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.