What to Look for When Choosing a Website Monitoring Service

Over the past weeks we have talked about the importance of knowing when your website goes down. After all, it’s quite embarrassing if your customers are the ones who have to tell you that your website is experiencing issues and it’s even worse if you don’t receive those customer emails because there are also issues with your email server. The saying is, when it rains it pours. This seems to be the case whenever a website outage occurs. That’s why most webmasters understand the need for quality website monitoring services. However, not all webmasters are Alertra customers, and we do indeed understand this. Some webmasters don’t even have website monitoring service in place (although we’re pretty sure you’re putting it on the top of your list of priorities after reading about some of the horror stories we’ve told). So what should someone look for when shopping for a website monitoring service? Rather than just tell you to become an Alertra customer (which we hope you do, if you aren’t already), we’ll tell you what you absolutely should never compromise on when selecting the company that will be providing your website monitoring service for you.

Don’t Settle for Checking of Cached Name Servers

Many website monitoring services check cached name servers. This can be a huge problem. Why? Because the time that you are notified of your site’s outage will depend upon your site’s TTL (time-to-live) timing. In past posts we’ve recommended that you use a hosting company that has a TTL of one hour or less. Some hosting companies, however, have TTL of 24 hours or more. This means that your site can be down for a day (or multiple days) before your website monitor is able to make you aware of the problem. With Alertra, we use our own proprietary technology that doesn’t check for cached name servers. We can notify you within seconds of your site going down regardless of the TTL time of your web host. Whenever you’re looking for website monitoring services, make sure you know exactly what they look for and how they monitor your site.

Don’t Settle for Email Notifications

Many website monitoring services only notify you via email if something goes wrong with your site. This is a problem if your email servers are down as well. If your monitoring service’s email can’t get to you, then you don’t know anything is wrong with your site and the service is worthless. This means that you won’t know that customer emails can’t get to you as well, which can be a very costly mistake. Alertra can notify you via SMS text message and a phone call as well as email if something goes awry. You’ll know if your site goes down even if your email goes down with it. Don’t ever settle for a monitoring service that only alerts you via email.

How Many Servers Does the Monitoring Service Use?

If you opt to use a website monitoring service that only has one server, what happens if that server goes down? Worse yet, what happens if that server is down when your site goes down and you aren’t notified of the outage because of that fact? Make sure that you have peace of mind and use a website monitoring service that uses several servers in multiple locations. Alertra offers global site monitoring with servers in Los Angeles, London, Stockholm, and other locations all over the globe. If one server goes down, there are others waiting to keep a vigilant eye on the performance of your website. Don’t ever settle for website monitoring that is handled by a single server.

Do You Want to Deal with Software?

Some website monitoring services require you to install software in order to use them. For some webmasters this isn’t a problem. For others, it can be a hassle. Whether or not you want to deal with the installation and use of software is up to you. Alertra customers do not have to install software utilize our services.

How Often Will Your Site Be Checked?

Many services only check your site every 15 or 30 minutes. While that may not seem like much, 15 to 30 minutes can cost your site money and frustrate your customers. Alertra customers can have their sites checked as often as every 60 seconds. When looking for a website monitoring service, make sure you know just how often they plan to check your site.

Make Sure You’re Protected!

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a website monitoring service and the features can be overwhelming. When selecting a website monitoring provider, make sure you keep the above tips in mind to ensure that you will know exactly when your site is having problems so you can take the measures necessary to correct them. If you don’t choose Alertra, our blog is still here to provide you with tips and advice. Just make sure you do choose a service that offers all of the above features so you won’t be in the dark if and when your website faces that inevitable downtime.