Using Webhooks in Website Monitoring

When a website is down, it can jeopardize the reputation of an online business. The customers will be unhappy and it could lead to lost sales. To automate the consistent check on site accessibility and functionality it has become mandatory for online businesses to use monitoring service for their websites. There are also several site monitoring service providers with different features and monitoring abilities. Many low quality providers come up with one-size-fits-all methodology where they implement a few common services required by most websites. But a quality monitoring service understands the unique requirements of their customers and comes up with customized solutions that address their specific needs. Webhooks is one such advanced technology feature that helps in automating the occurrence of an action when an event like site failure happens. Site outage can be the result of a planned event such as a system upgrade or routine maintenance or it can be due to unexpected issues like network or server down, hardware failure or events of disasters. When downtime instances happen, webhooks get triggered to initiate specific processes that ensure site continuity. Hence when choosing web monitoring service, it is essential to make sure webhooks are included because they are helpful in managing site downtime effectively.

What is a Webhook?

From the technological point of view, webhooks are user-defined HTTP callbacks to invoke a behavior or event. They are commonly used to initiate certain process in an application, due to an event that occurred in another website or application. When a triggering event occurs at the source site, a call is made to the URL or any HTTP-based API via HTTP request specified as a webhook. Each webhook can be configured to trigger an external call by specifying the destination endpoint. The destination URL will receive the webhook notifications as POST requests and parses it in the same way as specified in the webhook configuration. Typically webhooks are used for triggering events in third party systems, sending automated notifications or messages, data syncing and many others. 

Website Monitoring Webhooks

In web site monitoring, webhooks are extensively used to mitigate the instances of website downtime. They are used to log the events of websites and initiate a call or series of API calls when a triggering event takes place. Based on whether the site is up or down, events can be triggered to inform users about the site status. Webhooks in website monitoring can perform variety of functions including tracking the uptime status of the website, switching to backup server during outage, displaying messages or sending push notifications about site status to users etc. To put it in a simple way, when a monitoring service having webhooks feature is chosen, the service would help configure the webhooks which can be triggered by any device events. For instance if site experiences downtime or performance issues, webhooks trigger the change in DNS to the new IP address of a backup web server. When the website comes back up, a similar call is made to change back to the original IP address.