Feb 16 2011
Owning a website can be a lot of responsibility. Your visitors are like your guests. When people are your guests in real life you make sure they’re comfortable, have everything they need, and are entertained. Going to someone’s house who’s accommodating and courteous is certainly a nice feeling. On the web though, the guests come in the middle of the night. What if they show up at night and the door is closed? What if they try to log in and nothing happens? This is the situation we find ourselves in when our website goes down or stops working correctly.
To check one’s website constantly takes a lot of work. I set my site to my homepage so I can check it as soon as I open the browser. But this hardly accounts for the hours in the middle of the night. Or, as is often the case, the hours in the morning when some of us may still be sleeping. For this situation there are an ocean of services (or at least a respectably sized pond), which offer to ping your site periodically and send you notifications if it’s down. These services are extremely useful and give you a warning if the worst has happened, and your site is down.
There are many situations where your site is online but it’s just not working correctly. Perhaps the static content of your page reads just fine but when users enter a form or try to register for an account they get an error. Databases have been known to have issues at times and stop accepting queries. For any number of reasons the basic functionality of your site could be compromised. Providing the top functional website checker on the market, is Rigor.
Rigor provides all the standard website monitoring services as the other fish in the pond. It will ping your site and let you know when it’s down and send an email or SMS message. It keeps granular data on the uptime of your site including links that are slower than others. All these are documented in reports which display response times and any hiccups in your service. Rigor asserts itself as a bigger fish in the website monitoring pond, with its functional testing tool. You can automate steps to check if your site is working the way you intend from the end user perspective. For example, with SlapStart we set it up to check our search tool to make sure it returns correct results. This is a trivial example, but the service really starts to show its colors when you configure it to test a web application that provides complex functionality. You can find out right away if users aren’t able to submit comments to your forum or upload pictures.
Beyond testing your own site it can also be set it up to track all the third party providers that your site depends on. Let’s say you’re using a service for your ads or video. All businesses that your sites needs to stay up and running can be scheduled to be monitored as well. And, if you like it will also check your competitor’s sites to see if you’re keeping up with the pack (or school of fish, in this case).
There are a few configurable odds and ends that can be set up as well. To accommodate larger teams you can create users and groups, each with differing levels of access. That way everybody has the access and notifications they need to check the status on the site. Accounts come with an API key and can be linked with Google Analytics.
Keeping one’s website online and working is a full time job. Setting up alert systems is key to maintaining the level of service people expect. Rigor provides best of brand monitoring along with unprecedented functional testing of your site. The only real way to make sure your site is working is to test it. This can be completed with Rigor’s automated system along with its monitoring and reporting features. With Rigor site owners can finally have complete peace of mind knowing that their site is online.