Monitoring your Traffic
If you own or manage a website, it's good to know when it goes down, especially if you have paid traffic going to it. That way, you can pause ads/marketing spend if and when there is ever a problem.
Most web hosts claim 99.9% up-time and in my experience, that's almost true. But there are many websites on the internet that are either using a basic hosting packages, have a misconfigured server, or built by a web developer who doesn't fully test a new change or update.
Any of these things can knock a website offline, and if you're spending money on traffic, you're throwing your expensive clicks away.
What is a Website Monitor?
Website Monitors will 'ping' or simulate a click to a website at certain intervals and if a response is not received, can alert you via email or sms when the site is down.
It's great for web admins who publish their own sites and content, but it's also definitely a good choice for a marketer sending clicks to someone else's site.
Uptime Checks can typically be set at 1, 5, 15 or more minutes intervals and alerts can go out by email or sms. Uptime Checks can alert you when a site goes down, and again when the site is up.
My favorite service to use is Monitis.
The service is very affordable. Roughly $.80 per monitor, per site, per month, but you need to spend at least their minimum per month, $12.
Ping intervals can be set as low as 1 minute and there are multiple locations you can monitor from. (at additional fees)
The service also displays a graph of the average response times for each ping, so you can determine if a site is slower than normal. If it's a site you manage, you could consider some optimization tweaks or upgrading to a better hosting plan. A better option may even be a VPS.
As I like to provide options so people can make informed decisions, here's also a few free services.
UptimeRobot's free service allows you to have multiple monitors (up to 50), but the shortest ping interval is 5 minutes. That should be sufficient for most marketers.
If you need 1 minute intervals, you can upgrade for just $5.50 per month (if monthly), but this seems to be the only service UptimeRobot offers.
Pingdom, also has a free service, but you can only have 1 monitor. This usually isn't enough for me. (When this article was published, they were offering an additional free monitor for tweeting about them.)
Their lowest paid subscription is $14.95 per month (if monthly) for 10 up-time checks (at 1 minute intervals), but there are more features and options than UptimeRobot.
What Do You Use to monitor your hosting? Leave a comment below.
Robinhood, started as a iOs app, then added a google app, and just in 2017, released the desktop app, making it easier to watch your account, especially if you're at a desk all day. There's a $1-$2 monthly maintenance fee, but it nothing compared to your ROI on a few trades. My account is split between dividend stocks, long-term/slow growth stocks (for safe trades and just having some money in the account) and some highly volatile penny stocks to try to make a quick buck. With Robinhood Gold, you can make bigger trades and have access to after-hours trading. I'm not ready for that, but it's nice to know it's there. https://robinhood.com/
Acorns, is a 'set it and forget it' type app. Think of how a squirrel gathers nuts for the winter. That's kinda how Acorns works. You link it to your bank account(s), adjust a few settings to allocate how much money you're comfortable with Acorns investing for you, and after a few months, you have a nice little nut collection. You can set Acorns to invest in slow growing stocks, or go a little more aggressive. When 'Round Ups' are set, in the background, Acorns will take every transaction, round up to the nearest dollar and drop the difference into your account. (Kinda like when you're at the gas station, and you drop your change from a cash transaction into the 'leave a penny' jar. Acorns will give you $5 to get started when using this link.
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What Do You Use to invest in the stock market? Leave a comment below.