Friday, 14 June, 2019

TIP: How to Monitor Your Website's Availability

Is your website always available and online? How much do you trust your web host? Want to know when it goes offline? Then read on...

A short post today to talk about the importance of monitoring your websites and how easy it is to do.

Downtime

Most of my clients are small to medium sized businesses running on shared hosting. Some have dedicated servers running 24/7. One thing they all want to avoid is unexpected downtime.

It can happen because the your hosting provider performs an update you didn't expect, because an automated update went wrong, but whatever the reason you want to know about it.

Another thing to consider is regional connection variations. Your website may be working fine from your connection but failing from connections in mainland Europe or the USA. If your customers are in the USA that's a problem. If it continues you may want to change how or where you host your website.

Uptime

There are online monitoring services available which monitor your website and let you know if and when it goes offline. They come with free and paid plans, enabling you to receive email or SMS notifications, and if you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) then they can provide free independent availability monitoring.

Trust me if you don't have a tool monitoring your website you're not going to know when it's offline; and when you do it's probably going to be after your customers or clients tell you, which is never a great conversation to have.

Recommendations

Happy Apps (https://www.happyapps.io/pricing)

"Sophisticated uptime montiroing without the noise". The great thing about Happy Apps is that it doesn't just monitor websites, it can monitor database connections too, and even perform custom queries.

The free version Happy Apps is limited to 3 checks every 5 minutes. If you need more than you'll need to go for one of their paid plans.

Uptime Robot (https://uptimerobot.com/pricing)

Uptime Robot has a fantastic dashboard, checks your website availability from several locations around the world, keeps 3 months of logs, allows log exports and notifies you if the website goes down.

The free version allows you to monitor up to 50 websites. The paid version allows SMS and voice notifications, SSL monitoring, Maintenance Windows (to prevent notifications when you're updating the site) and even allows you to customise which HTTP status results should be considered as downtime.

Closing Thoughts

This is something I set-up for all of the websites I work on, even if it's just a short term project. I like to know my websites are working, and if there is a problem I like to know before my clients do, so I can keep them informed and help them resolve the issues.

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