Consider this scenario: your website experiences an outage, but because you don’t monitor it on a regular basis it may be days or weeks before you notice. Repeat visitors to your site, perhaps concluding that you’ve intentionally shut it down for whatever reason, quickly let your page slip off their radar, and you find yourself incurring lost revenues and support that can be fatal to an e-business or non-profit organization.
Unfortunately, this situation occurs far too often, and the consequences can range from slightly inconvenient to downright catastrophic. So the question is: how can someone easily monitor their website to see if it ever goes down? Happily, there are some easy and effective answers.
To begin, consider using a program that monitors your site 24/7 and instantly reports problems when and if they occur. One great resource is statuscake.com, which is priced from about $400 per month to absolutely free depending on the level of service you desire. With the gold package you get unlimited downtime alerts and monitoring as well as domain name expiration, page speed reminders and constant checks for viruses that can infect, compromise and crash your site.
Pingdom.com, with services that start at around $15 per month, is another good choice for up- and downtime monitoring, and it also provides performance statistics that clearly display how your site is doing in terms of speed, click through rates and more.
Of course it should come as no great surprise that Internet giant Google has some great solutions for uptime website monitoring. Using a combination of their free services—Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs and Google Scripts—you can actually construct your own uptime monitoring page to track any number of websites. It can be a bit tricky to build (however there are lots of great online resources to guide you through the process) but once up and running the service will monitor your site at five-minute intervals and send you alerts via Gmail or an SMS should it detect problem.
If your site was built and launched with a professional designer or firm—or is administered by that designer or another outside entity—check with them to see if they offer or recommend a website monitoring service that is backed with fast-acting tech support to fix issues quickly. Quite often such a service will even be built into a design services contract, a nice element that can ease your worries and take the laborious process of constant monitoring out of your hands.
No matter whether you take a casual approach to your website’s uptime or rely on its performance for the bread-and-butter revenue it generates, there are lots of options that can ensure you’ll never have to worry about your site being dead in the water for days, weeks or even longer.