How often does your website go offline? Even if it’s properly coded, it may experience outages that prevent visitors from accessing it. A study conducted by the Swedish tech company Pingdom found that most websites go offline for over three full days per year. While you can’t always prevent hardware- or software-related issues from taking your website offline, you can mitigate the damage using uptime monitoring.
What Is Uptime Monitoring?
Uptime monitoring is a service that regularly checks to see whether your website is accessible. When you subscribe to an uptime monitoring service, the provider will test your website’s accessibility at a predetermined interval, such as every two minutes or every 15 minutes.
During these tests, the provider will attempt to connect to your website from one or more of its servers while logging your site’s response codes. If the provider can’t access your website, it will send you an email notification containing the response code. Uptime monitoring won’t necessarily keep your website up and running; it will simply monitor your website’s uptime and notify you if and when your site goes offline.
More Sales or Conversions
Your website may generate more sales or conversions with uptime monitoring. Downtime is a common cause of lost sales and conversions. If visitors can’t access your website, they won’t be able to make purchases or perform conversion actions.
By subscribing to an uptime monitoring service, you can minimize your website’s downtime to protect against lost sales or conversions. When you receive an email notification indicating that your website is down, you can correct the problem to get your website back up and running. Maybe the server’s hard drive failed, or perhaps your server reached its bandwidth limit. Regardless, uptime monitoring will alert you so that you can fix your website.
Promotes Happy Visitors
Visitors will have a more positive perception of your website if it has high uptime. You can’t expect visitors to enjoy using your website if it’s down for an extended period. When your website is down, the server will return a 5xx Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) response code.
Not to be confused with 4xx HTTP response codes, 5xx HTTP response codes indicate an error with the server. The 503 response code, for instance, indicates the server is overloaded, whereas a 505 response code indicates the server doesn’t support the protocol requested by the visitor. There’s also the 500 response code, which is used for generic server errors. Instead of seeing your website, visitors will see one of these 5xx response codes if your site is down. For happy visitors, you need to minimize downtime by subscribing to an uptime monitoring service.
Another benefit of uptime monitoring is more backlinks. Websites that are constantly down don’t attract very many backlinks. If your website is down, other webmasters won’t be able to view its content. In turn, the chance of them linking to your website is low at best. Webmasters will typically view your website’s content before they link to it.
Downtime may, in fact, cause your website to lose backlinks. Webmasters that are currently linking to your site may delete the backlinks if your website is down. Upon discovering a 5xx response code, they may point the links to a different site or just remove them. Either way, your website will lose backlinks. With uptime monitoring, though, your website will both attract and retain more backlinks.
Increased Search Rankings
Uptime monitoring can increase your website’s search rankings. Search engines use uptime for rankings. High uptime means that your website is reliable. Low uptime, on the other hand, means your website, isn’t reliable and, thus, fails to offer a positive visitor experience. To convince search engines that your website is reliable and visitor-friendly, you must keep its downtime in check.
At the same time, uptime monitoring will strengthen your website’s backlinks. Your website will have more backlinks if you use this service. Search engines will then recognize it as being popular, so they may reward it with first-page rankings.
You can use an uptime monitoring service to make your website faster. Most uptime monitoring services will test and log your website’s load times. While checking to see your website is accessible, they’ll measure how long it takes your site to load. If your website slows to a crawl, you can investigate the report created by the uptime monitoring service.
Long load times won’t always render your website inaccessible. Visitors may still be able to access it, but they’ll have to wait a long time for it to load. Subscribing to an uptime monitoring service allows you to keep a close eye on your website’s load times. It will reveal not only when your website is slow but why it’s slow.
Large files can make your website slow. If a particular page features many high-resolution images, it may take a while to load. Alternatively, traffic congestion can make your website slow. Traffic congestion occurs when too many visitors attempt to access your website at once. No matter the cause, an uptime monitoring service will notify you if your website becomes slow.
Easy to Use
Uptime monitoring is easy to use. You don’t have to install any software on your website, nor do you have to make any server configurations. To use uptime monitoring, all you need to do is subscribe to a service.
Some of the most popular uptime monitoring services include Pingdom, UptimeRobot, Siteuptime, and Host-tracker. Many of these services offer both free and paid subscription plans. When you subscribe to an uptime monitoring service, you just need to enter your website’s address. The provider will do the rest by monitoring your website’s uptime and notifying you if it fails to return an appropriate status code. Paid plans typically include more features, as well as a higher level of customization, but even a free subscription will suffice for monitoring your website’s uptime.
Downtime is inevitable when running a website. All websites, including Amazon, have periods in which they are down and inaccessible. Rather than checking your website manually, though, you should subscribe to an uptime monitoring service.