Most website owners and managers know that website downtime can indeed affect your search engine rankings as far as Google is concerned. With Google dominating the search market with about two-thirds of all search engine...
Website Monitoring Services: Making Apples to Apples Comparisons When Free Plans Are Thrown into the Mix
You’ve come to realize just how much of a threat website downtime poses to your online business. You fully acknowledge the value and necessity of a website monitoring service to minimize your website’s downtime. The question is, how do you know which provider to partner with? How do you go about making apples-to-apples comparisons when so many different plans and promotions are being thrown at you left and right? Before you go and grab a free website monitoring offer or select a plan with a price that seems too good to be true, take the following factors into consideration and remember that only by making apples-to-apples comparisons can you truly determine which website monitoring service is a good fit for your business’s needs.
1. Determine Your Needs Before Choosing a Provider
Before you consider employing any website monitoring service at all, you need to determine exactly which features you cannot do without when it comes to the monitoring of your website’s uptime. This list should be a non-negotiable list. Once you create the list, stay true to it and refuse to take a single line item off. While you can add features to this list as you begin to research the different website monitoring services and plans available, it’s important that you refuse to remove a single feature from your list. Examples of features you may want include in your list when looking for a provider include:
- Technology that allows your site to be checked for downtime every few seconds so you will be notified of any downtime your site may succumb to as quickly as possible.
- Multiple servers spread across various regions, protecting your site’s monitoring from power outages and server failures should one server or location fail.
- Tools that allow you to customize your plan and implement automated processes that will help you get your site live again as quickly as possible.
- A variety of downtime notification methods including email, SMS text message, and phone calls as well as an appropriate plan for escalation of notifications to ensure rapid response to the downtime issue.
- Ability to monitor all aspects of your website and not just your DNS availability.
- Monitors your website’s performance for signs of impending downtime and not just actual website outages.
- Plans and services that can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
- The ability to create uptime statistic badges for your website.
2. Do Not Look at Price Until You’ve Looked at Features
Once you’ve made a list of all of the features you absolutely need from a website monitoring service, it is time to begin comparing providers. It is crucial, however, that you do not look at pricing at this point. Not even a peek. If you start looking at pricing before you lay down the foundation of the features that you require, you may be tempted to consider website monitoring services that do not offer all of the features that you really need in the name of saving a few dollars. In the long run, this could actually cost you more. Because of this, only look at the features that the services provide when you begin compiling a list of website monitoring services to compare and leave the price comparisons for later.
3. Begin Your Search
Once you’ve made the list of features and services you need and you know that you cannot deviate from this list at all, begin looking for website monitoring services that provide each and every one of the features that you have included in your list. At this point, if a feature that you didn’t think of catches your eye you can add it to the list, but no matter what you do, don’t ever remove a feature from the list. The process of selecting a website monitoring service is one in which being thrifty doesn’t pay. This is because these services can, and often do, pay for themselves (and then some) in the long run. As you research the different services, add the ones that meet each and every one of your needs to the “contender” list and disregard any service that does not have every single line item that was included in your list.
4. Avoid Making a Grab for Free Trials and Other Too-Good-To-Be-True Offers
Once you have made your list and you begin researching which website monitoring services and plans meet every single one of your requirements, you’ll soon see that the completely free plans that are out there are bare bones plans and don’t really meet your needs. The companies who offer such plans know this as well and hope that once you sign up for their free service they will be able to upsell you to a paid plan. Oftentimes this actually works because it takes time and effort to set up and configure your website monitoring service and once you are set up and running with a company, it can be tempting to just slide into a paid plan rather than start the comparison process all over again and then set up and configure an entirely new account with a new website monitoring service.
The same can be said for free trials. While you may be tempted to jump on a free trial offer before you go any further with your website monitoring research so you can get instant access to downtime monitoring without spending a dime, the fact of the matter is that the companies that offer free trials often charge more for services than the companies that require up-front payment. Again, the concept is the same. The company knows you already have time and effort vested in their service, so chances are that you will simply continue with and pay for the service rather than look for a better price due to the hassle of finding a better deal and setting up service with another provider.
5. Look at Pricing but Never Make It Your Determining Factor
Now that you have your list of must-have features and your list of possible website monitoring service providers, it is time to begin comparing these services to one another. Now is the time to look at pricing, but pricing should not be your only concern. What benefits does the website monitoring service offer? If your needs become more demanding in the future, will the company be able to keep up with your growth and demands? This is when you take a long, hard look at the various providers and choose the one that not only makes the most sense financially, but also makes the most sense in terms of your website’s needs, growth, and development.
By ensuring that you compare website monitoring services based on the features and services they provide and ignoring pricing in the beginning stages of your research, you can be sure that you don’t pick the wrong plan for the wrong reasons. While it may be tempting to choose a website monitoring service based on price or to try a plan because it’s free, remember that time is money and it takes time to set up the parameters of your plan and to implement the features that you want to utilize. If you don’t want to waste time or money, it’s important that you chose the right provider from the start. The best way to do this is to keep the above in mind and to ensure that you start with the provider that best suits your needs.
The process of selecting a website monitoring service should never be a trial and error approach. Know exactly what you need, exactly what you’re getting, and exactly how much you will be paying for the service. Then, and only then, can you choose the website monitoring service that makes the most sense for your business. Let Alertra be your guide. Contact us for more information and a free trial today!