Myth #1: A free monitoring option is the best choice
You know the old adage, “you get what you pay for?” Well, it’s true. While it may be tempting to set up a free service to monitor your websites and services, in the end, you’re better off spending the small, monthly investment on a paid service. Nearly all free services limit the number of websites you can monitor or they only check for outages every hour. Many times they only offer notifications through email while paid services can natively use Twitter, SMS, Hipchat and everything in between.
Myth #2: I need to be notified the SECOND something goes down!
When you have the responsibility for making sure that servers and websites aren’t having uptime issues, you probably lean toward wanting to be notified whenever the tiniest of blips happen. Despite this natural tendency, if you’re already operating this way, you know that it’s taxing. Getting emails at 3 a.m. or texts while you’re sitting down for dinner? Most of the time the outage was reported even though nothing actually happened. When you’re vetting a monitoring service make sure they have the functionality in place to prevent false notifications. The best services double-check outages from multiple locations to ensure accuracy.
Myth #3: If I monitor my website, I’m good to go!
When you’re first setting up monitoring for your business you always think of the main website first. It makes sense that the customer-facing website needs to have as minimal downtime as possible, especially if you’re running something like an e-commerce that directly depends on revenue from the website. While this is important, if you stop there, you’re forgetting about other important monitoring needs.
For example, do you have a client access FTP server? What happens when it goes down and the client experience is compromised? Do you run your own email servers without monitoring them for downtime? What happens when they go down for hours? Maybe everyone in your office accesses a network drive for back-ups and file sharing. What would happen if that went down and you didn’t know about it right away?
Monitoring beyond the website helps ensure that your business runs as usual even if your website is working perfectly.
Myth #4: I can just do it myself with open source!
This myth is similar to #1 but often times it can lead to even more unsatisfactory outcomes. First off, don’t get us wrong, open source software is amazing. However, it can become a problem when you’re using it to solve a problem that has already been solved in the name of “saving money.” Think about how many times you have approached a problem and attempted to “homebrew” a solution. Have you ever kept track of the upfront cost of setting it up? What about the ongoing costs when problems arise? There are no support teams or forums that can replace a dedicated team of developers behind a reliable monitoring product.
We hope that this article has helped you dispel some of the myths surrounding website monitoring and empowers you to make an informed choice! Know any other common myths around monitoring products or solutions? Share them in the comments so we can dispel them in future posts.