Qualities of Active Website Monitoring


When it comes to safeguarding the performance and operation of a website, it’s imperative all of its contents and elements are under constant monitoring. As a website enterprise grows and evolves to meet industry and consumer demands, so does the need for comprehensive monitoring. There are several universal monitoring techniques and methodologies. While each offers a unique benefit, perhaps one of the most essential website monitoring methods is known as active monitoring. Designed to provide detailed insights regarding the functionality and performance of a website, active monitoring is the ideal solution for both small and large website enterprises.

Active Website Monitoring – Defined

Active monitoring, also referred to as synthetic monitoring, is the act of monitoring the function and performance of a site via the use of browser emulation. That is to say, a website is tested and monitored by a script that interacts with site elements in the same manner as a user. Because of this, many refer to active monitoring as synthetic, or virtual, user monitoring. Remember, just because you have a website monitored by a specific company, doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to be active monitoring; this is something that you need to check out for yourself when you’re comparing one solution against another.

To establish active monitoring techniques, a monitoring software is directed on specific steps it must take to complete a specific action or task. This could be accessing various pages within an enterprise or interacting with in-page elements, such as a shopping cart or registration page. Once directed, and activated, the monitoring solution automatically funs through each step.

As the monitoring solution reviews and navigates throughout your site, detailed reports, such as response times and uptime, are accumulated and sent to system administrators. This is valuable as it allows an administrator to not only become aware of system issues or errors, but also determine if the website enterprise is experiencing a drop in performance. By gaining these performance insights as they happen, administrator’s are able to implement a fix before these errors have time to affect the end-user experience.

Since synthetic monitoring solutions are basically a simulation of user activity or behavior, it’s suggested that this solution be applied to monitor common navigation pathways or critical elements. While there are many benefits of active website monitoring, it’s only beneficial for pre-set pathways or transactions. Therefore, when your site changes, so does the scripting (or direction) of the monitoring solution. If your site experiences near constant change in operation or with on-page elements, you may wish to sparingly use active monitoring and primarily stick with passive website monitoring techniques.

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How Website Monitoring Attracts and Retains Customers

attracts-retains-customersRegardless of the product or service your website is selling, the topic of visitor conversions is at the forefront of many conference calls and board meetings. Whether you have a sprawling digital marketplace, or feature a specialized set of products, it’s imperative that your website be designed to promote higher conversion rates. While there are many different methods associated with enhancing the conversion of visitors to customers, none is as important as the performance of your website. Website administrator’s must monitor a wide array of metrics, but one of the most important monitoring metrics involves the performance and functionality of the entire website. Therefore, there’s a direct connection between the quality of your website monitoring solution and your website conversion rate.

Website Performance and Conversion Rates

Did you know there is a direct connection between the performance of your website and visitor conversion rates? According to a recent study, Internet users were surveyed regarding the connection between website performance and their level of engagement. After reviewing the results, researchers found that over 75% of Internet users were more likely to click out of a website should a page take longer than 5 seconds to load. As the load time extends to 7 seconds, the bounce rate of visitors is likely to double.

Therefore, one of the most important factors when it comes to enhancing conversion rates is narrowing your focus on the performance and functionality of your website. While there are many different ways to accomplish this goal, website monitoring solutions are perhaps the most essential. If you’re searching for a means of protecting the performance, and ultimately, the conversion rate, then adopting a well-designed monitoring software is paramount.

While there are several essential functionality metrics one should monitor with their solution, the following is most important when it comes to safeguarding visitor conversion rates:

  • Website Uptime – It’s imperative your website, and all of its inner components, be consistently monitored to ensure proper performance. Make sure to set up frequent uptime checks, preferably every 30 seconds. Establish an alert threshold to notify administrator’s the moment the entire website, or critical elements (such as a shopping cart application) become offline.
  • Response Time – While your website may be available, if the response time is lagging, so will your conversion rates. For the majority of eCommerce sites, a dip by even one second can cost a substantial number of new and return customers. Therefore, it’s imperative that you establish a response time threshold to alert administrator’s if the site response time dips below an acceptable range.

Deep Diagnostic Tools – The best website monitoring software is one that provides deep-level diagnostic capabilities. While you may be alerted to a performance-dropping error, if you aren’t aware where this error is occurring, it could take longer than necessary to implement a fix. Therefore, one of the most important qualities you must look for in a website monitoring solution is its ability to swiftly and accurately diagnose errors.

