website availability monitoring

How to monitor website availability

Charris Herrera Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

“100% website availability.” Which webmaster would not want to see this availability report? Every website owner would like their website available for users to be 99.9% all of the time. Without a website that is accessible and running smoothly at any time of day, all web-related investments will go to waste. That is why website availability monitoring is so important.

In this article you will find out:

  • What is website availability?
  • Why do you need website availability monitoring?
  • How to monitor website availability?

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What is Website Availability

Website availability means that users can access a certain website successfully. Access by means such as entering the URL or clicking a link from social media, emails, referral websites, etc. if the URL shows the expected content, then that website is “available”.

“Uptime” is another term for availability. System administrators use uptime to measure how long a system keeps functioning without interruption.

Availability monitoring is crucial to every business. Imagine your e-commerce website is inaccessible on a sale day for 1 hour. It may only be an hour of downtime, but it can greatly affect the user experience. If it happens frequently, it can severely damage your company’s reputation and revenue.

An example of this is the July 2018 Amazon Prime Day promotion. There were many eager online shoppers that day expecting to find sale items on the market. Unfortunately, they were greeted by error pages. Though the outage did not affect all users, there were still a lot of shoppers who failed to utilize the site for several hours. Amazon sold over one million products that day, but the numbers could’ve been higher had there been no downtime.

Since website availability plays an important role in an excellent user experience, website availability monitoring should not be ignored. Availability monitoring provides developers with timely alerts in case of a website failure.

Website availability is presented in percentage. To get the availability rate, divide uptime by the total time span. Your unit measure can be in hours, minutes, seconds, or days; it all depends on your preference.

Why do You Need Website Availability Monitoring?

Website availability monitoring is a powerful service that continuously tests your site’s uptime around the clock. In case an outage occurs, the system generates notifications. Stackify Retrace APM tool is an example of this service.

Retrace consistently monitors websites and alerts developers for outages or problems that cause downtime.

But there are still so many reasons why you need website availability monitoring.

Website Availability Affects Revenue

According to an Akamai study, 9% of site visitors never return to an inaccessible website or down website. There is a high probability that this 9% will simply go to your competitor. What does this mean? Losing prospects or visitors means losing conversions, leads, and revenue.

Remember that in the online world, time is money. A 98% uptime result can lose nearly $200k potential revenue.

It Can Affect Your Website Ranking

If you think availability results can only affect revenue, you are wrong. A decrease in visitors also decreases your online exposure. Google can penalize your website’s ranking if it is constantly inaccessible. It can take months for a website to recover and by then, your customer might be long gone.

If you have a monitoring tool like Stackify Retrace, you will be alerted of an outage which you can act accordingly.

Why Does a Website Go Down?

There are tons of reasons why a website goes down. Some may be intentional while others are not. Those unintentional downtimes are what you should watch out for. Website availability monitoring will serve as a primary shield that helps identify such reasons.

  • Scheduled maintenance – maintenance is a must for every website. When maintenance is ongoing, the website is automatically down. To minimize the potential negative impact to users, the maintenance should happen on off-peak hours.
  • Traffic spike – a spike in traffic is one of the most probable causes of websites going down. One of the most common solutions to prevent crashing during traffic spikes is to ensure that your hosting provider has the necessary means to guarantee uptime even during such situations.
  • Hacker attacks – malicious attacks are very rampant these days. Hackers can overload the server with requests during  DDoS attacks, inject malicious code, or even steal security credentials from your site. Developers are forced to shut the site down and troubleshoot the problem when this happens.
  • Code – Poorly-written code can cause an unnecessarily heavy load on servers. This can cause a lot of issues to the website resulting in database errors and an unresponsive site.
  • Web hosting company – if it is not traffic spike, hacker attack, scheduled maintenance, or code issues, then the problem should be in the web hosting provider itself. Website availability monitoring tools come in handy during this situation. Such tools can allow you to accurately assess the reliability of the web hosting company.

How to Monitor Website Availability

Now that you know what website availability is and understand its importance, it is time to learn how to properly monitor your website availability.

Create criteria for checking

In checking the availability, you can use these questions as your guide to properly monitor your website uptime:

  • How long does it take to load a certain page on your website (seconds)?
  • What page should you use to measure the performance?
  • What is the measurement time interval?

Check availability worldwide

If your website serves a global audience, it is understandable that you need to verify the availability and performance of the website locally. Find out if your pages are loading correctly through constant automated testing from different locations.

Find out the bottleneck

Website availability results may be down due to issues of a single element such as image loading or a problem with a SQL query. That is why your chosen monitoring tool should monitor problems including error messages on top of the regular website availability testing.

Website Availability Monitoring with Stackify Retrace

There are lots of website availability monitoring tools in the market. However, it is best to have more services on top of uptime monitoring alone, like Stackify Retrace.

Stackify Retrace can help developers monitor your website’s availability and detect outage conditions. By setting outage conditions, the system will alert the users.

But that is not all. Through Retrace real user monitoring (RUM), developers can monitor front and back end code together, and accurately locate and resolve bottlenecks swiftly. As a result, you get a highly optimized website performance with pages that respond quicker and more interactive.

If the website is highly accessible and loads faster, then end-users are happy, more engaged, and more likely to buy.

Start your FREE TRIAL with Stackify Retrace now!