Almost everyone knows that website downtime is costly, to both a company's bottom line and its reputation. When your site goes down, you need to know about it the moment it happens. Most businesses realize the value of utilizing a quality website monitoring service to keep an eye on the uptime of their sites, ensuring they are the first to know if and when site downtime does occur. What many website owners do not realize, however, is that not all website monitoring services are created equal. When you begin shopping for a website monitoring service, there are certain things you need to look for to ensure that you're getting sufficient monitoring and protection.
Never Settle for Email-Only Notifications
Many of the "free" website monitoring services out there (and even some of the paid services) only notify you via email when your site goes down. There are numerous reasons why this is a problem. First and foremost, if your site goes down at three in the morning, chances are you're not going to be checking your email at that hour. That means your site could be down for hours before you wake up and see the email alerting you that your site has gone down.
The second problem with email notifications is that if your site goes down, your email servers may very well go down with it. That means that you won't even receive the email from your service provider until your email is back up and running and the outage has already been resolved. This is why it is crucial to select a website monitoring service that not only notifies you via email, but also notifies you via phone and/or SMS text message.
Does the Service Only Monitor Cached Name Servers?
Different website monitoring services check the uptime of the websites they monitor in different ways. Some services only check cached name servers. The problem with this is that you aren't notified of your site's outage in real time. How soon you are notified of downtime will depend on your site's time-to-live (TTL). Depending on the hosting company you use, it may take more than 24 hours to be notified of your site's downtime. When looking for a service provider, you need to look for one that does not rely on cached name servers or TTL times to notify you of downtime.
Does the Monitoring Service Have Multiple Servers and Server Locations?
If you select a website monitoring service that relies on just one server, your site isn't going to be protected if that server goes down. If your website experiences an outage when your monitoring service's server is down, you won't be notified of your website's downtime. You need to be sure that the website monitor you choose has multiple servers and multiple server locations. This way, if a power outage affects one of the server locations, the other locations won't be affected and your site will receive continuous website monitoring.
When it comes to website monitoring services, the number of choices can be overwhelming. Knowing what to look for when choosing a service will help narrow down the choices and will ensure that you select a service that can properly monitor your site for performance issues and downtime. There are some things you should never compromise when selecting a service to monitor your site's uptime. Make sure that you keep the above features in mind when selecting the service that is right for you.
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