Exploring the Key Aspects of Open Source Website Monitoring

Posted July 23rd, 2020 in Website Monitoring. Tagged: , .

Often, brands are unaware of how their website is performing or exactly when it goes down. Technical glitches are common in today’s ever-evolving cyber world and websites can become temporarily dysfunctional due to several reasons. But from a business perspective, downtime of even a few minutes can translate into huge losses for your enterprise.

Your website is one of the most important elements of your business and you should be aware of its status at all times. But dedicating manpower to constantly keep tabs on its status is costly and unproductive. That’s why myriad website monitoring tools have been designed to automate the process, thus helping organizations to take care of this crucial aspect without wasting precious man hours.

Primary Benefits of Website Monitoring

Website monitoring is essential for businesses to ensure their entire framework is working efficiently. It checks on crucial aspects of websites like availability, performance, and functionality. Website monitoring tools utilize a network of computers to interact and test the web service.

Upon analysis it can provide following insights about your website:

  • Website’s stability: With the right monitoring solution you will be able to analyze downtime and other performance characteristics that govern the stability of the website. You can also tap into features that might be causing your website to crash.
  • Surety on the website’s speed: Website loading speed influences its purpose and it also determines how it may rank on various search engines. Monitoring solutions let you know about the loading speeds of your various pages and also offer insights on improving it.
  • Honest opinions on hosting services: Most hosting services portray themselves as best solution providers with extensive features which are too good to be true. Monitoring tools help you link facts with the numbers projected.
  • Analyze downtime and custom alerts: A monitoring tool helps you create custom alerts that you can effectively use to keep your website running at all times.

Website monitoring tools usually involve a basic initial setup process. Once done, they completely run on their own with minimal supervision.

Open Source Initiative

A look into Open Source Website Monitoring

There are several website monitoring tools available in the market. While some are inexpensive and offer flexible subscription plans, others could be slightly on the steeper side. Depending on your budget and the kind of features you need, you could either subscribe for a reasonably priced paid website monitoring service, or use an open source one.

Open source software, as you might already be aware, is software for which you have access to the source code. Such software can be inspected, modified, and improved to suit to the specific needs of your business. Open source monitoring works on the same principal. Here, the website monitoring service is hosted on your own servers instead of on the servers of the providers. Thus, it offers you the following benefits:

  • It is extremely affordable (or completely free)
    While the service itself may be available at no (or very low) cost, you may need to dedicate specific people, who possess the relevant technical know-how, to customize and manage it.
  • There are no imposed updates
    In contrast to paid website monitoring software which may need you to install updates from time to time, open source software can be updated (or not) totally as per your convenience and requirement.
  • Improved security
    With paid software, there could a hundred things hidden within the usage clauses that you might have not paid attention to (for example, the permission to scan your hard drive from time to time). Plus, you can never be sure whether or not such software accesses your data. With open source tools, there are no such hassles since you’re the only one who has access to it.

While these reasons are convincing enough to make you opt for self-hosted website monitoring, you must also give credit to the fact that everything comes with its unique limitations. So before jumping the wagon, make sure you study what downsides there are to such monitoring for your business.

A look at the Best Open Source Website Monitoring Solutions

There are several open source website monitoring solutions available to cater to your organization’s needs. Here’s a list of the best ones for your convenience:

1. SiteSpeed

Sitespeed

SiteSpeed is a complete web performance tool that helps you analyze and test your website on various factors like speed and performance. It is particularly efficient in running continuous integration to find web performance regressions in the early stages. The software helps you tackle the issues at the core and offers monitoring in production while sending alerts in time for any regressions encountered. Built on open source tools, it comes with the Browsertime tool that drives the browser to collect metrics. The Coach tool helps you test your website against the best web performance practices to make it operate at an optimum level.

Sitespeed - screenshot

2. Statping

Statping

Built on Go language, Statping can be easily configured on your system and you just need a precompiled binary to get it running. You will not be required to install anything extra once the binary is installed in your system. An extremely lightweight application, it is available for LINUX, Mac, as well as Windows. It automatically analyzes websites on various performance parameters and renders the information collected in the form of beautiful status pages. You can easily understand the reports and take action in time to keep your website stable.

3. Pa11y

An automated assessment tool, Pa11y runs an accessibility test on your website pages via command line to provide a streamlined testing process for the website’s stability. It requires Node JS to run, so you will need to configure your system environment to facilitate its operation. Compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows, it provides extensive testing methods to keep your website running at all times.

4. PHP Server Monitor

PHP Server Monitor is essentially a script that checks on your running server and website for any loopholes or regressions. Provided with a web-based interface, you can manage your services and websites effectively using it. It also allows you to configure and manage the users for each server with just their mobile number and email address. With several alerts and notification mechanisms that include email, SMS, Telegram messages and Jabber notifications, it lets you log several errors and regressions that impact your website.

5. StatusOK

StatusOK lets you monitor your website and APIs using just your computer. You can get notified through email or Slack whenever common failures like downtime or crashes are encountered. It also comes with a provision of saving the analyzed data in Influx DB, so that you can later look at the parameters with a holistic approach.

StatusOK - screenshot

6. Falco

Falco

Sponsored by Theodo, Falco allows you to run audits on your website several times a day based on various parameters. You can effectively monitor key performance metrics to analyze and optimize your websites. Provided with an easy interface, you can customize to set up your own private instance of it. With this extensive tool, you will be able to test individual URLs and entire user stories to ensure website stability.

Falco - screenshot

7. URLooker

URLooker helps you monitor and track web pages with effective notification tracking. It ensures that you are aware of the regressions that are affecting your website’s performance so that you can make critical updates in time. Easy to set up, just head to their website, sign up for an account and choose on what web pages you want to keep an eye on. It’s that simple.

URLooker - screenshot

8. Monitorr

Monitorr

A self-hosted PHP web application, Monitorr allows you to check on the status of local and remote network and web services. Using its attractive interface, it provides an effective analysis of various web performance parameters that are critical to your website. Equipped with a custom CSS tool and DTG data server, it comes with Minimal UI for iFrame displays. You may update the tool with web-branch switching that can be easily done using update notifications.

 

9. Pingbot

Pingbot

This website monitoring solution is based on serverless architecture to provide web service health checking mechanisms. Pingbot, powered by Amazon Lambda, Amazon Dynamo DB, Amazon Cloudwatch, Amazon S3, and Facebook React, lets you schedule a heath check for effective website monitoring. Once it detects regression, you can avail Slack notifications to get alerted in time. With a web frontend, you will be able to analyze the data over time for a better understanding of failures.

10. Sixnines

Sixnines

A self-hosted service, Sixnines helps you validate and analyze the availability of your websites and other web services. It provides useful insights providing detailed analysis on the availability metric of the website. Sixnines service helps you measure this metric and get alerted in time to take critical actions.

 

Wrapping it up

Web monitoring solutions are need of the hour in today’s digital age where your website is the face of your business. By making sure your first interface is running smoothly at all times, you guarantee not losing out on potential customers. A good website monitoring solution will not only alert you of any failures in time, but also provide useful insights to tackle issues with your website’s performance. The self-hosted open source solutions mentioned above are the best budget alternatives in the market that can ensure your website’s availability.

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