website unavailability can be through a problem with the hosting provider, so always ensure your provider is reliable.
It’s essential for any website owner or administrator to ensure proper alerting systems are in place so you get instantly notified when your website is not loading properly.
Uptime monitoring is vital for your business and can help your business in many different ways. Here are five to get you started:
1. Protect the professional image of your business
A professional brand image is important and is largely dependant on the level of customer satisfaction. Frequent downtime issues can jeopardise the reputation of your online business in the real world. Monitoring your website is the best way to prevent these unwanted hazards and protect the image of your business.
2. Keep your clients happy
If your customers frequently access your website, you need high levels of uptime to ensure that your customers are happy and receiving the information or service they need. If a downtime issue is unresolved for a prolonged period, then chances are your clients may move on to one of your competitors.
3. Avoid losing sales or leads
Frequent downtime issues can lead to lost sales or leads. In 2013, Amazon was down for less than 2 hours. This led to a potential loss as much as $US4.72 million. Website uptime is vital to online stores or online services.
4. Detect hackers faster
One of the potential reasons that can lead to downtime is disruption from hackers. If a hacker inserts malicious code into your website, then your website will be damaged and can also potentially damage the devices used by your visitors. Website monitoring (and checking your pages for particular phrases) informs you about downtimes and potential hacking attempts as they happen.
5. Good search engine rankings
Google, obviously, does not like websites that are not online. If your website comes up with constant downtime issues for one or more days, then Google can impose strict ranking penalties in its search results. The search rankings of your web pages are influenced by the downtime and the speed of your website.
A good Uptime monitor should offer:
- Website performance monitoring: check the response time of the monitored web pages. If your web page has a slow performance, you will be notified. Hosting provider bandwidth issues and poorly optimised images on your website can impact performance.
- Mobile website monitoring: How does your website look on mobile devices? A good Uptime monitor will look at how your website is displayed on portable devices and advise you on steps to take accordingly.
- Googlebot health check: Does your website responds correctly to Google’s requests? A good Uptime monitor will offer the Googlebot user agent as an option and notify you if there are any performance issues when Google’s indexing robot tries to access your site.
- Page content monitoring: check the monitored pages for words that you know you have put onto the website. If these words are missing, hackers might have changed the contents of your website.
- 1-minute monitoring: check your web pages as often as once per minute. That is much more often than most other uptime monitors can check your site.
- HTTP/HTTPS and HTTP/2 support: Google prefers secure web pages. A good Uptime monitor will support HTTP/HTTPS and HTTP/2.
iFactory uses a wide variety of server monitoring tools for our hosted clients. Talk to iFactory today to see what we can do to keep your business online 24/7.