4 Keys to a Website Monitoring Service

by PagerDuty October 4, 2012 | 3 min read

This is a guest post by Connie Quach, Sr. Product Manager, responsible for the web performance products at Neustar.

In today’s competitive environment, website performance and availability are the keys to success.  When problems arise, you need to be notified right away, so you can make corrections before customers are affected. That’s why many companies depend on website monitoring services.  But not all services are created equal.  Here are some must-have features.

Intelligent Alerting

The key to any monitoring service is its alerting policy, the rules you set for notification when your site lags.  All services have an alerting policy, but not all are truly “intelligent.” For example, wouldn’t it be wonderful if your policy was to check different locations to verify issues?  This way you would know when issues are real and need your attention.

Multiple Browser Support

Because customers use different browsers, it’s essential to know how your site performs for every one of them.   During the day, many customers use Internet Explorer because that’s what they have at work.  At home, they might use Firefox or Safari due to an iDevice.  Understanding how your site performs across different browsers will help you to ensure a more consistent experience.

Real User Measurements

Many services offer synthetic website monitoring. That is, they emulate user activity to set a baseline for performance. While this lets you troubleshoot down to the object level, it still falls short of showing you the experiences of actual users.

That’s why more advanced services provide real user measurements, enabling you to track the activities of every visitor.  For an e-tailer with millions of dollars at risk, this is a top priority.  For example, if you know the average load time for buyers vs. non-buyers, you can make adjustments which over time add up in extra revenue.

Multiple Agent Locations

Finally, because your customers are global, you need to monitor performance from their regions, countries or cities.  Without numerous agent locations, you’re not seeing the whole picture.

These are the essentials of a solid monitoring service, one that helps protect your customer experience.

Connie Quach, Sr. Product Manager, is responsible for the web performance products at Neustar. While managing and evangelizing the product line for Neustar, she also organizes the San Diego Web Performance meetup group; helping folks in the industry better understand and appreciate the value of web performance. Connie has been in the technology space for nearly 15 years, managing products from cradle to grave. Connie holds a business degree from Cal Poly Pomona, CA and a graduate degree from California State University, San Marcos.

Join Connie at the Web Performance San Diego Meetup on 10/10 as Bridgepoint Education presents “Building an Enterprise Performance & Load Testing Infrastructure.” Networking hour, with food and drinks before.