WordPress is one of the most popular website hosting platforms due to its ease of use and flexibility, but it is also one of the most popular targets for cybercriminals. There are thousands of hacker attacks on WordPress sites every day to disable your site, as well as many others. Sometimes more “natural” causes, such as a sudden spike in traffic to your site or problems with your hosting company, can also take your site down.
For these (and other) reasons, it is imperative that you receive alerts every time your website or server goes down and suddenly becomes inaccessible to visitors.
Why is there such downtime?
Simply put, uptime is all the time your site is up and running as expected. Downtime is the opposite – when your website visitors are unable to reach some or all of the areas they want to visit. It’s no wonder you need uptime.
When your site is down, no one can access it. This means you could lose money on sales you can’t make, or lose readers frustrated that they can’t access your content. Search engines also punish websites that have too much downtime, costing you valuable SEO points. Both money and your online reputation are at stake.
Why track WordPress uptime and downtime?
There are several reasons why your site or parts of it can fail. You could be exposed to a DDoS attack, someone could hack into your site in order to publish unauthorized content. With so many potential reasons for your site to fail and so many web pages, no one can manually check a website.
If your site goes down, you may not be aware of it until you receive complaints from angry visitors or visit it yourself. The longer your site is down before you fix it, the more visitors decide not to return and the higher your chances of losing SEO points.
Your WordPress site health monitor is what keeps you updated on the health of your site and notifies you if any of these events occur so you can fix them before anyone notices.
7 ways to control your WordPress site
To monitor your WordPress site, you basically have two options, you can use a WordPress plugin or you can use an external monitoring tool.
WordPress monitoring plugins
WordPress plugins are built specifically for WordPress websites. Here are my recommendations for reliable WordPress plugins to monitor your site’s health.
Jetpack is a multipurpose free plugin that was developed and maintained by the creators of WordPress. It offers many components to improve the functionality and management of your WordPress site, including monitoring your site.
You will need to go to the plugin settings to set the configurations and enter your email address to be notified about your site’s uptime and downtime, speed, security status, and visitor metrics. Unfortunately, you can only receive email notifications – there is currently no option for SMS notifications.
To use Uptime Robot, you need to install the plugin, activate it and configure the API to connect to your website. Once set up, you will receive alerts via Twitter, SMS, and push notifications showing statistics from different locations on your site. You can view metrics from any page or widget, or go to the central dashboard.
Uptime Robot is free for the basic version, but to monitor more sites, receive SMS alerts, or change the monitoring frequency, you need to upgrade to the paid premium version.
ManageWP is another multipurpose WordPress management plugin that includes site monitoring. You can track uptime and downtime, track your site’s performance and check security, and trigger automatic backups via a plugin.
ManageWP allows you to track multiple sites on their dashboard, but you’ll have to pay for a premium business plugin to receive email or SMS alerts.
Super Monitoring is a very powerful and efficient WordPress monitoring plugin. However, the plugin is actually only a front-end to the external Super Monitor tool that is integrated into the WordPress dashboard.
You can choose from a variety of monitoring intervals, including every minute. You can also check Google performance and analytics as well as downtime from the plugin and view your site’s health from different locations. However, there is no free version (there is a free trial) and you will have to pay extra for SMS alerts.
External monitoring tools
External testers are designed for different hosts. They do not take up memory space on your website, and you can use the same monitoring tool for multiple websites, including those that are not hosted by WordPress. We recommend these external testing tools for your WordPress account.
Pingdom is a very popular website monitoring service. It uses servers located all over the world to continually test your site’s status and track your site’s status from different locations.
Pingdom has impressive premium features like double checking for errors before sending an alert, root cause analysis to pinpoint the root of the problem so you can fix it faster, and tracking load times on a page-by-page basis, but you’ll have to pay well for that level of service. You can access the data and dashboard through the website or app, but SMS alerts are an optional feature.
Website 24 × 7
The 24 × 7 site is a flexible monitoring service that can track mobile apps, mobile websites and all types of servers, as well as your WordPress hosted site. Like Pingdom, it uses servers in dozens of global locations to validate real-time end-user experiences around the world, but adds intranet checks, server-side monitoring, DNS server, FTP upload and download, and other services. Not all of them are included in the free version.
The free Site 24 × 7 plan covers 5 websites and you will need to upgrade to the premium plan for more sites. You can view uptime results in the control panel or receive notifications via email, Twitter, SMS, or RSS.