The website monitoring service tests and verifies that end-users can interact with a website at all times. It is used by small and large businesses and organizations to ensure that their sites are live and responding.
Monitoring is essential to ensure that a website is available to users 24x7 and downtime is minimized. Users that rely on a website for work or pleasure will get frustrated or even stop using it if it is not reliably available.
Website Monitor Settings
The website monitor supports following settings -
- Check Interval -
This field lets you select the website check interval or website monitoring interval.
For example, if you select "15 Minutes", then the website is checked once every 15 minutes.
Following intervals are supported -
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 & 60 minutes
- 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 18 & 24 hours
- URL - This is the most important field and specifies the address of the website or a webpage to be monitored. Examples are - http://montools.com or http://montools.com/website-monitor.html
- Redirects - This field is required when the URL to be checked redirects (or forwards) to another URL. If you allow URL redirection here, then the monitor will check the final URL.
- Port - Webbrowsers talk to websites on port 80. However, in some cases, it can be some number other than 80 and is somewhat important field too.
- HTTP Method -
URLs can be accessed using one of the following methods -
- HEAD - When the HEAD method is used, the website returns meta-information written in response headers, but doesn't return the webpage content. So, this method puts less load on the website being monitored.
- GET - When the GET method is used, the website returns the webpage content along with the meta-information written in response headers.
- POST - The POST method is used when the webpage contains a form. Using this method, the site monitor can check if a form is working right.
- Post Variables - This field is an optional field and is required only if POST method is selected to test a form.
- Username & Password - These fields are usually optional fields but are required to monitor a URL that is protected by HTTP Authentication. HTTP authentication is usually used to create a password protected directory on the webserver.
- Timeout - The timeout option lets you select how long the monitor will wait for a response from the website. The default value is 30 seconds.
- Public Stats Page - Selecting this option automatically creates an easy to remember webpage where you can look at the monitor status without logging into your account.
Website Monitor Alerts
The alert system can be configured to send you or your colleagues free alerts using one or more of the following methods -
- Email Alert - Sends an email alert to one or more contacts
- SMS Alert - Sends an sms alert to one or more contacts
- Twitter Alert - Sends a private message to one or more contacts
- Callback URL - Sends the alert parameters as a POST request to the callback URL
- Escalation Policy - Executes a simple or complex escalation policy created by you
Triggers - The alert system can be set to trigger and send out above alerts on following conditions-
- Error - It is recommended to trigger on this condition.
It is a catch all condition and is triggered if one or more of the following are true -
- Response from website server takes longer than the specified timeout.
- Monitor is unable to resolve the website due to a DNS error. However, the DNS entries may be cached for some time and the monitor may not fail due to intermittent DNS errors. To catch DNS errors, use the DNS monitor type option.
- The URL redirects more times than allowed.
- Website returns HTTP code ≠ 200 when URL redirection is OFF.
- The final URL returns HTTP code ≠ 200 when URL redirection is ON.
- Login error in case of a password protected directory or URL.
- Connection Error - This condition catches only connection related errors, for example, timeout, dns error, etc.
- Login Error - This condition catches only login errors in case of a password protected directory or URL.
- Response Time - This condition can be used to trigger alerts when the response time exceeds some arbitrary value.
- HTTP Code - This condition can be used to trigger alerts in case of an unexpected HTTP code. Common HTTP codes are - 200 OK, 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Moved Temporarily, 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden, 404 Not Found, 500 Internal Server Error, 503 Service Unavailable, 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded, etc. For more details, see list of HTTP codes
Logs, Statistics & Graphs
Following parameters are available for logging, graphing and statistics -
- Uptime -
This is the most important parameter.
It is a measure of the time a website has been up without any downtime.
The higher the uptime, the higher the website reliability.
The following table shows percent uptime versus downtime per year -
Percent Uptime Downtime/year 90% 36 days, 12 hours 95% 18 days, 6 hours 99% 3 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes 99.9% 8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds 99.99% 52 minutes, 33.6 seconds 99.999% 5 minutes, 15.36 seconds 99.9999% 31.536 seconds
- Status - This parameter tracks the pass/fail status of the monitor.
- Response Time - Response time is the total time taken by the monitor to contact the website and receive the data from it. This is the second most important parameter. If the website is slow, visitors may move to another website rather than wait.
- HTTP Code - The HTTP code returned by the website can be used to tell the reason of the website failure. Common HTTP codes are - 200 OK, 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Moved Temporarily, 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden, 404 Not Found, 500 Internal Server Error, 503 Service Unavailable, 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded, etc. For more details, see list of HTTP codes