POST method example
POST method example Example of monitoring a webform with POST method.

For example you have such simple form:
form action="some-site.com/some-script.cgi" method=post
input type=text name=login value=''
input type=password name=password value=''
input type=submit name='Submit' value='Login'
/form
User fill this form with value login: Peter and password: 1234 and click submit. If everything is Ok, script prints "LoginOk" on the result page.
For making a monitoring task to control this script, create task with next fields:

URL: some-site.com/some-script.cgi
Http Method: choose POST
In "POST parameters" field you should add three strings:
login=Peter
password=1234
Submit=Login
In "Content check" field: LoginOk
Results: HostTracker with every check will fill this form and assume that it is OK if the set keyword LoginOk is returned.

  • CM.Glossary.WebsiteMonitoring
  • CM.Glossary.HTTPMethods
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"Thank you so much for your service. We were suspecting problems with our hosting company but they denied any problems saying the issues must be at our end. We know we do have issues at our end but still suspected that wasn't the entire story. Your service was able to prove that they are indeed going down regularly - on average twice a week during the trial period. Thanks again for providing the information we needed to make a proper decision on this issue."
- B.
Why a low uptime may affect not only your revenue, but also your company's reputation?

While you may be spending more time and resources on developing your website, you need to be sure that the core of the website is still performing well. There is a strong correlation between uptime and visitor conversions. Are you still wondering why is website uptime so important? Then take a deeper dive into this...

While you may be spending more time and resources on developing your website, you need to be sure that the core of the website is still performing well. There is a strong correlation between uptime and visitor conversions. Moreover, nothing drives your visitors to your competitors faster than multiple extensive and ongoing downtime issues. Are you still wondering why is website uptime so important? Uptime is being considered a critical metric of the website well-being. It reflects the percentage of time your website happens to be available to the visitors. Let’s take a deeper dive into this.

Track your website uptime or you put your business at risk

Imagine, you’ve already done all hard work – built a dream team of talented individuals (designers, copywriters, developers etc.), who are shouldering their delegated roles perfectly. And together you all created more than just a website - a master of the Google search that reflects on your personal brand. This suggests you put specific keywords and phrases throughout your website and your brand’s online profiles – so that if people go looking for you on Google, they are likely to find your website.

And there is someone who wants to visit your website, but a current outage is stopping him from camping on the webpage. No matter who you are, a multinational corporation or news portal, if your website goes down for even several minutes, it can impact negatively on your reputation, revenue, productivity and appeal among your visitors. Apparently, downtime is bad for your bottom line, but it costs differently within industries. Business size is the most obvious factor, but it is not the only one. Most of the visitors have a short patience span for even minor website hassles, especially when it comes to making major purchases. Therefore, ensuring your website stays up is a key to your successful business.

Inaccessible website is your clients’ losses

It seems that, inaccessible website puts the visitors off from using it. If your website is designed, for example, for reading books online but inaccessible at the moment, all your customers, including your loyal ones, wouldn’t be able obtain the information they need from your website. This suggests, all your readers won’t be able to get to know you and vice versa you won’t be able to connect to them. Imagine that right now there is someone who wants to buy or read a book from your platform. Try as he may, he can’t reach your website, because it’s closed. And now, he’ll think twice before going back to the platform that evokes frustration and irritation in him. He will definitely find another platform where buying and reading are much easier. Having an online 24/7/365 presence means you are very likely to gain more customers, increase your credibility and spread your business.

Server is down?

Reliability is a key piece of a good web hosting. Reliable web hosting providers not only try to keep the websites always online, secure, and fast, but also ensure that they’re reachable. Consequently, if you’re an unreliable hosting company, you put businesses that use your service at risk. Every minute their websites are down they are paying for it in business success and positive image among customers. What could it mean to hosting providers? In the era of an increasingly connected world, information spreads faster than ever. And we all know the power of customer reviews. Negative feedbacks mean little unless they have a profound effect on a company's ability to do business as well as the ability to stay ahead of the competition. When the company, in particular web hosting company, lost the faith of their clientele, this lead either to huge outflow of service consumers or potentially damaging situation for a brand.

Another example of how company’s reputation could be burned worst by downtime is an online store. Research shows that 60% of shoppers are surfing the net and even more read product reviews before making a purchase. There are many reasons why people choose not to shop at an online store, but perhaps the most striking is when specific website is down. Obviously, it would be a real struggle to keep the visitors on the website in case of a sudden server downtime. Downtime should be considered something to be avoided at all costs, because visitors are not going to wait at your doorstep. They’ll certainly leave your portal and never come back, as how they can lend an air of credibility to your website if you can’t help yourself…

Warren Buffet once said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.

Out of a search engine?

Downtime issues contribute negatively to your search engine rankings as well. This implies, when Google try to rate your website and find out that it’s down, your website in most cases will temporarily drop in the Google search result rankings. Generally speaking, short periods of website downtime won’t hurt your search rankings that much, but long, consistent ones - will blow your rankings to bits. Scary?

Proactive monitoring of your website is the best way to stay one step ahead of any website bottlenecks and outages. You may rest easily using HostTracker service. HostTracker'll let you know whenever the incident is escalated, as well as, you will be in advance of your website issues. Spot problems before they arise and protect your business from losses that they can create!

 

 

 

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What could we check by using the cloud services? Part 2

  In the beginning, HostTracker company was founded on the basis of a simple website to provide free customer services. Though, a few years later, this startup developed a wide variety of tools serving to solve various problems, including different network issues. In a series of publications, we have decided to describe thoroughly all the features of our service, also to share our experience in the development of such projects with you and to mention interesting challenges that we faced. 

