WordPress websites and CMS has been the most popular CMS in the world and is been used by millions of websites in the world.
However with everything that is popular comes a lot of goodies as well as badies.
Good things are great like ease of using the CMS and easy to learn and shorter learning curve etc etc however the bad things are mostly out of context for people who aren’t developers and by the time they realise problems generally have taken their place already and then they have to hire an expert and get the problem solved or rectified.
Uptime of a website in this case also points out in the similar direction which can be due to several factors.
Everyone wants their website to be visible to their customers 24×7 and that is the intent and the purpose of having a website.
Imagine a website where you have lots of support videos and documents even though you are offline your customers can access them whenever they want and can browse through them whenever they feel the urge or the requirement for.
Thus no more support time is lost and you can easily sleep at your home while your customers can easily access your website and get the desired support at their convenience.
Uptime monitoring basically monitors your website in a periodic fashion and checks your website against time as to how much time it has been up and how much time it has been down.
Uptime thus can be calculated as per day, week, and month as well as yearly uptime.
If the uptime of a website is less than 99% then there are some issues which you should check and take care of to have a healthy website which is up most of the times round the clock through the year.
Uptime in many cases also provide crucial data and make you realise the problems your website might be having and hence uptime is really important for any website.
Causes of Downtime and ways to solve them:
1. Hacking Attempt: Most hackers run a script through your website to gain access via backdoor system or via SQL injection or running XML and other scripts. Those scripts while running can slow down your website and can also cause several seconds or a few minutes of downtime so this can come into your picture if you have a great uptime monitoring system in place and you can then access your security situation accordingly.
2. Too much Traffic: Sometimes your popularity also goes in the way of your website and causes downtime. Several surges or peaks of traffic can cause your server to slow down terribly and also cause downtime from minutes to hours as well. Hence uptime service also gives an idea as to how much traffic your website can really handle and accordingly you can increase your server requirements as well.
3. Code breakdown: Code breakdowns can give you several beating when you can realize that codes are the reason of extra downtime and server crashes due to a bit of traffic. Traffic handling in WordPress can be handled with cache plugins and server changes but code plays an important part of it and if coding breakdown happen then of course site is going to be in downtime mode hence that also can be tested using uptime monitoring services.
4. DNS issue: DNS issues can be painful and for some countries the old site will appear while for some other the new ones will appear due to DNS propagation timings and hence that also can be tested using uptime monitoring system if you have pointed the site to a new site and vice versa.
5. Hosting Maintenance and Server issues: Hosting maintenance and server issues can let your site down and hamper your websites working and that is of course a reason of concern. Major people go for uptime services to check whether their site is down due to hosting problems and most of the times it is the only reason why the website is down. If your host fails to live upto the expectations of 99% uptime then you should go elsewhere and opt for some other host. This is the reason why you shouldn’t be buying a year’s or annual plans with host but rather keep them monthly basis because you never know when your host can go down and cause problems for your website.
Offline backups should also be taken timely for you to be better prepared to leave the host whenever the need arises.
Following are the plugins that can come handy when you think about Uptime monitoring services for your WordPress website:
1. Uptime Robot Plugin for WordPress:
Uptime Robot Plugin requires an uptimerobot.com website sign up and uses its API. It lets you show the server stats from Uptime Robot inside your WordPress dashboard so that you need not go to that website each time. Response time, charts and all monitors can be shown. Uptime Robot monitors your website with 50 monitors on each 5 minute duration which is free of cost you get for your website.
This plugin also lets you know which of your service is down like if only mail service is down or FTP is down or the web server is down and you can selectively check it back from your hosting. It notifies you via email and hence this is a nice system to get your updates all the time.
2. ManageWP Worker:
ManageWP Worker is much more than only monitoring service. It lets you manage multiple WordPress websites, their upgrades, posts and a lot more than that from one place itself. So basically you become a master admin for all your websites and manage them from one place. Cloud backups and 1 click offline backups are also possible using this service.
One of the service in this includes monitoring system. There are several paid add ons but it is a good plugin for you to try and use it. But if you need only uptime monitoring system then the first plugin we wrote above is better as it is dedicated for that purpose itself.
JetPack as a plugin can be downloaded from WordPress plugin repository. It has several add ons like CDN, Mobile website etc and one of them being uptime monitoring service. Since the monitoring will happen using Automattic servers they can be thought of as reliable and in case you are using JetPack already for comments or any of the add ons they have then probably it will make more sense for you to just turn this add on and check it out and use it instead of using another plugin for the same.
4. WordPress Monitoring Plugin by Sitestillup:
Getting notified by Email or SMS for uptime of your website which is what is advertised by them. For using this plugin you need to have an account at Sitestillup. Many hosting companies claim to have 99% uptime but aren’t up and have false claims and this plugin is a great way to judge them and check your websites uptime easily. One website for 60 minute duration checks you get free of cost from this plugin which i think is decent enough however if you need better checks then again the first plugin we recommended should be good enough as it provides every 5 minute checks.
5. Super Monitoring:
Super monitoring is another independent service just like the above ones providing uptime monitoring services. However this one is a commercial plugin and in case you need a paid one then you should opt and check for this one. The above ones mentioned are all free for life.
Status Cake just like the above ones is another independent service. It has a completely free plan which monitors your website at regular intervals of 5 minutes and is free for life plan. There are several other paid plans available which increase the options like SSL, Virus etc and increases the checks as well. We can say this plugin and service is comparable to Uptime Robot.
Conclusion: Uptime Robot and Status Cake are the better ones we checked and special mention should be given for Pingdom tools: https://www.pingdom.com/product/uptime-monitoring which provide a better paid plan and 14 days trial period just like Super Monitoring service.
Choice is ultimately for the users to make which service they want to try.