Website monitoring is becoming more important as websites become increasingly complex. If you’re a webmaster and have never considered website monitoring, then it’s about time you think about it. We’re going to offer you a guide on the basics of website monitoring so that you can ease into it as quickly as possible.
Why Website Monitoring Is Important?
Website monitoring is crucial if you want your website always to be running at peak performance. When your site is slow, its search engine optimization (SEO) can be affected adversely. You could also lose your customers and damage the reputation of your brand. Therefore, it’s important that you keep an eye on your website to ensure that the online face of your business is in tip-top shape and running at the times when your customers need it.
What Is Monitored?
This can be a challenging part of the whole process of website monitoring: what to monitor. The best place to start is to know what options you have as well as what budget you have. That makes it easier for you to narrow down your possibilities. You have options from the simplest overview to the most complex checks that can pinpoint what form on which site is down for users located in what area.
Below are some of the most common checks.
It doesn’t get any more basic than this. A ping is the simplest kind of monitoring test you can perform on your network. A ping works like this: the monitoring server will send out a request to a server or a device and wait to see if a response comes back. If the device is online, then it sends a response that shows it is available. It also shows the amount of time it took to accomplish that. You can then know if that server or device is reachable. What you won’t know is if your website is online or even performing at its peak. If the site is especially slow, a ping test can tell you where the network is slowing down or if any of your devices are offline.
Geographic & URL Monitoring
This kind of monitoring is common. An application tasked with monitoring sends a request to a website and waits to see if it gets back any response. At the most basic level, the application looks to see if a response comes back and if the response is specifically “OK.” If your website is showing error messages or timing out for your users, a URL test gives you much more insight than a ping test because it tells you exactly what kind of error message your website generated.
There is even an advanced version of the URL test that tests servers in different geographical locations. This helps you know when users in a specific geographical region are experiencing errors, even if everything seems fine on your own browser.
Application & Database Monitoring
Knowing the health of your website is about much more than just knowing whether your website is online. While a URL monitor might tell you that your site is showing errors, you won’t know why it’s showing errors unless you look into the error logs.
That is why application monitoring is so important. It allows you to probe deeper into an issue and find out what’s happening. The monitor could go deep and look at the very source code of the site, telling you which lines of code took the longest time to complete. It can look into your database and figure out why some data isn’t being stored the right way. You can test virtually anything using application monitoring software. Be careful not to get too aggressive as you may see a lot of false positives.
Hardware & Server Monitoring
You should always know just how hard the servers on your network are working, which includes memory utilization, central processing unit utilization, and network utilization. When any of those metrics go above 80 percent in your hosting environment, you should expect to face some major performance issues or an unusable site.
You should also monitor how much space you have on the disk. A site won’t perform well when it runs out of space. Many hosting providers will give you hardware monitoring tools with which you can see and understand possible issues in your system. You can also use it after an issue has occurred to figure out why it happened.
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