January 27, 2023

Guide to Choose the Best Website Monitoring Service

When you’re working with something complex like managing a website, sometimes there are situations when you strongly regret forgetting about always being prepared for trouble or ignoring various premonitions. Those are situations when you were not ready for what was coming and obviously stuck with fixing occurred issues.

In such cases, you are usually regretting not taking precautionary measures just in case. And if we’re talking about websites, then you should set up a website monitoring way long before something ever happens. Or you will face the harsh reality of long-time diagnostics, prolonged downtime, a fall of reputation, the outflow of audience, and even financial losses.

Because if there’s no monitoring routine running on a repeating schedule to prevent various problems, the webmaster and website owner will have a hard time and a lot of unwanted consequences. That’s one of the main reasons for you to find yourself the best possible method and toolkit to provide proper monitoring of your website. And it will help with development and promotion too.

What is website monitoring in general?

If we talk about the essence of a website monitoring in simple words and don’t go into details, then monitoring is the use of various software tools to monitor the status of the website and the server on which it is located. At the same time, monitoring tools are very diverse since full-scale complex monitoring should include diagnostics of all aspects of the website without exception.

For the above reason, testing of everything related to a particular website falls under the term of website monitoring. The list of tests during monitoring begins with diagnostics of availability, stability, webpage access speed, and loading speed of active elements of the website and ends with checking the status of databases, server hardware, SSL security certificate validation, and domain name verification.

Therefore, it is worth concluding that in order to properly monitor the website, it is critically important that all the necessary diagnostic tools work without issues. And for this, it is necessary either to install dedicated hardware that will be functioning around the clock to constantly monitor the website or to find an excellent service that will monitor the website automatically.

Website monitoring tools should be in the best toolkit. 

Even considering what was said earlier about how the number of website monitoring tools is huge in itself, the best website monitoring service will have them all. But it is far from certain that you will definitely use all of them. Moreover, some of these tools will most likely not even be part of your package. Nevertheless, it is important to know everything about the most useful website monitoring tools, even if you will not use some of them due to some reasons.

The main set of diagnostic tools that a website monitoring service should have in stock usually includes two main things – accessibility and performance diagnostics. These are, strictly speaking, small subsets of tests and checks that help you identify the most common website problems and quickly respond to or even prevent them. And those include a wide variety of checks and tests to cover everything related to relevant website metrics.

As an example, you can look at www.host-tracker.com/en/ic/whois-check – there are simple and manual checks that you surely need to run if your website is inaccessible or not working as it should. This aforementioned page is an emergency measure for everyone and free for all, so it is worth trying if you really encountered problems with your website and still don’t have a properly set up website monitoring at hand.

Accessibility monitoring tools

Basic website availability monitoring tools include ping, traceroute, and uptime monitoring. The first two are needed in order to identify exactly where the accessibility problems are. And uptime monitoring helps to ensure that this metric does not sink and does not affect the position of the website in various rankings, for example, in the Google SSR (Search Result Ranking) or Google Ads advertising queues.

If you neglect using those checks and tests as a preventive measure to overwatch everything before it even happens, once something really happens, you will be defenseless and clueless because you will need to run the exact same checks and tests manually and as soon as possible to conduct basic website shutdown diagnostics. And it will be a huge hassle because you will be doing all this in a hurry, trying not to prolong your website’s downtime.

These checks above should be complemented by DNS blacklist checks, as well as domain name registration and SSL certificate expiration dates. While basic tests check the availability of a website directly, these tools look for problems in related services and network infrastructure. They are also necessary, as problems with hitting the DNSBL or missing a domain name registration update are not uncommon.

Performance monitoring tools

The next most critical website monitoring tools are checking the loading speed of web pages, the content posted on them, and the databases associated with them. In other words, checking the performance of the website is a complex structure. Just like poor website availability, poor performance affects a website’s rankings in search and advertising results. Therefore, monitoring these metrics is critical.

