You’re a busy, working person. So the term “downtime” probably evokes a sigh of relief. Perhaps you imagine relaxing on the beach with a cold beverage, settling in for an afternoon with a good book, or escaping a hectic day to duck into the latest blockbuster movie.
But when it comes to your business website, downtime is the last thing you want. Your website doesn’t get to take a vacation — even when you do.
Website uptime is the opposite of downtime. It’s a measure of reliability. Specifically, it refers to how much time your website is available to, and usable by, your visitors.
Uptime is good; downtime is very, very bad.
Your website needs to be “up” — visible and fully functional to your visitors — as close to 100% of the time as possible.
If your website is down, the visitors you have worked so hard to drive to your site won’t be able to do anything once they get there. And that means sales suffer.
A website can be down due to a number of culprits, from a server hardware or software failure, to a network failure, to a routing or DNS failure.
When one of these failures happens, instead of being dazzled by your offerings and your beautiful web design, your potential customers may be faced with some ugly sequence of numbers and letters, like “500 INTERNAL SERVER ERROR” or “HTTP ERROR 404 NOT FOUND.”
Or, they could be looking at a completely blank page, or a page that only partially renders. Remember how you invested in finding just the right fonts, colors, and graphic elements for your site? All gone.
And with it, a potential sale.
When a visitor to your website sees that your site is down, what do they do? In your dreams, maybe they contact you to let you know. (That is, if they can find a phone number or email address for your business elsewhere!)
But in reality, in most cases, they will click away and go to a competitor’s site instead. Maybe they plan to check back later, but life gets in the way and they forget. Worst case? They could assume that your business has closed its doors forever.
Obviously, from a business perspective, this is definitely not good. And it means that you can’t depend on your visitors to alert you to problems on your website. You need a proactive, 24/7 solution.
There are four monitoring options that can alert you to website downtime:
1. Internal Monitoring: Your web host or provider may run simple tests to make sure your homepage loads. But they won’t catch routing, DNS, or backend database problems. If your business hosts its own site, you may be able to do some more in-depth internal monitoring. But this requires the cost of setting up and maintaining hardware dedicated to this work. And you still can’t catch routing, connectivity or DNS issues.
2. Open Source Monitoring Software: These systems can be pretty effective, but they’re often difficult to configure. They require in-house tech expertise, hardware, updates, etc., which can be a drain on staff time and the company budget. In addition, open source documentation is often incomplete or hard to find, so you can waste hours looking for answers online. Finally, if your monitoring software is in the same network as your website, it won’t catch problems that happen outside of the network, like routing or connectivity errors.
3. Locally Installed Paid Software: These systems often have better functionality, documentation, and usability than their open source cousins. But they’re more expensive, require a server and ongoing maintenance, and are still not able to monitor from outside the network.
4. Third Party Monitoring Service: For most businesses, large and small, an external monitoring service, like elkMonitor, offers the best value and reliability. They’re easy to set up, don’t require any hardware or software, and offer pricing that’s consistent and affordable.
With elkMonitor on your side, here’s what happens if your site goes down.
Here are some other perks of using elkMonitor as your website uptime partner:
Complete Monitoring: In addition to notifying you of downtime, our system can monitor the functionality and speed of every aspect of your site, providing detailed reports that enable you to improve visitor experience.
Multiple Locations: Our remote test agents assess the performance of your website from multiple locations, alerting you to issues before your customers notice.
Easy Set-Up: There’s no software to install, no infrastructure to manage, no up-front cost, and no long-term contract to commit to.
Customized Pricing: We offer a variety of monitoring intervals, as often as every minute, so you can choose a level of investment that’s affordable for your business.
Real Support from Real People: We don’t outsource our support. Every call you make comes directly to our dedicated team in North Carolina. You’ll also have access to support via forums, email, and online chat.
Set-up only takes a few minutes. And we don’t require any credit card information to get started. Sweet!
Sign up for a free 30-day trial to experience peace of mind from elkMonitor.com.