Website Uptime Monitoring Guide

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How would you know if your website went down? Would you find it out yourself, or would one of your customers be the ones to let you know, by asking on social media why they can’t access your site?

In both scenarios there is much to concern a business owner. For example, how long was your website down before you were made aware of the issue? A few minutes, an hour, even longer? And how much missed revenue could those lost hours potentially equate to?

Website Uptime Monitoring is the process of actively checking for the availability of a website or server. This process aims to mitigate the potential financial and reputational costs of website downtime by immediately alerting the website owner of any issues.

In this blog we will explain precisely what Website Uptime Monitoring entails, why it is crucial to any business with an online presence, and how StatusCake helps to monitor your website uptime and performance.

Website Uptime Monitoring is the process of actively checking for the availability of a website or server.

Website Uptime Monitoring is defined by any activity that entails the monitoring of website availability and performance.

Website Uptime Monitoring can be done manually, but this is generally inefficient and unreliable. Typically, Website Uptime Monitoring takes the form of an automated process often carried out by website uptime and performance monitoring specialists. Website Uptime Monitoring can also monitor networks, in addition to websites, and does so by monitoring the availability of servers and devices.

The results of Website Uptime Monitoring are typically displayed as a percentage. For example, a website that records 95% uptime over the course of a 30 day month, was live for 684 hours out of 720 hours in that month. As you can see, while 95% uptime may sound positive, it would actually be a cause for great concern for many business owners. If your website is only live for 95% of the month, that means that your customers or clients, potential or otherwise, have been unable to access your website for 36 hours over the course of the month!

A website that records 95% uptime over the course of a 30 day month, was live for 684 hours out of 720 hours in that month.

The Importance of Website Uptime Monitoring

In our previous example, of a website experiencing an average 95% uptime over the course of a month, the importance of Website Uptime Monitoring quickly becomes clear. 95% average uptime is a poor uptime record, indeed it falls someway short of the recognised standard of 99.90% minimum average uptime. However, the hypothetical business owner who is experiencing 95% average uptime is at least aware of the issue if he is actively monitoring uptime. He can then take steps to improve the availability of his website by changing server hosts or by consulting with a specialist to optimise his website. It is the business owner who is experiencing similar levels of downtime, but is completely unaware of it, who is more at risk. In this case, the problem is much more likely to continue unchecked indefinitely, until he himself encounters the issue or is alerted to it by a customer.

Website Uptime Monitoring intersects with a number of different elements of your business, which you may not immediately associate with uptime monitoring. For example, the trust and authority of your brand is linked inextricably your website. A poorly designed website will reflect badly on your brand overall, and, equally, an unreliable website which is frequently offline will also leave visitors unimpressed.

As any good business owners knows, what begins as a negative brand perception, inevitably results in lost revenue or leads. Depending on the size and nature of your business, even downtime of a few hours a month could have a serious impact on your bottom line. In 2013 Amazon suffered losses of $4.72 million after their website was down for less than two hours!

Poor website availability can also indirectly impact other areas of your business. For example, search engines such as Google are heavily geared towards providing the best possible experience for their users. If they crawl a website, and find it frequently unresponsive, this will be taken into consideration when they come to rank pages on the domain for relevant search phrases. Once again, a serious decline in organic rankings can quickly impact the bottom line of your business, as fewer people see the pages in search, fewer people are able to click on the results, ultimately leading to reduced traffic, sales and leads.

In 2013 Amazon suffered losses of $4.72 million after their website was down for less than two hours!

How to Test for Uptime

Uptime Tests using StatusCake come in different forms, but they all share the same base function – ensuring that your website or server is up and running without errors. There are currently 8 different varieties of Uptime test, we will go through each one and its functions and advantages below:

1) HTTP type tests – This is very much the standard uptime test. As well as alerting on downtime and errors, HTTP type tests can also send special data as POST, and custom headers and user agents can also be used.

2) HEAD type tests – These are similar to HTTP type tests, but differ in the fact that they send a HEAD type request instead of a GET request, resulting in a faster check time.

3) TCP type tests – TCP type tests allows you to send a TCP type connection to the host and post of your choosing, and are typically used to check an arbitrary post on a remote server.

4) DNS type tests – DNS type tests are unique in the fact that they enable you to ensure that an “Expected IP” aligns and directs to a defined hostname.

5) SMTP type tests – These test types are used for the specific purpose of checking whether your mail server is fully functioning and able to receive emails.

6) SSH type tests – The SSH type test allows you to monitor server uptime through SSH and SFTP type connections.

7) PING type tests – PING type tests test routers and servers by sending an ICMP ping to an IP.

8) PUSH type tests – PUSH tests are essentially uptime monitoring in reverse. Instead of servers checking to see if your site is up, your servers will ping us to say that they are.

What Next?

For your business to fully capitalise on the traffic coming to your site it is imperative that your website is as close to the 99.90% minimum average uptime standard as possible.

The most resource effective way to do this is by employing a specialist website uptime monitoring service to alert you instantly when your website goes down.

StatusCake provides a suite of performance monitoring tools which are easy to set-up and use, and provide you with invaluable insights into how your website’s performance is impacting your customers’ experiences.

100,000+ users trust StatusCake including…

StatusCake offers both paid and free plans, the paid plans features more advance functionality, including SSL monitoring, server monitoring, domain monitoring and virus scanning.

The free community plan, provides free website uptime monitoring and its completely free, for life!

To start monitoring your website uptime CLICK HERE.

Johnson Thomas

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