In the beginning, HostTracker company was founded on the basis of a simple website to provide free customer services. Though, a few years later, this startup developed a wide variety of tools serving to solve various problems, including different network issues. In a series of publications, we have decided to describe thoroughly all the features of our service, also to share our experience in the development of such projects with you and to mention interesting challenges that we faced. Moreover, for those seeking an example of how to sell something that had been made for themselves, our experience would be useful, as most of our features were developed due to our personal needs.

In the previous part of the review we have talked about the history of the service and the most basic functions - regular inspection of sites and servers, and what is more, notification of their efficiency. Before starting to describe more advanced features, we should write where do all these ideas come from and how to prioritize them. One of the key secrets often used by entrepreneurs is to follow the statement: all people are unique. All customers’ requests are unique, so you have to learn how to deal with them. Therefore the IT sector is utterly susceptible to this factor, as a great number of customers have profound knowledge and diverse experience. Nevertheless, part of the problems can be solved with available resources. However, the main feature of our work is that, frequently, we have to evolve something. Most of the HostTracker’s functions were developed or adapted due to the conveniences and needs of the particular people. We are also a part of that people, as having rather large infrastructure, and also need to have everything work properly. Therefore, we ourselves are the most picky client.


Precious little things

It worth noting, that in addition to different regular checks, there are other useful tools. They include monitoring of the domain and SSL certificate expiration time. This seems to be negligible, but could bring a lot of unexpected inconveniences to work. These functions appeared in HostTracker, when one of our personal domains had expired. Moreover, large companies also frequently face these problems, as the prolongation of the domain /certificate expiration time depends on the unreliable human factor. Therefore, a notification that the domain should be prolongated, is stored not only within spam folder (already overflowed with continuous marketing messages from your hosting company), but also to the folder with the data of website downs. As well as, the SMS notification capability still exists. That’s why these features are being so handy.

Another interesting feature is the domain check to see if they are blacklisted in DNS-based lists. These lists are independent and are generated separately using different algorithms. What is more, they were mainly created for filtering of the suspicious entities. Each administrator can configure own web server in different ways, for example, not to receive messages from the servers from a specific list. It helps fight off spam, malware spread, DDoS attacks and other problems. But all of these lists have their own algorithms, and there is no guarantee that in the result of any coincidences your website wouldn’t appear in any of these blacklists. Moreover, according to the statistics, this is happening on a regular basis with the most innocent sites. For example, no one can guarantee that a hacker wouldn’t use your nearby IP for different spam attacks. In this situation, the entire range of IPs would be considered as unreliable. What are the consequences of that?  Your messages wouldn’t be delivered to customers, the site wouldn’t be so easily found in search system and so on. Furthermore, you will find out this problem when the changes become critical or even irrevocable. Therefore, the monitoring and notification of DNSBL are also essential.

The content check

Here is a good example of how the usage of functions may exceed developers expectations. We have mentioned about several such cases earlier. Actually, nowadays a lot of things have a web interface whilst for others – it could be easily created, if needed. Therefore, it was developed not only the check function of whether the page was loaded completely using simple parsing, but also another mind-boggling things of this check. Adapting to different customer requests, this feature has become very flexible. It may look for one or plenty of words from the list at once. Moreover, it may detect the emergence of certain phrases. This feature may also raise as an error the whole line that contains the keyword. For instance, if there is a kind of server-status page (“Server 1 OK” etc.) and it shows “Error”, then the message will be “1 Server Error”.  In this case, all diagnostic is already done, and you can start troubleshooting immediately.

What if it happens, that the server should be down?

In addition to the notification of the failures of the sites, HostTracker provides another important function – gathers statistics of each examined site. When the various buttons on the sites were popular – HostTracker’s button also often appeared with the figures of website attendance, the weather forecasts and other things like that. Now it is possible to use a widget, but still the button is also available for retro fans. In addition, statistics is very important for managers. They constantly want to know whether the website and administration of it are working properly. Therefore, there is another useful function - the maintenance planning. Even the most stable sites and servers must be updated or rebooted from time to time. At the same time, it’s not the desired to lose so-called “9s” in terms of uptime. Planning of the maintenance let us achieve two goals (together or separately). This includes: not to send error notifications and not to record errors to the statistics during a specific span of time. Of course, it seems to be a kind of cheating, but outlined maintenances are justified, especially in excluded time. In addition to this, different verifications have being done and written to the log during maintenances. It can be useful for webmasters and administrators, as log let determine exactly the duration of updating or restarting processes, any occurred errors, other breakages etc. Moreover, thanks to that, the whole process of error emergence could be tracked: from the stage when the server wouldn’t be available for some time to the stage when the application would return an error.

Maintenance can be scheduled as a one-time job or on a regular basis. For example, if the backup is done every night, or a new release - every Thursday. The only condition is that the maintenance schedule should be made up at least 12 hours prior to the site/server nearest suspension period of time. This is done to ensure that all maintenances won’t be responsible for any pity unexpectancies, and statistics provided by HostTracker will be trustful.

A kind of an epilogue

We are frequently asked why are we doing that. The same things can be done without HostTracker’s help.  And you know what - definetely, they can. Especially, if you need only one tool. Many people are talking, that the whole Business World is built on human laziness. By solving routine problems, HostTracker provides a slice of work-free and responsibility-free time in the customer’s schedule. Truly, not everyone is able to assemble a car by himself. We look up to the people, who are eager to create something good for personal needs in our field, but most people don’t want to spend their free time for doing something like that.

Additionally, our clients are: non-IT specialists; IT specialists who have to report something to their managers; managers themselves; fans of reliability – they use their own tools and take advantages of someone else’s; and many other groups of people.

All in all, we are always looking forward to your comments.

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