Web Hosting
Web Hosting Web Hosting is a service which makes a site available from the Internet.

Web Hosting is a service which makes a site available from the Internet. It provides a physical place for your site (server) and Internet connection, also it may provide DNS services. Hosting companies differs from those who own huge datacenters to the small ones who rent couple of servers somewhere.

How to choose a hosting? You should pay attention to several important things: features, price, support and uptime.

Features include disk space, database usage, bandwidth, monthly traffic etc. Requirements totally depend on your site. It is clear that personal page has different requirements than a well-known online market.

Price. You may even find completely free hosting, just look if the service satisfies your needs.

Support. How long does it take to solve a problem with your site? What is an avarage response time? Your site is down for a week, and noone cares - is that possible?

Uptime - what is actual running time of the site.

Reliable hosting is very important for business. Using website monitoring services may help to evaluate the hosting service and check how often do the problems really appear.

  • CM.Glossary.Uptime
  • CM.Glossary.Downtime
  • CM.Glossary.WebsiteMonitoring
  • CM.Glossary.DNS
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Very usefull service, helps us to monitor activity of our sites.

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- A.
Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates

▶ Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates.

▶ How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool and domain monitoring settings?

▶ It takes only several minutes with HostTracker

So many domain names are lost in this fashion. The domain name holders have their names taken away by others, simply because they miss the renewal alerts and they do not notice when their domains are not running the show anymore. Although the whole system for domain name holders is not very practical or sensible, reality confirms that dropping a domain name is a significant problem nowadays. Anyone who holds a domain name is very much prone to losing it, ranging from big corporations, like Microsoft, to small private firms. Trying to solve this problem, HostTracker has developed utterly useful tools that highly increase the chances to reach 100% uptime.

Controlling tools

Registrars are obliged to keep the registered name owner always updated on the status of a domain and must notify of the impending expiration at least two times. One of these notifications must be sent about one month prior to expiration and one must be sent about one week prior to expiration. But “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not”. That’s why a lot of very bad things keep on happening. For instance:

  • Alerts go to the spam folder;
  • Responsible employees are taking time off work;
  • Or just there is something more important that should be solved just at this moment and the domain renewal is put off for the better times.

Problems like these occur very often.  Moreover, when we face them - no one can recall the timing of the registration, the timing of payments, the cards from which the money was written off etc.

Are you getting the idea that it’s truly important to pay attention to this stuff? Use HostTracker tools. The service will monitor your domain/SSL certificates for many different status changes, such as when a domain becomes registered, when it drops and becomes available, when it's renewed and everything. You can enable automatic summary reports that are emailed on a daily / weekly / monthly basis (or at any interval you choose). The reports can include renewal dates of registration and any other useful information and can be sent, for example, via SMS, email or a Skype. These instruments are also fully configurable and can be used together or separate with regular uptime checks.

Domain Monitoring Service Settings

Applying domain monitoring settings takes several minutes:

simply enter the domain name. You can click on "Add list" to monitor more than one website. You may also configure additional options by clicking on "Subscriptions" bar:

  • “Up” - the domain renewal notices are emailed one month, 7 and 3 days prior to expiration.
  • “Down” - you are notified that your domain name has already expired.
  • “Repeat” - you receive alerts every day until you renew the domain name.

Put tick marks next to the contacts of people, who should be informed in case of any problems.

If you want to be notified not only by email, but also by other messengers (Skype, Viber, Hangouts, Telegram), add them in the "Add Contact" bar or in the "Notifications" menu on the main page screen.

How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool

Since Google announced that they’re going to be using whether or not a server uses SSL as a ranking signal, the number of people interested in purchasing SSL certificates has skyrocketed. Why are SSL/TLS certificates so beneficial? 

The idea of using SSL/TLS certificates is crystal clear, as it is a type of encryption used for securing web sessions. HTTPS keeps both your websites and your customers' personal information private and secure. As when a SSL certificate is used, the information becomes indecipherable to everyone besides for the server you are sending the data to. This protects it from "domain slamming", "email phishing" attacks and other harmful activities.

Therefore, it is vital not to miss SSL/TLS certificates expiry dates. Both domain monitoring and SSL monitoring instruments are operating alike and have the same configuration, which includes:

  • Sending renewal notifications 30, 7, and 1 days prior to certificate expiration.
  • Sending instant reports when security certificate is becoming “off”.
  • Reporting daily about the necessity to renew the SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Selecting groups of contacts who can be informed in case of a crisis/emergency.

With activating the two monitoring functions in the Business or Enterprise packages, or in a trial mode, you’ll be always aware of the certificate or domain expiry dates. Or at least, in case of unintentional domain losses, you will be eager to know the reason when, why and how it has happened and sort out the problem.

HostTracker is client-focused

That’s why one of our founding principles as a company included remaining flexible and adaptable, as well as open to improving our service. As the technology world changes, we’ll be ready to make quick, minute adjustments, add new tools and implement new features to improve our product.

Many of our features and enhancements are available online and have been minted due to the customer requests. Therefore, we are looking forward to hearing your feedbacks, suggestions and new creative ideas.

