How to monitor your website effectively (2020)

Do you want to monitor your website for speed and availability? Would you like to be informed immediately in the event of a failure? Or do you want to know how fast your website is?

I’ll show you how you can fully automate this. I will introduce you to a tool that I use myself for my servers. And it’s completely free and easy!


1. Why do you need a monitoring tool?

There are many reasons to monitor your website with a monitoring tool. Would you like to be informed immediately in the event of a failure? Or know how fast your web page loads? The availability of a website or web application is particularly important. Speed can also have a massive impact on visitor count. For this reason, the use of a monitoring tool is absolutely necessary.

Monitoring tool:
An automated software that sends a request to your website at regular intervals. In the event of a failure or problem, you will be informed so that you can react as quickly as possible.

There is no precise information on when a website is called fast. A rough guideline is approx. 1-3 seconds charging time. If your website takes longer to load, this is negatively evaluated by search engines. It is therefore important to constantly monitor the loading time of your website. A monitoring tool does this work for you. Here you can set automated checks.

As soon as your website gets bigger and gets more visitors, it always affects the loading time. Depending on how strong your infrastructure is, the loading times differ enormously. Of course, many factors have an impact on the actual charging time, but this is about monitoring them first. Do you want to know how to optimize your website so that it loads faster? Then subscribe to my free newsletter. I will publish an article about it in the next few weeks.


2. How should your website be monitored?

There are different techniques to monitor your website. Avoid using WordPress plugins. After all, if your entire server goes down, there is nothing left to send a message to. Therefore, proper website monitoring only works with an external server outside of your infrastructure!

Some tools offer you monitoring with a simple “ping” command. But you have to know that a “ping” command is based on the ICMP protocol. Some gateways or servers do not allow an ICMP protocol. It could also happen that not your entire server fails, but only your web server. In this case, your server would answer ICMP queries normally, but your website still won’t work.

The only resonable way is to monitor your website using the HTTP or HTTPs protocol. This is the network protocol that your browser also uses to access your website. If your web server does not work, the HTTP request can no longer be answered. The monitoring tool sounds the alarm.

Some tools also offer the possibility to send a HEAD request. This method does not load the entire website but only the header. However, your web server must also support this technology!


3. What software is suitable for monitoring your website?

There are countless tools and software for this. Above all, I would like to give you a personal recommendation.

#1 StatusCake

I use the “StatusCake” tool to monitor and monitor my website. Incidentally, this tool is also used by many large companies such as “Microsoft”, “Netflix”, and many others. It is particularly easy to set up and completely free in the basic version. For example, you can set up simple failure monitoring with the basic version. You will then be immediately informed of a problem by email. In addition, it can even be integrated with other systems such as “Discord”, “Slack”, “Telegram”, “Microsoft Teams” and many more.

If you want to monitor other features such as faster response times or the validity of your HTTPs certificates, you have to upgrade to the paid version. You can also have an SMS sent here.


4. How do you set up StatusCake for monitoring your website?

To set up status cakes for your website you need “Uptime Monitoring” and “Page Speed Monitoring”.

4.1. Create contact group

Before you set up a test for your website, you should create your contact group. Go to “Alerting” -> “Contact Groups” -> “New Contact Group”. Here you can send an email notification or set up integration with other services. Start with entering a name and your email address.

Before you set up a test for your website, you should create your contact group. Go to "Alerting" -> "Contact Groups" -> "New Contact Group". Here you can send an email notification or set up integration with other services. Start with entering a name and your email address.

You can leave other fields like “Integrations” or “Webhook” blank for now.

4.2. Uptime Test

The “Uptime Test” monitors the status of your website. In the free version, StatusCake can send a request to your website every 5 minutes (or longer).

Under “Full URL” enter the address of your website that you want to monitor. Then you should enter your contact group under “Contact Groups”, which you have previously created.

Under "Full URL" enter the address of your website that you want to monitor. Then you should enter your contact group under "Contact Groups", which you have previously created.

You can leave other fields like “Threshold Control” or “Additional Options” unchanged for now.

4.3. Page Speed Test

Next, create a “Page Speed Test” under “Page Speed Monitoring” -> “New Pagespeed Test”. Enter a name and the address of your website under “Full URL”. Please select your region under Test Location. The response times of web servers are somewhat shorter in the region where the web server is located. This is because the physical path of the line is shorter. To get realistic values you should select the region of your target group.

Next, create a "Page Speed Test" under "Page Speed Monitoring" -> "New Pagespeed Test". Enter a name and the address of your website under "Full URL". Please select your region under Test Location. The response times of web servers are somewhat shorter in the region where the web server is located. This is because the physical path of the line is shorter. To get realistic values you should select the region of your target group.

Your website’s loading time will then be checked every 24 hours. You can also set this shorter for the premium packages.

It is difficult to determine an optimal value for the charging time. The rough guideline value is around ~ 1-3 seconds. If your loading time is longer than 3 seconds, this can be interpreted negatively by search engines.

4.4. Set up reporting

You can have a report sent to you at certain intervals via “Reporting” -> “Email Reporting”. There you will be notified of your tests by email. So you no longer need to worry about it yourself and log in every time.

For example, send the Page Speed Test once a day. So you always know how fast my website loads. If there should ever be a problem I can react immediately.

5. What else can you do apart from monitoring your website?

So, you’ve come to the end of this how-to. I hope I have been able to give you some useful tips on how to effectively monitor your website.

If you want to know how to optimize your website further. For example how you can shorten the loading time. Then just follow me on the social media channels or even better, subscribe to my free newsletter!

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