Back to Posts List

Why Website Uptime Monitoring Is Crucial For Preventing Downtime

Share this article

Last updated September 13th, 2022 by Emily Rollwitz in Monitoring, Tools, Explainer

Website uptime monitoring

Website uptime monitoring is crucial for any business that depends on its website. But for companies whose whole service is online, it is essential. If your site isn't reliably serving users when they need it, your competitors are just a Google search away. So you can't just check your site is running now and then - you need a tool to check it as frequently as possible.

What Is Uptime Monitoring, and Why Is it Important?

Uptime monitoring is how you make sure your website is always accessible to visitors and potential customers.

It not only alerts you as soon as your site is down but also gives you analytics to spot patterns in your availability. (Maybe your site struggles under high traffic, or a specific server is affecting your uptime in one region.) "Uptime" is a percentage measure of your site's availability according to these tools. If your site has 99% uptime, it's "up" and available 99% of the time.

If you are providing an entire B2B platform like customer relationship management or free online signature, your users can not afford to wait for your site to start working again. Sites that provide API infrastructure sell themselves on uptime above 99.99% because the services built on them need to function 100% of the time. 97% uptime might sound reasonable, but that works out to 11 days of the year when you cannot serve customers.

server wires and infrastructure

How to Set Up Uptime Monitoring for Your Site

Uptime monitoring services send requests to your site from external servers worldwide to check uptime. This ensures that your site is accessible from anywhere in the world and that it is not unacceptably slow for users in certain parts of the world.

Those requests will be met by one of several responses, each with an HTTP status code. You will recognize "404 - Page not found", but these automated requests are looking for either 200, which means the request was successful, or 500, which means it isn't.

Uptime monitoring tools will also look for "time to first byte," the time it takes to start receiving any data from your site. This measures how fast your site loads for users in that region. Additionally, these tools can alert you to breaking points on specific pages and notify you of any changes in performance on certain pages.

Uptime monitoring tools also test your site's Transmission Control Protocol, which creates connections between different servers worldwide and figures out how to send your data around in the most efficient way possible. Other technical factors like DNS lookups - the time it takes for the user's browser to find your site after they put in the address, confirm your site's SSL certificate is also tested.

Servers are used by online monitoring services to evaluate websites, servers, and applications seven days a week, around-the-clock. The monitoring service checks that the website or application is operational and functioning properly. If it discovers any performance or connectivity problems, it will alert you through email, instant message, or text message.

woman with a laptop monitors servers

Uptime monitoring tools

Many uptime monitoring programs are available online, and different tools for different needs can range from free tools to packages that cost thousands of dollars a year. While some do straightforward HTTP tests to determine whether your website is running, others carry out exceptionally complicated tasks on the server back-end to track more than 50 checkpoints. Whatever your situation is, there is bound to be a tool that suits your needs.

You should consider uptime before deploying your site to the live internet. Standard practices for quality control in testing like unit-testing and efficient data management can save you headaches and out-of-hours maintenance jobs in the future.

Ping monitor

A ping monitor "pings" your website to ensure it's up and operating. They detect a lost connection and alert you if your website is down. This tool is simple, cheap, and effective, but this monitoring method doesn't give you information on internet connection speeds and downtime data in addition to that alert.

The connection speed is an essential factor: many users will leave a site if it doesn't load within a few seconds, and that drop in engagement plus slow speeds will hurt your Google search rankings.

HTTP monitor

When moving data around the internet, we use HTTP and predefined rules that specify which data should be sent to web servers and browsers. HTTP monitors give you information on the HTTP traffic between the internet and the computer doing the uptime monitoring.

You can access advanced settings in these tools to gain extra information, such as whether or not the tool is detecting that you have an SSL certificate installed.

DNS server monitor

The DNS protocol - running on DNS servers worldwide - converts a human-readable address like "" to a unique IP address like 123.456.789, which each online computer in the world has to identify.

The DNS server monitor may give you detailed information on uptime, protocol errors, network outages, and more by running behind-the-scenes monitoring on the DNS server. The DNS must detect any mismatches between domains and their expected IPs that might be caused by an error or a deliberate hijacking by hackers. The tool can notify you of these issues immediately, which is better than being informed of them by a customer.

Night globe lights

TCP port monitor

The Transmission Control Protocol ensures that no data is lost as information moves from one network device to another. Any connection issues between servers are quickly detected and flagged up. A good uptime monitoring tool will notify the user of any failed or incomplete transmission.

Waste No Time Getting Uptime to Prevent Downtime!

Uptime monitoring is an essential part of software quality assurance, and your work will go to waste if whole regions of the world can't access your services on time. Because your site is probably hosted on a third-party provider, it's also not the kind of information you will always have in front of you.

It would be best if you had specific software to make sure you are notified of uptime issues right away. Once you are, you can get your incident response plan in motion and deal with it before too many users are affected.

Emily Rollwitz

Emily Rollwitz is a Content Marketing Executive at Global App Testing, a remote and on-demand app testing company helping top app teams deliver high-quality software anywhere in the world. She has over five years of experience as a marketer, spearheading lead generation campaigns and events that propel top-notch brand performance. Handling marketing of various brands, Emily has also developed a great pulse in creating fresh and engaging content. You can find her on LinkedIn.

comments powered by Disqus