Additionally, along with these tools, you can use server hardware monitoring if you have administrative access rights. But not all types of hosting and not all hosting providers provide the level of privileges necessary for this. Sometimes it is a matter of security, but if you are opt-in for private hosting or even for the dedicated server, you will surely have proper administering privileges.

However, if you have one, then such diagnostics cannot be neglected, especially if your website has a lot of users. Since an overloaded or incorrectly working server can both cause a decrease in website loading speed and cause a website itself to shut down due to a hardware shutdown.

Advanced website monitoring tools worth having in the toolkit

In addition to the above basic website monitoring tools, the best toolkit always has many additional diagnostic tools. They are necessary so that the website owner or webmaster can be sure that their project is working properly, based not only on the results of basic diagnostics. Typically, advanced tools include content verification on web pages, page code checks, functional testing of active elements on pages, and so on.

Also, in addition to the required critical tests, a website monitoring toolkit should include the collection of statistics from each individual tool. Not all website monitoring services have such functionality, and even less often, it works the way a webmaster would like. 

But there are exceptions, where logging and statistics collection are combined into one separate sub-tool that connects all the others. Thanks to this, it is possible to track long-term problems with some of the indicators of the website. It is viewing the error logs and statistics that are the best way for a webmaster to identify such problems on the website.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the possibility of installing scripts for monitoring directly into a website or server. Having an API for integration is not a critical feature, but it can still be useful in identifying vulnerabilities and cyber-attack attempts.

Advanced website monitoring features that are lifesavers

In addition to many functional and useful diagnostic tools, the ideal website monitoring service should also have one or two know-hows that will make life much easier for the webmaster and website owner in case of problems. For example, one of these things is managing subscriptions to advertising services, or rather, to Google Ads in particular.

As mentioned many times before, Google services tend to lower rankings if a website goes down or doesn’t work well. Unfortunately, for website owners and their webmasters, this is exactly the situation. Fortunately, Google Ads robots do not scan those websites connected to the advertising program every second, so there is usually a short period of time to restore the website’s functionality.

But usually, that’s not the case, and the webmaster still faces the reality of lowering ranks in search query responses, advertising queues, and so on. Therefore, there is a need to have a reliable tool that will suspend Google Ads subscriptions manually until everything is fixed to avoid downranking. 

Sadly, there are little to no website monitoring tool kits all over the Internet that are capable of doing so. But there is at least one service that has exactly what’s needed to control Google Ads campaigns in case of emergencies. For instance, you can check website availability 24\7 on hosttracker, and it will suspend advertising campaigns if your website suddenly becomes shut. 

Simply put, instead of Google blocking your campaign, making you unable to use it until you prove your website is up and running again, this system will turn ads subscription preemptively. Right when your website is down. Therefore, all you need to do is fix the problem and turn your subscription back on instead of wasting time waiting for approval from Google.

A feature that is a must for a website monitoring toolkit

One of the most crucial things every website monitoring service must have is an alert system. Sad but true; not all of them have it. But it is vital in times of emergencies. Because if the monitoring system doesn’t warn you during your nighttime, for example, you will be unaware of the problem and won’t know something has happened with your website.

Therefore, it is a must for a website monitoring toolkit to have such a system in case of really serious problems occur. It should warn the webmaster responsible for maintenance even when there is something minor happening, but at least warning messages when there is something really serious is a must. Sadly again, not every toolkit has such a system.

And the best website monitoring tool to monitor the site – host-tracker being such a toolkit, has an instant alert system and a highly versatile one at that because the user can configure it however needed, including setting up multiple contacts, adjusting schedules, and assigning special alerts to those responsible for the quick solution of certain tasks. 

Such a system, as it was said, is a must for every website monitoring service that wants to be reliable for its customers. Without it, there will be an issue with the overall uselessness of a website monitoring itself for the webmaster because the webmaster will not be able to react quickly if something happens, for example, when a specialist responsible for the job is on a day off or on vacation.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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