Friday, May 16, 2014

Seven Principles for Efficient Website Monitoring

Flexible website monitoring is a key success factor for all online businesses. When a website goes down it’s not only troublesome to the business owners but also frustrating for their customers. While having a reliable monitoring solution to keep track of your website’s performance is crucial to preventing a crash here are seven principals that will help keep your site up and running:

1.) Focus on Core Markets

Monitoring tends to generate a surge of data, which may be hard to handle for some businesses. Moreover, it is only natural that some data may be more important than other. So monitoring and the subsequent activities should focus on the key markets in order to make the best use of the available resources.

2.) Add the Right Seasoning

It is critical to take seasonal adjustments into account, which may apply in specific industries. Businesses should include the tracking of the sales preparations and the associated website needs specific to this. For instance, while Easter may be a very important period for chocolate retailers in European countries with considerable shares of Christians, it may not have the same significance in Asian markets with a smaller amount of Christian inhabitants.

3.) Monitor from within Target Markets

As monitoring ultimately serves the purpose of improving the user experience, it is important to collect the data from sources that are located in the corresponding target markets. While monitoring from outside the target markets certainly is always an option in case of breakdowns, the results may be misleading.

4.) Look for All-in-one

Online availability and web experience hinge on a variety of factors, perspectives, and angles. Accordingly, it makes sense to set up various types of monitors such as HTTP, DNS, PING, etc. This lets organizations gather the necessary data to safeguard all business interests at stake. However, the benefit of that comprehensive monitoring approach will pay off quicker and better, if the collected data is displayed in one dashboard so that the business user has an overall view to make reliable decisions quickly.

5.) Draw the Right Conclusions

While the collected data may seem clear at first, it is important not to jump to conclusions prematurely. For example: If an HTTP-monitor shows abnormal peaks it obviously means that the response time is slower than usual. Yet the source of the problem may vary. It may stem from a DNS issue like the resolution of a web address or an attack on the top-level domain. But it may also just be attributed to increased traffic that the website host is experiencing or an update on the website. At any rate, all of these potential items require different remedies depending on their actual cause which has to be identified first.

6.) Drill Down Top to Bottom

The most practical monitoring approach should be top-down starting from uptime, full page load and transaction, and subsequently going down into server, load test and vulnerability testing. This reflects a path from start to finish and pinpoints the weakest spot so that the true origin of an issue may be identified more accurately and easily.

7.) Establish Redundancy

All vital systems should have a replacement in position so they can be substituted effortlessly when the need arises. Especially, when it comes to website content or software there are many instances in which it makes more sense to restore a backup rather than rebuild it from scratch. Besides running regular backups, online businesses should also have content delivery networks at their disposal so they can sidestep outages when they occur.

Source: B2C_Business

Seven Principles for Efficient Website Monitoring

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