As a business with an online presence, you must be consistent, and rigorously monitoring all of the different facets of your web mechanisms. Are you doing just that? Here are the eight classic mistakes that you need to avoid as a startup.
Not monitoring uptime
Uptime is, of course, the time that your site or service spends live. And this is something that you do not want to be affected, because the alternative – downtime – can be eye-wateringly expensive for your business, and can have serious long-term repercussions to boot.
Now Amazon is always an extreme example due to the company’s sheer size and profitability, but a 40-minute downtime back in 2013 was said to have cost the company around $66,000 per minute. Here we are six years further on and any similar downtime for the company would cost an awful lot more. What would it cost your company?
There really is no higher priority when it comes to your business, and failing to monitor uptime can be the single biggest web monitoring mistake that you make. So how do you measure your uptime? Do you simply task individual employees to check sporadically throughout the day, or do you have a more systematic process in place? Think about how you approach this crucial point. And alternative solutions – contingency plans – in the case of a worst-case scenario are essential.
Not monitoring mobile functionality
And what about mobile uptime? What about mobile, period? The latest evidence suggests that now, for the first time, more users access sites vis mobile devices than they do via conventional desktops, so not paying attention to mobile – not optimizing your mobile site and consistency checking its interactivity and accessibility – could be fatal for your business.
Ensure that you are testing for responsiveness in terms of loading speeds across all devices, and this once again needs to become a systematic check, not something that is done haphazardly.
Not monitoring web applications
Are you monitoring the performance of your web applications? You have spent countless hours developing the code for seamless web applications, but then you have failed to regularly monitor the user experience over a repeated period. How do you know that the code is standing up to the day-to-day rigors of the internet and regular usage? There are usually many different stakeholders involved too, with different vendors in play that can all have their lapses. Consistent and efficient monitoring is, therefore, essential.
Not monitoring SSL Certificates
It is now common knowledge of the difference between http sites (not secure) and https sites, which have a valid SSL certificate. Having a secure, valid SSL certificate in non-negotiable now, both because of people’s awareness of it, and because of the fact that search engines such as Google (who have had their own instances of SSL slips) actually penalize sites who do not have an active certificate in terms of SERP. Don’t see your site slipping down those all-important rankings because you have failed to monitor the validity of your SSL certificate – it’s a simple thing but many big companies have fallen foul of it in the past.
“And then SSL certificates are also a means by which hackers can set up as an intermediary between you and your users by creating a fake SSL certificate. Constant monitoring of such threats is not only recommended but really essential in this day and age of sophisticated cyberthreats,” says Adam Smith, a tech writer at UkWritings and Essayroo.
Not monitoring APIs
Your API mustn’t just be available, but working at all times. And in order to test APIs properly, you need to make a specific API request, and then go through the results with a fine-tooth comb. And then, if your type of request requires multiple interactions, those also need to be properly tested. There can be many variables at play here and employing monitoring software could be a good approach to take here, depending on your level of expertise in such scenarios, and the time you have to run the necessary requests.
Not monitoring user experience
It’s also imperative that you properly check regular user experiences off a host of different devices and servers, browsers and locations. If you are tracking data to understand who your users and are where they come from (as you should be doing) then you can utilize Real User Monitoring software to monitor these experiences.
Not monitoring server response times
Have you set an upper limit for your server response times? In this way, you can have a good idea about when it appears your servers are getting overloaded with traffic. Simple pings and connects are essential to be monitored in this way. “In addition, monitor your database servers, ensuring that the SQL server is both available to your users and active. Other types of servers, namely IMAP, POP3, and SMTP are all vital to your communications, and so need to be tested regularly to ensure responsiveness. Are you doing this?” asks Ben Filch, a web expert at Let’s Go And Learn and Coursework Help.
Not knowing if your hosting provider is monitoring or not
When you signed your hosting deal, did that hosting company promise to monitor all your site activities as part of the service agreement between you? If they did, are they doing as promised? Have you checked to see? Do you have access to the monitoring tool that the hosting company uses? The answer to that last question is most probably ‘no’, so how do you know the company is doing what it says it is?
Certainly, you can and should request the necessary data. Ensure that the company isn’t just monitoring availability, which as we have seen is simply the tip of the iceberg, and it itself tells you almost nothing. In short, contact your hosting company right away to see how vigilant its monitoring is, and be sure that you are getting regular reports including actionable data.
As you can see, there is probably way more to this than you thought at first. Check in immediately with your hosting company if you believe you have outsourced all these vital monitoring components. If they are being done internally, reconsider your vigilance, and ensure that monitoring is systematic.
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