What is web site monitoring all about? Here is Carl's story:
Carl returned to the office after a tough day of negotiations. He still was not sure if the crucial deal was on or off, but dinner would soon be waiting and he had just enough time left to check his emails and his phone messages.
He had twelve phone messages, every one of them urgent. Too late to call back right away; that would have to wait for morning.
His inbox held that familiar email report from his web site monitoring service. He smiled. As usual, there were no error alerts. That's what he liked to see -- his web site still performing well.
He looked carefully at the report. All the forms were functioning. The shopping cart, too. Password protection was functioning. At least he did not have to worry about his web site this evening.
There were still some download speed issues reported by the Hong Kong Monitoring Station. He made a mental note to raise the issue with his web host contact in the morning.
Just as he was putting on his jacket to leave, his cell phone rang.
A few minutes later, he called his wife. "Hi Ruby. How's dinner doing?"
"Great, Carl. You'll be home soon?"
"I was just about to leave when my cell phone rang. It was Dotcom-Monitor calling. It seems the web site went down. They were reporting from London."
"You mean your European customers can't access the site?" Ruby asked.
"That's what I thought at first. When the Hong Kong monitoring station reported an alert, I assumed the transatlantic connection was blocked. But when the Florida monitoring station reported in, I had to check the site. And guess what?"
"I guess that you won't be home for dinner."
"Sorry. I have to get on the line with the web host and straighten this all out."
"Hey, that's OK. I'm just happy you get instant those alerts. I would hate to see you get that call during our dinner and have to go all the way back into the office. Let me know when you're coming home."
"OK. I'll let you know as soon as I do. Bye."
Carl checked the more detailed report online. ( Here is an example: http://www.dotcom-monitor.com/AccessibilityCheck.asp )
As Carl dialed his ISP, he realized it would likely be a long evening. But not as long as if he received less frequent reports. And not as long as the next day would be if the web site had been offline for the next.
And that's what web site monitoring is all about.
David Leonhardt is a freelance writer, and an online and offline publicity specialist. Contact him at:
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