Do you know if your website is up and running? Most people just assume their site is working. Unfortunately, that is not always a safe assumption.
I recently worked with a client who forgot to pay his yearly web hosting bill. The hosting provider turned off his site without informing him. As a result, every time a user went to the website, it was not found.
What would your customers think if they went to your site and it wasn't there? Would they wonder if your company was still in business? This client's site was down for several weeks before he finally noticed. How much business would you lose if this happened to you? How much business would you lose if your site was down for even an hour? How would you know?
One way is to go to your website and check it every 5 minutes to make sure it is working. I'm guessing you probably have other business to tend to, however, so that's not a strategy I would recommend.
Instead, you should seriously consider using a website monitoring service. The service will let you know if your website is not working properly.
Once you've signed up for an account with a monitoring service, setting the monitor up is normally as simple as entering your website address, telling the service what text it should find on your webpage, and indicating how often you want the service to check your site (the more often the service monitors your site, the more it will cost).
For example, on www.farreachinc.com
, I have the service look for "Our Services," located halfway down the page in the middle column. If it doesn't find that text, it assumes the site is down and notifies me via email and text message. As long as I don't receive any notifications, I'm comfortable the site is up and operating normally. If I do get a notification, I can respond immediately to reduce downtime as much as possible.
Check with your hosting provider and ask if they offer website monitoring with your hosting package. If not, don't worry. This is something you can easily set up yourself. Just Google "Website monitoring." You will get over a million results, but just check out the results on the first page and you're sure to find a service that meets your needs.
I have worked with two different monitoring services in the past, DotCom-Monitor
and Service Uptime
and would recommend either. Service Uptime even offers free website monitoring for a single monitor at a 30 minute interval.
If you sign up for a monitoring service and realize your site is down often, you should bring it to your hosting provider's attention and see if they can remedy the situation. If not, you may want to consider changing hosting providers.
Have any of you tried other monitoring services? Let me know.