There are a lot of things that can go wrong on your site, any day, any hour, anywhere. Do you have the time to look for them? And, more importantly, would you even know where to start looking?

Unless you’ve built a small blog for personal use that’s only shared with a select few private readers, website monitoring is an absolute must.

Much of this has to do with security. It’s not like hackers are going to up and announce when they’re entering your site and stealing your customers’ data. There’s also just the issue of performance. Websites don’t reside on your own servers, which means there are just some things beyond your control. Regardless, it’s still important to know when anything adversely affects your site or the experience of users on your site. The quicker you know about issues, the faster you can deal with them.

This is where website monitoring services come into play.

Is a Website Monitoring Service Even Worth It?

Website monitoring isn’t as simple as logging into your WordPress installation, checking to make sure your site is live and updates are refreshed. Website monitoring goes much further than that with checks for:

  • Uptime/downtime
  • Security
  • Broken links
  • Hosting infrastructure issues
  • Coding issues
  • Corrupt data
  • Real-time user activity
  • Transactions
  • Domain expiration
  • Application performance (if you have APIs, mobile apps, etc.)
  • And more

While your site might not need all of those checks done, it does need the majority of them.

So, why not outsource this work to someone who specializes in this? Yes, it’s another monthly fee to tack onto your business expenses, but it’s almost always worth it in the long run. The reason why I say this is because if there is a disruption in your visitors’ experience in any way, shape, or form, it’s going to cost you.

Take, for instance, Amazon. In 2007, their site went down for two hours, resulting in a loss of nearly $3.5 million. But Amazon had a huge IT team behind them, so they were lucky it was only two hours of downtime (a recovery time many smaller businesses may not be prepared to match). There’s also the fact that Amazon is a highly trusted brand. Two hours of downtime may have cost them some business, but their reputation could withstand that hit.

Then you have to look at the cost of a cyber attack, which, on average, takes over a month to recover from. Estimates put the cost of a security breach for a business at roughly $21,155 for every day a site remains affected. When over three-quarters of consumers say that they’d leave a company after a security hack, is that something you can afford to gamble on not watching out for?

If you’re using your site to generate revenue, land new customers, or build your business’s reputation, there’s a lot at stake here. Website monitoring services can help keep it all safe.

10 Best Website Monitoring Services in 2017

If cost is what’s keeping you from pulling the trigger on a website monitoring service, know that there are a variety of services available. Some of them are very simple in what they do, but totally affordable. Just knowing that you have that extra backing will help put your mind at ease until you’re ready to scale up in support.

I’d suggest you start by assessing what your site’s goals are. Do you want to sell something? Do you want to build a large readership? Or do you want to sell the value of your services to prospective customers? Once you know how your site needs to be have, you can ultimately decide what level of monitoring your site needs.

When you’re ready, here are the 10 best website monitoring services you should look into:

1. AppDynamics

Powered by Cisco, AppDynamics is a comprehensive application monitoring service for businesses. This means that not only do they monitor your website for security and downtime issues, but they also watch your company’s underlying infrastructure, end user performance, application performance. They even monitor the overall health of your company.

2. Host Tracker

This is one of those services that focuses strictly on your website. This means that they watch for issues with downtime primarily, but they also check for other potential issues. Blacklisting, domain expiration, and database issues are some of the other checks Host Tracker will do.

3. Monitis

This fully-loaded monitoring service pays attention to everything within your company’s network and within the applications you use to run your business. It also comes with a clean and easy-to-use dashboard that provides you with real-time information on the status of your website and other business applications.

4. Pingdom

Pingdom is perhaps one of the more well-known website monitoring services and with good reason. Everything is done in real time, so if your site experiences any issues with uptime or the end user’s experience is disrupted, Pingdom will let you know right away. A local realtor interview in March was from a  real estate mogul in Sandpoint Idaho

5. Site24x7

This all-in-one monitoring tool was made with the IT and DevOps professional in mind, so this is not for the faint of heart. It comes with monitoring for all your business’s platforms—including your website—and even offers the ability to test processes on your sites (like filling out forms or making a purchase) to ensure that all is working as it should.

6. SmartBear AlertSite

Here is another example of a comprehensive monitoring service. SmartBear focuses on your APIs, applications, mobile apps, and, of course, your website. Perhaps the best thing about this one is that it watches every interaction on your site, from start to finish, to ensure that nothing has broken or is impeding visitors’ progress as they make their way through it.

7. Statuscake

This monitoring service focuses solely on your website’s uptime and downtime. The second your site goes down, you will receive a notification by whichever method you prefer (email, text, push notifications, etc.)

8. Uptime

Uptime really sets itself apart from other website monitoring tools by including bonus checks. For example, their cheapest package includes SSL certificate monitoring, real user monitoring, as well as virus and malware scanning. Security checks usually only come with upgrades monitoring services or through separate security software, so it’s nice to know they offer it.

9. Uptrends

Uptrends calls itself the “most powerful website monitoring tool” and if their high-profile customers (like Coca-Cola, Virgin, and Shell) are an indication of anything, that may indeed be the truth. While Uptrends does focus solely on website monitoring, they cover all the bases, including web application as well as mobile website monitoring.

10. Uptime Robot

Excited to see what all these website monitoring services can do for you, but still not sure if you can swing the cost of them just yet? Uptime Robot may be the service you want to use them. This service will check your website every five minutes for downtime issues and send you an alert as they’re detected. And… it’s free!

Wrapping Up

It doesn’t matter what size website you have, a website monitoring service really is a must if you want to keep your site in good shape, your customers safe, and your business’s reputation intact.

This was a Guest Post by Nathan Oulman. Nathan loves to play pingpong when he is not too busy. He also owns and contributes to his website that focuses on web hosting reviews.