Mandatory Uptime Monitoring
The online world has become an inherent part of modern business. There is no separating a business' website from their brand or the company email server from your customer services. Modern customers shop for everything online, even if they're going to buy or hire a service in person. People spend hours sometimes investigating a business's website before making their decision or they spend a few seconds skimming your homepage and blog to make a lightning fast decision as to whether your service is what they need. In other words, your online presence is now at the heart of customer acquisition and nurturing your relationship with customers you already have.
Unfortunately, no server is impervious to time, traffic, and tenacious hackers. Even a single minute of downtime with your website unavailable or your email bouncing messages back to unhappy customers can seriously hurt your brand image and discourage customers from either choosing your company or returning with new business. That is why so many businesses are turning to monitoring solutions. The right monitoring software can send a regular 'ping' to any of your online assets, ensuring that they are both still accessible and not throwing error messages. But what exactly should you be monitoring to keep the online half of your business afloat? To put it simply, there are three things every business should be monitoring at all times: your website, your email server, and your domain name registration.
Your website is the face of your company. It is where customers go to buy your products, read your blog, and reach out for customer service. Your return customers enjoy the familiar layout of your home page and have come to expect that welcoming glow when they log in. New leads are looking to be wowed by your website design and won over by your great content and product pages. But downtime creates a different experience entirely.
But if you've ever typed in the address of a favorite website only to be met with an unpleasant error page, this invokes exactly the feeling you're trying to avoid in your customers. The last thing you want is for an eager new lead or a loyal customer to get the impression that your business has failed, and that's exactly what downtime for your website does.When people see a website down or throwing an alarming error message, it looks like something has gone truly terribly wrong with the company. Downtime gives users the impression at worst that your company is on its way out or, at best, that your company doesn't know how to handle a website.
Whether it's a simple code leak from your last update, overload from unusually high customer traffic, or a hacker's DDOS attack, monitoring can help you identify downtime the moment it occurs and take immediate action to resolve it. With the ability to sense both a fully down website and unusual errors on a page that loads, nothing can go wrong with a monitored website that you will not be immediately alerted to.
Internal Email Reliability
Business email servers are at the core of every modern business. If your website is the face, your email is easily the voice of your company in the online world. You not only rely on them to send messages between employees inside the company, your business email is also the way your brand communicates with the world. Customers send emails to your support inbox which is then handled by your customer service techs who each have their own email address that connects to your ticket system. Your marketing teams use the business email server both for personal use, access to the company social media accounts, and of course to get your newsletters and special offers out to customers on a monthly or weekly basis. Your execs and logistics teams need the email server to carry on communications with your business partners and the B2B services you rely on. Needless to say, email is vital.
But what happens when your business email server goes down? While this may seem like an inconvenience inside the office, coworkers walking to each other's desks to deliver messages, the disaster begins when a single customer email bounces back with a 'cannot send' message. They can only wonder: is your business suddenly and mysteriously dead? Have they been shadow-banned from your service? Or can you just not manage an email server?
Of course, just like websites, email servers can go down for a number of reasons that are often difficult to predict ahead of time. Email server monitoring can allow you to keep a close eye on the performance of your server, and not just whether it's alive or dead. Complete email monitoring will include round-trip test emails to confirm that your server is both sending and receiving correctly. This allows you to rest assured knowing that every customer and business partner email incoming will reach the correct associate and every email you send is guaranteeably reaching those intended. And if the server ever does go down, your IT team will get the alert and be right there to provide an immediate solution.
Your DNS Expiration Date
Finally, there is your DNS registration. Domain names are such small investments for their incredible weight in the creation of a brand. Your entire online presence is based around your domain name. Without it, customers can't reach your website even if it were still officially up and running. Without it, your emails wouldn't know how to send or have anywhere to go. Everywhere yourDomainName.com is used, this relies on your DNS registration being current.
Of course, this is something you have to renew every one, two, or five years depending on your registration and allowing it to expire results in immediate downtime for every single online asset linked to your website and domain name. Even more dangerously, some trolls 'camp' high-profile domain names and try to buy them up the day they expire then sell them back at a ransom to the brand who built the popularity of the domain in the first place.
Like roof maintenance, keeping up with your DNS expiration can be challenging because it doesn't happen frequently, but once again monitoring can help. Simply by setting up your monitoring software with your DNS expiration date, it will send an alert to your IT team well before the fatal day to ensure that your registration is renewed before the day of expiration. This ensures that there is not even a single moment where your website is down or your domain is at risk of being ransomed.
Monitoring is a vital service for any business ready to take responsibility for their own downtime and email reliability. Your website, email, and DNS are at the heart of every online asset and interaction your business has which means protecting them is a key part of your business plan. Fortunately, you don't have to assign an IT technician to hit 'refresh' or send an email every minute to make sure things are running smoothly because the Binary Canary is here to help.
Our friendly automated monitoring software will 'chirp' at your admins when there's something to take care of and keep you posted with dashboards and analytics on the uptime and availability of absolutely anything you want to monitor, from your website and email server to data servers and devices. Interested? Intrigued? Tired of hitting refresh? Come check us out at www.binarycanary.com!