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High-End Website Monitoring Solutions – Benefits and Drawbacks

Imobile_mobile_application_monitoringf you were to compare the requirements of modern websites with those from a decade ago, you’d be surprised how user demands have increased. As the demand for more technology and complex interfaces increase, the need for an effective monitoring solution also enhances. While there are many free website monitoring tools capable of determining the uptime and availability of a Web server (known as low-end monitoring), these solutions are extremely narrow in its abilities. If you wish to have detailed insights regarding the functionality of the website and enterprise components, as well as information regarding user activity/behavior, then you must seek out a high-end website monitoring solution. Also referred to as active/passive monitoring, these solutions provide in-depth monitoring capabilities.

Benefits of High-End Website Monitoring Software

While there are almost countless variations to website infrastructure and deployment, there are several universal monitoring metrics that all enterprises must utilize. These metrics consist of monitoring performance and stability elements, as well as end-user experiences and behavior. Some of the most notable benefits associated with the implementation of high-end website monitoring software include:

  • End-User Experience – While it’s possible to replicate the experience had by end-users through synthetic monitoring, the only way to be certain your website and all its included elements are performing as they should is by implementing a monitoring solution capable of detailing end-user experiences. Through the use of real browser monitoring technology, high-end solutions report not only website performance statistics for real users, but also the functionality and behavior unique elements, such as third party content.
  • Streamlined Reports – In order to truly benefit from a monitoring solution, you must be given detailed reports capable of spotting trends and common errors throughout the various levels of your enterprise. Due the vast amount of data it takes to understand these (and other) elements of an enterprise, high-end monitoring solutions are vital as they offer detailed insights by the delivery of visual and context-based reports. These reports are the most effective way of discovering errors and performance leaks within a website and its included elements.
  • Global Website Monitoring – Being able to monitor the functionality and performance of your website at locations throughout the world is imperative to ensure its quality is not diminished based upon a geographic location. There are a number of web-site monitoring solutions that allow customers to use multiple data points from around the world such as Pingdom, Uptime-Pal, and NewRelic.  As the connectivity of the world deepens, your potential audience moves from a local customer base to a worldwide user base. Therefore, it’s imperative that you understand the performance of your website at various points throughout the world. The most effective high-end monitoring solutions are those capable of delivering performance reports from various points throughout the world.
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The Importance of Transaction Monitoring in Your Website

web-transactionsAs technology advances, so does the digital marketplace. The driving force behind such advancements is the complex architecture and infrastructure found within websites and its various applications. Regardless of the purpose of your website, there are bound to be dozens of unique transactions. All of these transactions support the overall interactivity and user-experiences. Therefore, in order to provide a truly stable and high-performing website, website and application transactions must be continually monitored. While there are many different methods to accomplish this goal, a well-designed website monitoring tool should provide the necessary transaction monitoring solutions.

Primary Benefits of Web Transaction Monitoring

There are literally hundreds of potential benefits stemming from Web transaction monitoring. While some advantages are specific to the type of website and applications it uses, there are several universal benefits for all websites and its included applications:

  • Enhanced availability of interactive Web forms, such as contact and order forms.
  • Enhanced availability of an entire website enterprise and its included Web applications.
  • A noticeable increase in the performance of an entire website. This is especially noticeable if the website utilizes multiple elements (applications) to complete interactive behavior.
  • Faster website outage detection. The ability to have near-instant notification of website or Web application outages, due to hijacking, defacement or server downtime, is imperative to ensuring the most stable environment possible. The sooner an administrator is capable of dealing with an outage, the lower the affected user base.
  • Effective planning capabilities when it comes to future website expansions or growth. All enterprises will experience the need for growth or improvement. The web transaction monitoring software provides the necessary data to help determine the rate of this growth, and the required increase in Web resources.

Essential Features to Look For

Much like any other specialized form of website monitoring, there are several features you must look for – specifically when it comes to the health and performance of websites and Web application transactions. The following features are considered essential for any website monitoring solution:

  • Transaction Recorder – In order to monitor the health of specific transactions, such as navigating to, adding and checking out products within a shopping cart application, these transactions must be continuously executed. While possible through manual testing, the time it takes to complete a transaction limits the total scope of testing. Therefore, a website monitoring solution should allow you to record the tasks of a specific transaction event, and upon execution, repeat these tasks automatically.
  • Diagnose Transaction Errors – The majority of website and Web application transactions require multiple steps to accomplish its goal. The most effective monitoring solutions are those that automatically diagnoses errors within each transaction step. This information streamlines the amount of time it takes to detect and correct performance issues.

Immediate Error Notifications – Not only should the monitoring solution provide immediate notifications of select errors, but it should also automatically determine the severity of an error. This ensures alerts are sent out to not only the appropriate party, based upon its severity, but also important alerts aren’t lost in a sea of non-critical issues or alerts. Make sure the solution allows users to define their own set of escalation requirements and provide the ability to set custom performance thresholds (baselines).

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