Iâm coming up on my tenth year in the Web performance monitoring industry, and in that time, there is one thing Iâve heard rather consistently: âMy hosting company monitors my site.â
But doesnât that seem a little like the fox watching the hen house to you? Iâm not saying that your hosting partner doesnât really want to do the best they can. However, when your Service Level Agreement (SLA) states that the provider may have to provide service credit or suffer financial penalties, there is simply too much of a conflict of interest to rely solely on that monitoring.
Hosting providers usually monitor your Web site from inside the data center. The problem with this is that users come to your site from the world outside the data center. So, the tests your providers are performing wonât identify many of the potential issues that can affect the end-user experienceâfor example, those related to DNS, peering, routing or Internet weather.
What do they test? If your Web server is being pinged, youâll only determine if the server is on. If your homepage is being monitored, youâll only know that the http server is running.
These server statistics are frequently unrelated to Web application performance and availability for end-users. They donât provide any metrics regarding the availability and performance of your applications from locations around the country or the world. It doesnât show you if all the moving parts of your Web store, such as add-to-cart, checkout or login, are working. So then how do you know?
As one of your partners, itâs important to trust that your hosted providerâs technical resources are doing all they can to help you deliver a good experience to your users. But itâs also important to monitor and verify on your own.
If your business depends on the interactions you have with users online, then only you can take custody of understanding how Web site application performance impacts the end-user experience.