Paid Uptime Monitoring Services
Paid uptime monitoring services offer many customizable features for those that need the highest quality monitoring of their website and servers. While free options allow individuals to try different services at no risk, they are also limited in their options and may not offer the full spectrum of services required.
Paid Uptime Monitoring Services Advantages
Free monitoring is a viable option for beginners, but once traffic increases and more sales are generated, upgrading to a more demanding plan with better features is the next step. The two primary advantages that can be found with paid uptime monitoring are the robust, reliable service and the increase in number of features over the free services.
There are many additional features offered by paid uptime monitoring sites that make them more popular than the traditional free sites. Many advanced features include:
- Error details
- DNS monitoring
- Ping monitoring
- Graphical reports
- Custom time zones
- Multiple alert contacts
- User accounts
- Server health monitoring
Error details relay the type of error when a monitor fails. Common errors include website timeout and a 404 error. DNS monitoring observes the domain name server which houses the websites IP address. Ping monitoring is available for those users that prefer to observe their site using a ping (utility that tests whether a host is available across an IP address).
Graphical reports are the daily or monthly statistical reports in graph form to make them easier to read and understand. Custom time zones permit the user to set a specific time zone for each selected service monitor. API’s allow a combination of many services sent into new applications.
Multiple alert contacts let users notify different individuals when an error occurs or a failure is detected. A user account function permits clients to create sub-accounts to the primary account with restricted access. This feature is customizable so the main user can allow read-only access or the ability to edit, create and delete monitors.
Some uptime monitoring services offer server health checks. Users can optionally monitor server health and uncover causes of potential problems. This allows for a much more streamlined approach where users can catch and fix issues that could become disastrous.
Other attributes comprise:
- XML/RSS statistics
- Blackout schedule
- Statistics downloads
- Custom reply to alerts
- Send alert on each check
- Public status page
- Custom ports
- Secure servers
- Response time statistics
XML/RSS statistics are a helpful feature that lets users display monitoring statistics on their website utilizing XML and RSS feeds. A blackout schedule is simply a timetable for upcoming maintenance. This element offers webmasters the convenience of designating a specific period of time which can be daily, weekly or monthly to stop monitoring. Typical uses of this function are for scheduled maintenance as well as upgrades.
Statistics downloads permit users to download their monitoring statistics into an easy .csv format. This assists with analyzing the data from any location and allows for improving tracking. The custom reply to alerts feature lets users allocate both from and reply to email addresses on email alerts sent from the monitoring service. This function is advantageous for those users that directly send alerts to their hosting company.
The public status page let’s monitoring statistics be posted publicly for others to view. Generally those with higher membership levels will display more detailed information. Custom ports are a customizable feature allowing users to also monitor their ports. Additionally, users can set up and monitor secure sockets layer (SSL) servers.
Finally, response time statistics are another beneficial report that can be utilized to judge the amount of time a server reacts to a ping. The rule is after 30 seconds with no response, the server is considered to be down. These statistics can usually be optimized by time periods, averages per day or hour, and the range of response times (slowest and fastest).
These are the most common features found on paid web uptime monitoring services. Not all services offer all of these options. There are trade-offs between the various services so depending on website need, one service may be a better fit than the other. It’s better to sign up with sites that offer many features so users can customize those that will be used often. It also makes for much better reporting and analysis.
Reviewing the various features a monitoring service offers will help the user gauge the effectiveness of the web host. The more features that are tracking the host, the better view an individual has of the overall reliability of that service.
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