The 10 most important website performance indicators

Network monitoring software allows you to constantly keep track of your websites. Here are 10 crucial performance metrics you should monitor in order to ensure that your website content is accessible at all times:

1. Uptime

The single most important part of website monitoring is checking the availability of your website. Ideally, you should check the uptime of your key pages continually from different locations.

2. Page speed

If your website does not load fast enough, visitors will often redirect to another site before they even glimpse your page. You can check your website’s speed using Ping requests and loading time measurements.

3. Full page loading time

Additionally, in order to get a realistic picture of your page speed, you should measure the full page download time (including images and videos) in a web browser.

4. Error messages

Check your most important pages for errors. E.g. set up alerts to be triggered if the string “404 Error” is included in the source code.

5. Shopping cart

If you are running an e-commerce site, it is vital for your business that people can buy products online without problems.

6. You should have an automatic testing system in place that warns you if newsletter sign-ups or

7. Customer log-ins do not work properly

To test the processes mentioned in 5) 6) and 7), you will need a monitoring software which is capable of following a defined sequence of URLs.

8. Database performance

If your website contains dynamic content pulled from a database, check whether the expected values are returned and create alerts if the result contains certain error messages.

9. Your web servers’ resource utilisation

To avoid errors and data losses, you should not only monitor your website, but also keep close tabs on your hardware, including your web servers’ CPU and memory load, and free disk space.

10. Website quality

Automated website monitoring will reduce your site’s downtime and draw your attention to issues that you need to fix. However, nothing compares to the human brain when it comes to quality control. So take the time to regularly review your websites manually for spelling errors, out-dated content, and overall quality.

When setting up your website monitoring scenario, it is not only important to choose the right metrics, you should also put some thought into which pages you want to monitor. If you have a big website then monitoring all of your subpages is neither feasible nor recommended. Keep your monitoring to a few critical web pages, such as your home page and your most important product pages.

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Dirk Paessler is founder and CEO of Paessler AG, provider of the award-winning software PRTG Network Monitor. An expert in engineering, computer networks and software, Dirk has a track record in setting up highly successful Internet businesses in his native Germany, such as hotel.de and anwalt.de.