Having a website is not a "set it and forget it" endeavor. These days, with dynamic content, hackers, social media links, and rapidly changing technology and competition, it's important to constantly monitor your website to make sure it's at peak performance and delivering content your visitors find useful. Ultimately, you want to convert website visitors into paying customers, and so it's vital that your website is available, loads quickly, and is serving useful, directed content to your visitors as intuitively as possible.
Monitoring your website involves making sure, primarily, that your website is up and running. Lots of web hosting companies will promise 99.9% uptime. They guarantee that in any given week your website will not be unavailable for more than 10 minutes. However, there are reasons beyond the control of your web hosting company for why your website might be unavailable. That's why it's important for you to monitor your own website or pay a third party to monitor your website for you. The folks over at The Next Web have written an article (actually more of a plug) about this. They are pushing a product called "Monitis", but there are free solutions as well. Extra Nerds can help you find the right solution for your website. With Monitis on one end of the spectrum and manual website checks on the other, there exists a large collection of software products and services in that range to help you make sure your website is available and performing optimally.
Why is all this important? First and foremost, your website visitors expect youre website to be available at all times. If it's down, you're missing potential sales. Visitors also expect a website to load in three seconds or less. Studies have shown that websites that load in four seconds will experience a seven percent loss in sales conversions compared to a website that loads in three seconds. One second makes a big difference. So it's not only important that your website is up and running, but it's also important that it loads very quickly. It's also vital that you are providing useful content and directing your visitors to a sales conversion page. And there are several other things to consider when making sure you're website is doing what it was intended to do. Do you know how much traffic your website can handle? If you sell online, are all your purchases going through without fail? How would you know if they are not? What problems are your website visitors experiencing and how are you made aware of them?
Setting up a website, some might say, is the easy part. The real art of running a website is constantly monitoring it and fine tuning it to maximize your website's usefulness. As mentioned, software such as Monitits mentioned in the article on The Next Web has it's places. Here at Extra Nerds, we also provide services to monitor and fine tune your website for you. If you're usure what your needs are then contact us. We can help you figure out how much effort you need to put into monitoring your website and what solutions are available out there to fit your specific needs.