Thursday, July 07, 2005

Why web hosts and ISPs need web site monitoring
By David Leonhardt

If you have spent much time earning a living on the Internet, few things will surprise you. However, I am always amazed with how many companies and individuals make astounding claims without backing them up.

Web hosts and ISPs make such claims all the time: 99% uptime. Some web hosts post on their site live results of their uptime from a third-party web site monitoring company. However, those hosts are very few.

Here are four reasons why every web host and ISP (Internet service provider) should post uptime and connectivity statistics from an independent, third-party web site monitoring firm, with an external monitoring network.

Monitoring reports are excellent marketing tools

This is the most obvious reason a web host or ISP should post monitoring reports on their site. Don�t tell me you have 99% uptime. Even the worst hosting companies and ISPs can make that claim, but it does not make it true. Prove it to me. Posting a report right on your home page, or posting a link to the report up front on the home page tells me you not only can make claims, but you can deliver!

Make sure to post your uptime statistics for the last day, week, month and year, so the customers know you are in it for the tong haul.

Web site monitoring reduces technical support work-load

A recent review by Dotcom-Monitor reveals that accessibility calls to a web host�s technical support can be reduced by 30% just by posting the current status of the web site as reported by an independent monitoring service.

Often a user will call technical support if he encounters a slow Internet connection or download times, dial-up problems, web site accessibility or various computer issues. Users assume the problem is with their web host or their ISP, and call technical support to fix the problem, even if the problem is on their computer.

Real time independent connectivity reports eliminate the need for such calls in many cases, by showing what the status of the site is. A sample report at gives an idea of how this works.

Web site monitoring is good customer relations

If it costs up to ten times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, independent web site monitoring can help you keep those precious customers.

Nothing is more frustrating for the end-user than to have her site down and nothing is more embarrassing for an ISP to receive a call from customer about a downtime, especially if it is related to a connectivity issue the hosting company or ISP is not even aware of.

An external monitoring network can alert an ISP or web host immediately to problems that often cannot be detected by internal monitoring, allowing the company to address the issue immediately�and hopefully before a customer even notices that a problem exists.

Monitoring cuts the burden of dispute resolution

Corporate hosting clients and Internet access customers often expect certain levels of service and enter into an SLA (service level agreement). Often, SLA contracts impose fines on ISPs and web hosts who do not meet the targets. Determining how those levels are measured can be difficult, but an independent, third-party monitoring service can easily resolve disputes before they begin.

Dotcom-Monitor is among those services that provides an added SLA reporting function, which can be seen at . Both the host or ISP and the client can view the reports, and reporting intervals can be set based on the terms of the SLA contract.

While every web site can benefit from some form of monitoring, no class of business needs more the credibility of an independent monitoring service as much as those who provide access to the Internet for their clients: ISPs and web hosting companies.

About the Author

David Leonhardt is a freelance writer and SEO consultant in Canada. He wrote this article for his Web Site and Network Monitoring client. Read more information about web site monitoring or about network monitoring.



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