How to Monitor a WordPress Website
April 17. 2020
Designing and setting up a website is not the end of your journey into having an online presence. In fact, website maintenance is arguably more important than that – it’s a way to continuously attract new clients and keep your existing followers loyal. But in order to ensure that your website is consistently the best it can be, you’ll need to know where you stand at any given moment. Is your website running smoothly? Are there any bugs you might need to fix? How many visitors do you get on an average day? Where are they from, how do they find your website and which pages do they spend the most time on? The answers to this can help you make your website better. And that is why you need to learn how to monitor a WordPress website.
Why should you monitor a WordPress website?
Monitoring is an essential part of running a website. If you hire a team of WP experts to take care of your online presence, they will certainly be monitoring your website as a part of their task. But why is website monitoring so important? The answer is simple: monitoring will help you make sure that your website runs as it should and improve it wherever you can. You should think of your website as a product, one that is consumed by your users. Since the website is there for them, you want to make sure they are satisfied with it. They will only be satisfied if the product is flawless and continues to improve in ways they approve of. And to learn what they approve of, you want to monitor your website.
What do you need to pay attention to when you monitor a WordPress website?
All kinds of information can help you improve your website. But when it comes to monitoring your WP website, there are certain things you want to focus on more than others.
Downtime and uptime – the most important thing to keep an eye on
Having a website is irrelevant if that website is not accessible to your users at all times. For this reason, you need to monitor a WordPress website for downtime. Downtime is any period when visitors cannot access your content online, whether it’s because your servers are down or because you’re running maintenance or for any other reason. You want to keep this to a minimum. Uptime or the period of time when your website is up and running properly, on the other hand, should be as close to 100% as possible. It is, of course, unlikely that your website will run uninterrupted the entire time it exists. That’s alright – some downtime, both scheduled and unexpected, is unavoidable. But extended downtime periods may be a sign of underlying issues. Monitoring can help you discover these and fix them.
Website speed – relevant if you want to keep your users happy
Making sure that your website is up and running is just the first step. You also want to make sure your users are happy with how it’s running. A big factor in that is loading speed. There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow website! Your users will surely agree – they will expect to be able to access content quickly and with minimum delay. For that reason, you need to keep an eye out on your loading speed. Are certain pages loading slower than others? Do you need a caching plugin and if you have one, is it working properly? What can you do to speed up your website?
User statistics – find out more about the people who visit your website
The most important factor in your website’s success are the users. If they like your WP website and keep returning to it, you will have succeeded. But in order to learn what your users like and what they want from you and your website, you must first know your users. And this is why monitoring user statistics is helpful. You can find out where your visitors are from, how they reach your website and what they look at most. Then you can use this information to adjust your content more to their liking. Conversely, you can find out the weak points of your website and work on fixing them.
Monitor a WordPress website using the right tools
Like for anything else, you’ll need the right tools in order to monitor a WordPress website. These analytics tools can then be used to guide your website maintenance, help you choose the best content to post and improve your online presence. So what are the best plugins for WP website monitoring?
Plugins for monitoring downtime
Since downtime is one of the most important things you’ll need to know about your website, special plugins exist specifically for monitoring that particular aspect of WordPress. On top of that, some multi-purpose plugins also include uptime monitoring. Both free and premium plugins are available for this, but among the most popular ones are:
- Uptime Robot: Available for free or in a premium version, Uptime Robot is entirely dedicated to monitoring your website’s uptime. Install, activate and set up the plugin, then add up to 50 pages to be checked every 5 minutes. For more pages, different monitoring frequencies, SMS alerts and more features, simply activate the premium version.
- Jetpack: A multi-purpose plugin that can help you improve your website in a variety of ways, Jetpack is one of the most popular WP tools. Even in its free version, it includes basic downtime monitoring. Simply navigate to Security>Downtime monitoring to activate this feature.
Google Analytics Tool
Learning more about your users is one of the best ways to develop your website better. And the easiest way to monitor a WordPress website for user information is through Google Analytics. It’s a free tool that you can sign up for online and then combine with the Google Analytics plugin to find out useful statistics about your website and individual pages. Among other things, Google Analytics will tell you how many unique visitors you’ve had and how many different sessions, how long an average person spends on your website and how many different pages they visit, and so much more. Use these insights to find the strong points of your website and improve on the parts that aren’t performing as well!