With koality.io and Leankoala we have created two of the best website monitoring tools on the market. But what do people actually mean when they talk about website monitoring? This much up front, it's not simply a continuous check to see if servers are still responding.
Website monitoring can be done on very many levels, all of which are important for different reasons. But they all have one thing in common: without it, a web product is less successful. In this article, we will discuss what we consider to be the most important reasons.
Monitoring website accessibility](/en/magazine/articles/uptime/availability-websites-monitoring) is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about monitoring. In fact, it's also the most commonly used component of a monitoring strategy. Basically, it is about checking whether a website is generally reachable. In most cases, the HTTP status code is used here. If this is 200, there is a very good chance that content will be delivered to the customer or user. Accessibility is also often called uptime.
Because it usually comes with uptime monitoring, performance monitoring is also very common. That the two come in a package is understandable, because to get the HTTP status code of a web page, you need to retrieve it. And if you already retrieve it, then you can measure the time as well. Done is the performance monitoring.
Of course, the whole thing is not as trivial as we just described, but basically it is for a simple measurement. In the meantime, however, performance is understood to mean a variety of metrics.
- Server speed (time to first byte) - how fast do you get the first response from the server?
- Browser speed (Time to load) - when does the browser indicate that it has finished loading?
Google decided some time ago that the classic metrics don't allow for a real evaluation of the user experience, and thus aren't particularly relevant for evaluating the site. That's why Web Vitals were then invented, which can be seen as a kind of rating for perceived performance.
Nevertheless, the classic metrics are still very valuable. For example, they can be used to find out how well a website scales. This can also be easily seen from the TTFB.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is an important user-centric metric for measuring perceived loading speed, as it marks the point on the page loading timeline where the main content of the page is likely to have loaded - a fast LCP reassures the user that the page is useful.
- First Input Delay (FID) - First Input Delay (FID) is an important user-centric metric for measuring load response, as it quantifies the experience users feel when trying to interact with unresponsive pages - a low FID helps ensure that the page is usable.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts - a low CLS helps ensure that the page is responsive.
We took the text about Web Vitals directly from the Google Handbook.
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Search engine friendliness
No search engines, no new customers. It's as simple as that sometimes. A great deal of traffic to websites comes from search queries on the big players like Google and Bing. In order for them to rank you well, a lot of things have to be taken into account. For example, it is important that the right HTML meta information is set and that it will continue to be set in the future. There are technical things like a sitemap.xml or a robots.txt that have to work. In the SEO area you can do a lot wrong, unfortunately this is often noticed only after weeks, when it is then already sometimes too late.
Accessibility, as described above, is always a very important criterion when a lot of logic happens on the servers. However, modern websites are shifting more and more business-critical processes to the browser. These can be complex forms and applications, but also advertising or tracking pixels, which are only called up in the frontend. This means that almost every website has technical challenges that need to be monitored.
There are two approaches here that show promise:
Not only technical components of a website can break, the chance of making content mistakes is much higher. For this reason, it is important to analyze and continuously check the content of a website as well. Here you have to distinguish two types of errors:
- technical errors: Should fundamental errors occur in the backend or in the templates, which lead to the fact that, for example, internal links are no longer set correctly or images are assumed under a wrong path and are therefore no longer displayed. The "good" thing about such errors is that they appear everywhere. Of course, this is only good because you can find such errors very quickly. Here it is important that you store at least one URL for each page type in the monitoring and check them for content errors.
- editorial errors: This type of errors are harder to find than the technical ones. But this is not a bad thing, because it automatically means that they do not occur as often. Here you would not approach with classic website monitoring, because often a web offer has too many pages to want to analyze them every hour or even every minute. The answer is crawling. In other words, systematically going through all the pages at defined time intervals.
What is worse than a website that is not reachable? A website that is not reachable and the browser says it is not for security reasons. To prevent this from happening, the HTTPS certificate must be continuously checked for validity. This is a fairly simple query, but it can save the whole system from collapsing. In addition to the general validity of the certificate, you should also monitor that no HTTP content has crept onto the page. This can cause the browser to display the page as not fully secure at the top of the address bar.
Website monitoring is multi-faceted in the truest sense of the word. Not every area that can be monitored needs to be monitored in full depth. What is certain, however, is that each of the areas has checks that should be done on an ongoing basis. Even if there are not always many, must-haves are everywhere.
And this is exactly the approach koality.io takes. We offer the must-haves from all areas in a compact service. This can then be supplemented with other expert tools as needed.
It's nice that you are reading our magazine. But what would be even nicer is if you tried our service. koality.io offers extensive Website monitoring especially for web projects. Uptime, performance, SEO, security, content and tech.I would like to try koality.io for free