Website Monitoring Apps - Features and Benefits

Today, the success or failure of an organization often depends on its website performance. You know how irritating it is to get a 404 error message when visiting a website. Website monitoring apps are a specialized type of software or service whose job is to keep a watchful eye on your site’s uptime and performance.  

Uptime and site performance have a huge impact on website usability. Your website may be well designed, with attractive color scheme, usable fonts and great functionality. However, once your site experiences issues with downtime and the speed of the website is sub-optimal.  Your customer will only remember the issues with the site usability. So, the speed of the site and its uptime are essential features for good site usability.

Benefits of Using an Automated Website Monitoring Tool

The advantage that software apps have provided to businesses is the ability to automate processes and offer several benefits including making the process efficient and convenient.  In addition software automation reduces the cost, when compared with the cost of doing the process manually. A well-built software app or program is also more efficient than the traditional method and works with better accuracy and speed. 
Take the case of website monitoring the advantages of doing this activity using a monitoring service app has many advantages.  In addition to all the benefits in the previous paragraph it also reduces the anxiety of wondering if anything is going wrong with the online site that is available 24x7 and 365 days of the year. 

The Many Disadvantages of Free Website Monitoring Apps

No doubt, website owners prefer to monitor and keep track of their site’s performance. However, there are host of service providers. It is confusing to select one as prices are variable as well as the width and depth of functionality offered. Before making a choice it is best to learn about a few good free as well as paid options.
Many free paid service providers provide limited functionality or provide the full functionality for a limited period of say 7 or 14 days.  Before focusing on price, it is important to figure out if the robustness and comprehensiveness of the solution will adequately serve your site. It is better to look at price only after the alternatives with respect to the features are first short listed.

Important to Evaluate The Website Monitoring Service Features in Detail

It is important to evaluate the comprehensiveness of the site monitoring application before choosing the service provider for your website. Some solutions provide a wide range of services from internal server monitoring to content monitoring. While some services provide width of service options, the depth in features may not be there. It is important to stay focused on comprehensiveness of the website monitoring application. Some service providers provide many in-depth and high quality features. Some of them are:

  1. Preventing false alerts by monitoring the website from multiple stations located in different geographies with different ISPs. When one monitoring station reports downtime, it needs to be cross-validated with other stations before alerting the client

  2. Using high quality infrastructure to monitor the sites.  If the quality of the IT infrastructure from where the site is being monitored is unreliable, there could be gaps during which times the site is not monitored and downtime is not recognized and quickly resolved.

  3. Monitor for both downtime and slow performance. If the site is loading but it is slow it is not sufficient to retain the interest of the visitor and engage them on the site. 

  4. Today sites use many third party APIs and CDNs to deliver the full functionality of the website. Your website may be fine but the 3rd party app that is integrated with your site to deliver additional functionality could be down. Some monitoring services provide such facility to monitor 3rd party API’s.

  5. Integration with other paging, helpdesk and communication software is important. Does the service provider provide an option to interact with popular third party apps to enhance the functionality and integration with other IT systems?

  6. Ability to do both passive monitoring and synthetic monitoring. In order to do synthetic monitoring the monitoring app should have additional functionality especially the ability to allow scripts to be run.

The list above is not elaborate but gives a flavor of the in-depth functionality that could be available with a quality website monitoring app.  However, a good website monitoring service will be a paid service. A successful profit making business that is growing would not risk its future to avoid paying a small service fee to ensure continuous uptime of its website.