You know that you need a website monitoring service to alert you when your site goes down or is suffering from performance issues. The question is, do you really understand how these website monitoring services work or the differences between them? Before you can be sure that your business is really protected by a website monitoring service, you need to understand the different types of monitoring available and what separates one from the next.
Why Do You Need Website Monitoring?
The simplest answer to this question is that you need a website monitoring service to ensure that your website is up and running. However, the true answer to this question goes much deeper than this. A quality website monitor doesnt just ping your website to make sure its responding. Quality website monitoring services will check domain name system records, bandwidth, database and network connectivity, CPU load, disk space, events, RAM and other critical website factors. While uptime and response time are definitely important things to measure, the reliability and consistency of your site is also crucial and metrics must be in place to monitor for these things.
Understanding the Different Types of Website Monitoring:
As a website owner you need to understand that there are two main types of website monitoring. The different types of monitoring services available can be summed up into categories called synthetic or active monitoring, also referred to as passive or real monitoring.
Synthetic website monitoring is performed by utilizing web browser emulation. Scripts are created to act like the end user of a website. The scripts are then run at regular intervals (that you or your monitoring service determines) and your site is checked for response time and availability. This type of monitoring can be vital to your business as it allows you to identify problems and assess whether or not your site or hosting needs tweaking before end users are actually affected. Since this type of monitoring is not dependent upon virtual web traffic, a site can be tested at any time and new applicants can be tested before they go live.
Passive monitoring, on the other hand, provides reports based on actual web traffic. While this type of monitoring does allow for reporting of issues and outages, it is limited in its ability to actually protect your site from downtime.
Which Website Monitoring Service is Right for You?
If your site isnt profit driven, you can get away with using passive monitoring. Youll know when your site goes down and youll get reports regarding the reliability of your site. If, however, your site is profit-driven, then you need to be proactive in your website monitoring measures, not reactive. That is where real website monitoring comes into play.