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Itís a fact that web surfers have limited, if any, patience for ďpage not foundĒ errors. Building credibility and trust on Internet is a challenging task. When surfers click to your page, and itís not there, they may conclude that you are out of business. At first exposure to you, if your page is not available they are likely to find a competitor and forget all about you. Yes, you can create a custom 404-error page, but if your entire site is down, that wonít help you much.
Suppose you sell advertising on your site and it goes down. What will your advertisers think if they visit your site and donítí see their ads?
Maybe you have a paid membership site. What will your members think when they try to access your site and itís not there?
Suppose a reporter visits your site and itís down. That could kill a budding story about you, or it could inadvertently cause them to write something negative about you.
Why risk all these problems when solution is so simple and cost-effective?
The answer is remote website monitoring. For under $20 per month, you can get basic monitoring that will inform you if your site is down so you can take immediate action to fix problem. Depending on complexity of your e-business operation, you can get more sophisticated service features that can monitor not only your pages, but also your database, servers, transactions and can even check for content changes on your pages. If someone hacked into your site and changed content on your home page, wouldnít it be nice to know about it before rest of world does?
To check out companies that offer these services, do a search for ďremote website monitoring.Ē Most companies have free trials. The key is to find a company that has flexible service options. Depending on scope of your e-business, you may or may not need certain features that are bundled together. Why pay for what you donít want? Also, bigger may not be better. Look for an established company that is not too big to give you excellent customer service. During your free trial, send a question or two to their tech support and see how fast they respond. This will give you an idea of what youíll get after you pay.
Whatever you do, do it today. You canít afford to not know if your web pages are down.
Nick Nichols directs marketing activities at WebSitePulse.com, a leading provider of website uptime and performance monitoring services. Visit WebSitePulse.com for a free trial and know how your site is doing 24/7.