 

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How to monitor availability of any web site?

The main feature of HostTracker monitoring service is the regular checks of web sites with monitoring intervals from 1 minute. Moreover, the HostTracker’s dedicated global monitoring checkpoints network currently includes more than 140 servers all over the world.

The main feature of HostTracker monitoring service is the regular checks of web sites with monitoring intervals from 1 minute. Moreover, the HostTracker’s dedicated global monitoring checkpoints network currently includes more than 140 servers all over the world.

Each test is simulating the visit of a real users. If this imaginary visitor is able to load the site – everything is ok, otherwise – the site is revised again by a certain algorithm (just to be sure). Then, if an error was identified, it is recorded in the database and the notification of unavailability is sent. This is the easiest way to check the site’s availability. If you are interested, HostTracker has a great deal of more sophisticated tests to offer.

Types of tools for web accessibility evaluation

Here are some quick checks you can start with immediately that will move your web site toward better accessibility. It is worth noting that these checks support different protocols.

For example:

  • HTTP - this is an ordinary request, which is obtained from the user's browser.
  • Ping – helps to test site or server network connectivity. 
  • TCP-port - tests the site-to-application connectivity.
  • Database Check - a health check which can ensure that the web server can connect to the database and can also help in monitoring of other vital features. For those seeking a possibility to check the data on the page, there is a content check function. In this case, the virtual client is not just logging in, but also looking for the presence or absence of certain words and phrases. This feature helps you to detect whether some important section of the text has been lost. Moreover, it helps you to spot any mistakes on the page at once.
  • With HostTracker service you can also monitor the response and loading time of your web site. Furthermore, the corresponding data is being written to the inspection logs.

Armed with all these tests, you’ll be eager to collect extensive and thorough information about your web site. You’ll be entitled to know when, why and how did your web site stop working. For example, when the network, server or web site itself are down. Moreover, by using HostTracker, you can immediately detect when web site performance goes down and omit causing any inconveniences for your users. Or even more – you can easily recognize when some data isn’t regularly retrieved from the database. All these tools can help you pinpoint and rectify performance and speed issues with any publicly available web site. It, definitely, saves your time! And, in this case, downtime is small.

Interesting fact:

Almost all HostTracker’s customers are eager to reach 99% or higher uptime. By the way, the data from this service could be a good support in your future confrontations with hosting partner. Truly, many HostTracker’s customers have found a reliable web hosting partner or made him fulfill all promises and commitments according to the contract.

  • HostTracker provides options for monitoring the domain and SSL certificate expiry dates. This problem seems to be handled easily, as the registrar sends alert notifications, but history provides plenty of notification neglect examples.  Dropping the domain name is a widely spread problem. Actually, Microsoft has encountered it twice.
  • Also HostTracker is one of the best resources that can help to find out if your IPs or domains are on some SPAM-database (so called DNSBL). Apparently, if it seems that you're engaged in spamming or other unwanted online behaviour, your IPs or domain could get blacklisted and blocked. The blacklist usually contains email servers suspected of spreading spam or servers that have been infested with some nasty malware etc. 

Most Internet service providers and web servers use these blacklists to detect IPs linked to computers with pervading spam or unwanted activity. And the problem is: you can be blacklisted accidentally and be unaware about it. If it happens, your rankings will go down or disappear entirely. You can be truly innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing and still be on the list. For example, if you share your web hosting with someone unreliable. With this monitoring function you can be always aware if your company’s domain name is blacklisted and be ready to deal with it. You're likely to come across contacting the list by email or passing through some sort of automatic procedures in order to prove that you are not a robot when you’ll be trying to get off a blacklist.

HostTracker service settings

All above-mentioned checks teem with the wide variety of options:

  • Maintenance planning and scheduling – allows you, for instance, not to catch the errors during the server upgrade period.
  • Checks from a particular location- as outlined above, there is a huge network of global monitoring checkpoints, and it is possible to choose only regions with potential clientele:

  • Delay alerts – this option will postpone alert notifications for a specified time span; manage notifications in line with the importance of issues; control the life cycle of both alerts and their notifications.

As regards alert notifications option, clients will find themselves spoiled for choice. HostTracker provides notifications via e-mail, SMS and, by extension, via Skype, Viber, Hangouts and voice call. The most striking one - POST request. There is a possibility to send a request to a specific web server (e.g. to restart the web site automatically).

HostTracker service has an API, which allows pieces of software to interact. It is considered as a contract provided by one piece of computer software to another.

The next HostTracker’s advantage is that the service doesn’t require a lot of system resources (e.g. installation any client software). Almost all features are operating using cloud services, and can be configured with only HostTracker’s web site tools. And service settings, definitely, won’t take much time!

Generally speaking, the service is still being developed, as well as, the monitoring network expands, new tools pop up and so on. Considering new tools, they are being developed in response to the requests made by clients. Please don’t hesitate to contact HostTracker’s admins if you have any further suggestions about extra tools which yet aren’t provided by the service.

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