There are both free as well as paid web monitoring services available for customers to pick. While the idea of free website monitoring service can be very attractive for any startup, it may not be a comprehensive package.
Especially when the business has just started to grow. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of having a website monitoring service and why startups to should choose paid over free options.
What is Web Monitoring?
Web Monitoring is the process of checking a website or service or service for availability, performance, or function. Typically these tests are carried out to check if users can interact with a website or web application as expected.
Most businesses rely on autmated monitoring while some do it manually with employees. Manual testing is often sporadic and undependable.
The tests are often done from various locations across the globe to a specific website or server. Web Monitoring helps minimize website downtime. There are many types of monitoring,
- Availability monitoring.
- Performance monitoring.
- Functionality monitoring.
It is to check a website’s uptime and ensure its accessibility and functionality. It monitors Basic availability monitors can check for slow response times, perform basic authentication, server monitoring, verify DNS records and many more functions.
Performance monitoring tools or services check a websites speed, connection speeds, browser load times. It sends alerts for page errors, missing content, and slow performance.
It tests a website’s functionalities like forms, site search, shopping carts, and payment systems. Like the other monitoring tools, this can also send alerts if it finds out any errors that would impact customer interactions.
Why A Startup Needs Website Monitoring?
While Website Monitoring can be done externally and internally within the firewall, external monitoring is predominantly preferred. External monitoring is more reliable than internal monitoring.
For web-based startups investing in web monitoring services appears as an unneeded expense at first look. A startup cannot keep giving bad user experience to new visitors and their precious existing customers.
You cannot manually keep an eye for 24 hours on their website. Even if it is possible, you may not get a comprehensive or accurate report.
Since if you open your site too often, the browser stores the web pages in the cache and fetches it from there when you open the site.
Further, the user experience with your website may be completely different when users try to access your site from different parts around the world. For all the reasons above it is better to use a website monitoring service.
Benefits of Site Monitoring Services
The site monitoring service helps a startup to deliver a superior and consistent user experience to their website visitors. As soon as you launch your site there should be a monitoring process to support the success of the startup.
You also need to discover any site issue before your users discover them. Otherwise, your visitors have a bad user experience and it prevents any good word of mouth and repeat visitors to your site.
The startup may never gain traction with their potential customer base.
Free Vs Paid Website Monitoring Service
There are many free tools to monitor your site’s uptime. Some provide free trials while others provide a free service. But are they suitable?
Most of the paid tools also have a free option typically with limited features or full-featured free trial versions. As long as you are using the trial version to evaluate the feature set, performance of the tool in real conditions and it’s suitability for your business process, it is okay.
But, in the long run, free tools don’t adequately support your business needs and may compromise the success of your startup. The reports that you will fetch using free software may lack sufficient insights.
It may monitor your site less frequently and not provide key inputs that help to recover quickly from a downtime. If you examine the matter in further detail the disadvantages of a free monitoring service become obvious.
From the analysis reports of free tools you get to know about the uptime, but nothing beyond it. To know about the performance metrics you have to opt for premium versions.
On the other hand, paid monitoring offers several other reports apart from uptime monitoring. For example, page speed monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction testing, root cause analysis, multiple user login, server performance, and reliable alert system.
In short, along with the information about your website availability you will get an insight about your website performance which is effective to outsmart competitors.
You need to invest enough time to install, configure and maintain even a free solution. So you need to think if it is worth delineating so much time to receive only an outline report and in-depth analysis.
Paid tools, on the contrary, make it easy for the installation of the tool and maintain it and also regularly update their software for superior service.
Bad User Experience
Your aim is to deliver a better end user experience through your website. Availability of a site only cannot guarantee that. Users today love a fast website and smooth interaction.
You need to understand their requirements and optimize your page for a better end-user experience. The free tool reports will not provide the data to help you to attain your user experience related business goals.
You may need to opt for a paid monitoring service to enhance the user experience of your website.
Free vs Paid Website Monitoring Service Free tools are always attractive and one may suppose it is great when you have an insufficient budget.
However, the startups more than anything else need data to improve the quality of Users experience with their websites. The data acquired from free tools may not be effective and reliable.
They may have inaccurate and insufficient information on users experience with the website or the inefficiencies of the web processes on the website.
Therefore, while planning a budget, startups need to set aside a budget for better website monitoring software. This small step and budget could make a big difference for your startup.