If you’ve had your website for very long, I am sure that you have dealt with downtime more than once. You click over to your site expecting to see your snazzy design pop up on your screen but instead there is a big blaring error telling you to contact the webmaster or error 500! Whatever! They are all terrible and cause that same sinking feeling in your stomach.
Questions like, “Who is trying to visit my site while it is down?”, “How much money am I missing out on?” and “Why my site?” are floating through you head. You aren’t sure how long it has been down because you decided to take a day off so that makes it even worse. What you need to have is a website uptime status check. When you have this, you can see if your site has been down and if it has, exactly how long it has been down.
How Does Uptime Monitoring Work?
If you never want to go without information on downtime and uptime, you can’t rely on yourself to be the one checking your site all day. That’s a full time job, but what you can do is get a website monitoring service that will check your website periodically to make sure it is up and to alert you if it isn’t working.
You can set your options on monitoring to check your site anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes depending on what your needs and desires are.
Even if you think that your site isn’t going to go down because it is on a great host and you have a solid set up, you could still experience some serious problems due to things that you can’t foresee.
What Could Cause Your Site to Go Down?
There is more than one reason that your site can experience downtime and here are a couple of common options.
PHP Memory Limit
If your plugins, scripts and services max out what your server can handle, your site could go down when your site’s traffic reaches your memory limit.
Your site (which includes your plugins and scripts) requires memory in order to run. Each time they are loaded on your site, it takes up PHP memory from your server in order to run. You need to make sure that you have assigned enough memory to handle the size of your site because if your site uses up all of the memory it has been allocated, your site is going to go offline.
Your Site Isn’t Optimized
If your site isn’t optimized for speed, you could be causing the downtime on your own. Images that are too large, unnecessary files, improper use of code and more can cause major site problems and downtime.
Only keep plugins that you need as this is one of the places that can suck a lot of your resources dry.
Now let’s go on to talk about the 6 tools that will help you monitor your site.
1. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is a free plugin made by WordPress and has several included services. One of these services is the monitoring of your site. It checks your site for its uptime as well as informs you by email if your site is down and if and when it comes back up. All you need is a WordPress.com account to use this free to use plugin.
ManageWP is a plugin that is chocked full of features which includes uptime monitoring. Not all of the features that are included are free and the uptime monitoring is one of the features that is paid. If you want the uptime monitoring, you will need to upgrade to a subscription plan. If you do upgrade your account, you will be able to get emails and SMS messages in case of your site going down. This is a trusted and easy to use tool.
SensorPress pings your site every 15 minutes and if there is a problem you will get an email about site downtime. The user interface is simple and allow you to get started with just a few configurable options. There aren’t a lot of different features but it does what it says it will well. You can install it easily and it doesn’t require an API key to work. If you have a small or person site, a 15 minute check should be frequent enough.
4. Uptime Robot
Uptime Robot does a check of your site’s uptime every five minutes for up to fifty sites free of charge. You are able to get notifications by email, Twitter, push or web hook if you have downtime on your site. If you have more than 50 sites that you want to monitor, you are going to need to upgrade to premium. You will have to sign up for an account no matter what option you choose to use. You can display the uptime stats on your site or view them in your dashboard.
5. Super Monitoring
The Super Monitoring plugin requires you to create an account and sign up for premium subscription. You get your uptime monitored for one or more sites depending on the plan that is chosen and you are able to get notifications by email or SMS if you have downtime on your site. You get testing every one minute as well as performance monitoring, downtime history and you can integrate Google Analytics.
internetVista does not offer a free version of their service and requires an account sign up with premium subscription service. Once you’ve done this, you can monitor your site and get notifications if there are any downtimes on your site. You can also view your site’s overall performance.
You can also choose how many ways you want to receive notification and how often your site is checked based on your plan. You have options of email, Twitter and SMS and one to sixty minute checks. This plugin costs the most but it works.
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