Website monitoring may refer to any activity where a website or web service is checked for its performance, availability, or function. This is especially important if you have a business website because it allows you to make sure that your products are always available online and there are no unexpected downtimes for your site’s visitors.
Let us take a look at how website monitoring services can be sorted according to various categories.
Methods of website monitoring
Website monitoring can be done in several ways and these methods can be grouped according to where the monitoring occurs in relation to the firewall. These categories are commonly referred to as external and internal monitoring.
External monitoring. As its name implies, this is the category for website monitoring done outside of the firewall. It is widely known to be more reliable than internal monitoring, because it remains unaffected should localized problems arise. For example, a local outage would affect internal monitoring, so problems that arise during this outage would remain undetected until the end-users start complaining. With external monitoring, the support team would be notified once the outage happens.
Internal monitoring. This is when the monitoring is done in your local network. Since it is not considered to be just as reliable as external monitoring, internal monitoring is usually used only when it is necessary to monitor a resource that is unavailable from global network.
Types of website monitoring
Aside from testing sites for availability, performance and function, website monitoring can alert the support staff whenever the page is not working as it should. A monitor type typically falls under one of three testing categories. However, there are more advanced monitors that can cover all or a combination of these.
Availability monitoring. This monitor allows you to make sure that your website is always accessible and functional to some degree. Here, the uptime of components (such as apps and servers) are tested and, should problems be detected, the webmaster will be notified before the business is affected.
Performance monitoring. These monitors check the speed of your website or service by tracking frontend and backend connection speeds, and browser load times. In the event of page errors, slow performance, and missing content, the performance monitors will issue alerts. Performance monitors may use either Synthetic Monitoring (STM) or RUM (Real User Monitoring) technology. RUM is effective in understanding long-term performance trends, whereas STM could diagnose and solve short-term performance problems.
Functionality monitoring. The functionality of a website can be tested by web application monitors or transaction monitors which could interact with forms, shopping carts, site search, and payment systems by using script files. Like other monitors, it also alerts the support staff if an error occurs. However, users can be blocked from using a web application by a lot of errors that the two other monitors might not detect.
Internet connectivity has become easier and faster around the world, and it may only continue to do so. Because of this, users can have elevated standards for the quality of a website and, for some, the likeliness of them doing business with a company is based on the quality of the company website. The market you cater to online might just be too big to disregard. So, if you really want to keep connecting with your online customer base, website monitoring is a must.