Tips for monitoring your website
Nearly all web hosts guarantee 99.9% or 100% uptime to their customers but how do you know if your web host is keeping their promise? While your web host has an administrative team in place responsible for maintaining the hardware and software (depending on your hosting package), it’s still best to employ additional tools telling you exactly when your website(s) experiences downtime and why. Once you have a monitoring system in place, you’ll be able to tell how effective your hosting service really is.
Choosing a Monitoring Service
There are many monitoring tools online, some of which are free and others which cost money. Either way, there are a few features that are essential to choosing a good service such as fast alerts, uptime reports, frequent tests, and statistics.
Uptime & Response time updates: The best service is one that monitors and reports your websites’ uptime every few minutes. After all what good is to have an hourly check if you find out that your website has been down for half an hour or more? It’s important to know that your website is online and available for your customers 24/7. Keep up to date with a service that is constantly checking up on your website. Some of the more popular tools will offer reports in real time.
Fast alerts: In the event that something is wrong with your website, you should receive an alert as quick as possible. Most services will send you instant notifications, which you can receive by email, SMS on your mobile, text on your chat client like Google chat or ICQ, and even as a tweet if you have twitter.
There are many free tools for monitoring your hosts, but webmasters with multiple sites should pay for a premium service
Frequent tests: Some services will test your website every day, but the best ones will test it every couple minutes or even every minute to make sure that your website is always running.
Stats: The best method for evaluating the long term performance of your hosting account is by reviewing your stats. Many services will give you compilations of your website’s activity and uptime by hour, day, week, month and longer period of times so that you can see whether or not your web host is good for your website.
If you don’t have the budget to use a comprehensive paid service like Pingdom, there are still good free monitoring tools can use to keep any eye on your website and your host
Free Monitoring Tools
If you don’t have the budget to use a comprehensive paid service like Pingdom, there are still good free monitoring tools that you can use to keep any eye on your website and your host. Uptime Robot is a good example allowing you to monitor up to 50 websites and it checking each site’s performance every 5 minutes. Zabbix is another free tool, however it’s more complicated to use than other tools. The benefit of it is that it’s open source and can be modified and adapted by the user however this also means that it’s most effective for more advanced webmasters. If you only have 1 or 2 websites, many of the paid services such as Pingdom will monitor up to two sites for free.