How to Choose the Best Website Monitoring Service

Most online business owners know that website monitoring is critical to the success of a website and protects their company’s bottom line. When your website goes down, you need to know about it sooner rather than later, and preferably the minute it happens. Chances are, if you own or operate a website, you realize the importance of being the first to know when downtime does occur. What you may not understand, however, is how website monitoring services differ and how to choose the best website monitoring service for your site. Here are some things to consider to ensure that you are getting the best protection and monitoring for your dollar when choosing a website monitoring service.

Which Type of Website Monitoring Service is Right for Your Website’s Business Model?

There are two primary types of website monitoring services including passive monitoring and the more proactive and real-time website monitoring. If your site isn’t driven by profits, then passive website monitoring may be something you can get away with. If, however, your site is online to generate leads, sales, and profit, then you need comprehensive real-time website monitoring services. With that being said, there is still a vast sea of services to choose from. So how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some questions you need to ask in order to make that determination.

Where Are the Servers Located?

The first thing you want to know when considering a website monitoring service is where the company’s servers, which will be monitoring your website, are located. If a service gives you an answer with a single location, you’ll want to go elsewhere for your website monitoring needs. Why is this the case? What happens if a power outage occurs? Worse yet, if the company only has one server on duty, what happens if a server error occurs? In either scenario, your site is left unprotected and you won’t know if it goes down for the count while the website monitoring company is resolving its own issues. What you need is a website monitoring service that offers multiple servers in multiple locations, acting as a failsafe. If one server or even an entire location goes down, there are other servers and other locations in place to pick up the slack and protect your site’s uptime while the issue is resolved.

What Methods of Contact Are Utilized?

The second thing you need to know is how the company will alert you if your website does experience an outage. Will you receive a phone call or text message, or will you just receive an email? If email is the only form of notification, the service is not going to meet your needs. It is unlikely that you will receive an email sent in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning until you wake up and begin your daily routine. This means your site can be down for hours before you even become aware of it. A phone call or text message, on the other hand, can wake you up when downtime occurs so you can get to work immediately to fix the issue at hand.

How Often Will Your Site Be Checked?

Another difference among website monitoring services is how often your site is checked. How often the website monitoring service “pings” your site will also impact how quickly you are informed of any downtime your site may encounter. It is important to remember that every minute of downtime counts. How much a minute of downtime costs you varies depending on the volume of business your site does, but any lost profit that could have been avoided is money thrown out the window. If your site is only checked every 15 minutes, your site could technically be down for 15 minutes before you are notified. If, however, the website monitoring service checks your site every 60 seconds, you will know about any downtime literally the minute it occurs.

How Will You Be Charged?

Another thing to consider is how you will be charged. Are you being charged an all-inclusive flat monthly fee regardless of how often (or infrequently) your site goes down? Or are you being charged a small monthly fee plus an additional fee for each time you receive a downtime notification? Rather than paying a larger all-inclusive monthly fee, it may be wiser to pay a smaller monthly fee and then only pay for the amount of services you actually receive, such as a set amount per phone and/or SMS text notification.

Making the Decision

Your choice of which website monitoring service to use should never be based on one factor alone. All of the above information should be taken into consideration when making your choice. Once you have answers to all of the above questions, then (and only then) will you be ready to decide which website monitoring company will effectively meet the needs of your business.