What to Look for in a Website Monitoring Solution


Within the realm of website monitoring solutions, there are many confusions among the system administrator’s. While the fundamental purpose of a website monitoring tool is universal – to maintain optimum performance and functionality – there are literally hundreds of different features and techniques associated with this topic. If you’re in the market for a website monitoring solution, then you should ensure it comes with a select number of features capable of supporting a variety of monitoring techniques. The following features and capabilities are considered essential to host a continually-stable environment.

Website Server Availability

This is one of the most basic features any website monitoring solution must offer. Through the use of an ICMP or Ping service, this feature sends out a data packet to the actual website server. This feature is the first line of defense when it comes to determining whether or not your website is currently available or if it’s offline. Well-equipped website monitoring solutions are capable of not only monitoring site availability, but sending high-priority alerts to administrator’s should a server Ping go unanswered.

Website Response/Loading Time

There are a few errors that can disrupt user engagement, and conversion rates for eCommerce websites, then a slow website response time. In fact, the majority of Web users expect a website to completely load within a matter of three seconds or less. In order to keep up with this demand, it’s imperative a website monitoring tool provide constant metrics regarding current and historical website loading and response times. Set a threshold regarding response time. When the loading time dips below the acceptable range, an alert is automatically triggered and notifications are sent to the appropriate parties.

Content Quality

One of the most important questions an administrator must ask himself is whether or not his content is loading properly. There are many reasons why content will improperly load; however, the most significant of these is an error regarding the HTML coding within the page. In order to effectively monitor and ensure website content properly loads, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution closely analyzes the rendering of in-page content, which includes all third party applications and elements.

Application Response and Reliability

The response and reliability of Web applications are one of the most essential aspects of an effective website. While there are web application monitoring solutions designed specifically for these tasks, it’s paramount that your website monitoring solution be capable of testing the response time and availability of critical Web applications, such as a login function or a shopping cart. If you’re only relying on a website monitoring tool to ensure application’s are running smoothly, make sure you purchase an enhanced solution capable of delving into the inner components of an application.

The Connection Between Website Monitoring and Search Engine Ranking Results


No matter what your website’s specialty may be, all webmasters are concerned with increasing their placement within search engine results. While you may gain traffic through other marketing means, such as advertising or via social media connections, the top source of targeted traffic is still organic search engine visitors. The reason for this is because visitors sent via search engine results were actively searching for information found within your site. Therefore, in order to grow your online presence, you must focus on increasing your search engine rank.

The primary method of accomplishing this goal is through search engine optimization, or SEO, techniques. While the methods used to accomplish this goal through SEO techniques have drastically changed over the years, one of the most important elements in the final determination of search engine results is website performance and stability.

Website Performance and Search Engine Rankings

Several years ago, Google (and other search engine giants) released information pertaining to their overall goal, which is to make the Internet a fast and reliable source of quality information. Evidence of this goal is clear in how search engines rank websites based upon content quality. However, part of making the Internet a stable environment is by promoting high-functioning and high-performing websites.

While Google has yet to release the exact requirements for higher page rankings, they have made it obvious that website speed and stability is paramount within their ranking algorithm. Therefore, if you’re seeking higher search engine rankings, you must focus on increase website speed and overall performance.

Along with measuring the speed of a website, Google and other search engine giants rank sites based upon their user bounce rate. The bounce rate of a website is determined by the number of visitors who click into a single page within a website and exit on the same page; i.e., they do not visit more than one page within the site. While this does not necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong with your site (as some visitors may receive the information they were looking for within a single page), extremely high bounce rates indicate the website offers low content quality and undesirable functionality or performance.

Website monitoring solutions actively work to safeguard the performance and functionality of your site. Therefore, these tools directly influence your search engine page ranks. Through the implementation of a website monitoring program, you’re capable of effectively managing the most vital performance-influencing components of your website. While this is only one aspect of ensuring high page ranks, it is one of the most important. If you’ve noticed a lack of organic search engine traffic, the first step is to ensure you’re delivering quality content. However, immediately after, you must ensure your website is performing within the acceptable range for users and search engine crawlers.

Measuring the Reliability and Quality of Website Media


As our world moves more and more into the digital realm, the need for enhanced forms of content becomes ever important. Modern Internet users demand not only easy-to-digest written content, but also visual content in the form of streaming media. In fact, all industries are feeling the influence of streaming media within their enterprises. While streaming media, in the form of video, audio or images, is an essential component to attract and retain visitors, it’s the performance and stability of this content that’s truly important, says the website WebHostingBuddy.com.

Website Monitoring for Streaming Content

The notion of using monitoring software to safeguard the stability and functionality of a website is nothing new. In fact, many websites that host streaming content currently utilize a performance monitoring solution in some fashion. While older monitoring solutions may not provide the necessary features and capabilities of monitoring streaming content (source), the latest releases of the most popular monitoring solutions are capable of isolating media and monitoring it for performance and functionality.

If you’re interested in applying this level of protection and monitoring of your enterprise, there are several features you must ensure your monitoring solution provides, which include:

  • Variety of Supports Streams – Because the type of media used in websites can greatly vary, it’s imperative a monitoring solution be capable of monitoring the most popular multicast streams, such as: Quick Time, MPEG Files, Internet Radio, Windows Media, Real Audio and a Stock Market Ticker.
  • Continuous Monitoring – Some monitoring solutions only check streaming media files periodically throughout the day. While somewhat effective, for maximum control over your media stability, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution be capable of providing continuous monitoring of high value streams, such as imported video or audio files.
  • Variety of Detection Capabilities – Streaming media files are some of the most dynamic forms of visual content a website can host. Because of this, there are several unique detection capabilities a monitoring software must include. Necessary levels of detection include:
  • Black Screen or Static Video
  • Dead-Air or Loss of Audio
  • Missing media streams (audio and video)
  • Data packet loss
  • Changes in bandwidth usage
  • Automatic Alerts – Much like any other monitoring element, the alert options within a streaming media monitoring solution is imperative for its overall effectiveness. Because of this, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution provides automatic alerts should bandwidth usage dip or rises above its pre-set thresholds (baseline). Make sure that the monitoring tool is able to send alerts via a variety of platforms. For example, email alerts for non-critical errors or SMS/Phone alerts for critical errors (such as a complete loss of media). Another vital alarm feature is repeated alarms should an alert go unattended to for longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This is imperative for critical errors or issues.