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It’s no secret that the internet is a 24/7 operation. Even when you’re not at your desk, your website is still out there working for you. But how can you be sure that your site is performing as it should be? That’s where website monitoring tools come in!
There are two main types of website data that you should regularly monitor:
- Website Performance. One of the most important things you can do is monitor your website’s performance. This includes uptime (the amount of time your site is up and running), speed (how fast your pages load), and security (how safe your site is from hackers).
- Traffic and Engagement. To keep your site running smoothly, it’s important to monitor traffic and engagement levels on the website. This includes things like how many people are visiting or looking at a specific page; where those visits come from (i e-showing up in Google Analytics); what pages they’re exploring next after spending time near one of our advertising units – all this provides valuable insight into their behavior which could help you improve future marketing strategies!
Website monitoring tools are designed to help you keep track of your site’s performance, traffic, and even user engagement. In this article I’m going to discuss 7 free (or very affordable) tools you can add to your website so you know it’s working even when you’re not!
Whether you’re out of the office for a meeting or on vacation, with these tools you can rest assured that your site is in good hands!
1. Good Hosting
Website hosting is one of the most important aspects of having a WordPress website. A host provides the server space and bandwidth that a website needs in order to be accessible to visitors. Without a host, a website would not be able to exist on the internet.
Hosting is often overlooked as a tool that can help you monitor and improve your website; many businesses that invest in a website choose budget hosting options because that’s what they have the money for, or they just don’t know any better.
But when it comes to creating a website that you can be confident works as your only 24 hour, seven day a week employee, you’ll want to choose a reputable hosting company that not only monitors your website for you, but also helps you make the right decisions so your website functions how you need it to.
For the best “budget” hosting plan I always recommend starting out on Siteground. They offer a deal on your first year and their support is top-notch for the (small-ish) investment you make in their services.
When your business has the money to invest, I recommend moving to a hosting plan with WP Engine. Their support is unrivaled and they have an entire engineering team dedicated to not only making sure your website is performing optimally, but will also work with you as your website grows to make sure your site has the bandwidth it needs to succeed on the web — whether you’re expecting traffic surges, or want to grow your business with eCommerce, WP Engine is a powerhouse hosting company.
Price: Varies – ~$5-$35
No matter the website host you choose, and no matter the level of website security they offer, Wordfence is a free security tool you should add to your WordPress website to give you even more information about how your site is performing.
Wordfence is a plugin for WordPress that adds an additional layer of security to your website. It does this by scanning your site for malicious code and then blocking any attempts to access your site from suspicious IP addresses. In addition, Wordfence also includes a firewall that blocks known hacking techniques, as well as a malware scanner that can remove any malicious code that has already been injected into your site.
If something goes wrong with your site that Wordfence detects in one of its scans, you’ll be notified with an email directly to your inbox with more information about the issue, and advice on how to fix it.
When you add the Wordfence security plugin to your WordPress website, you’ll have peace of mind that even if something *does* get past the security and performance measures your host has in place, you’ll be the first to know about it, so you can then address the problem with your host and/or developer.
Price: Free, with Premium Upgrade
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help website owners understand how their site is being used. By tracking things like page views, unique visitors, and traffic sources, website owners can get a clear picture of what is working and what needs to be improved.
Additionally, with conversion tracking, you can see what people are clicking on and how often they return which will give insights into areas such as visitor demographics or where new customers might come from!
Best of all, Google Analytics is free to use, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious webmasters. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, Google Analytics is a tool that should definitely be in your arsenal.
4. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free web service that helps you track and adjust your website’s visibility on the internet. The main goal of the service is to help you understand how your website is being seen by Google, and make changes if necessary.
This can be helpful if your website isn’t appearing in search results, or if you want to make sure your site is as visible as possible. Search Console also allows you to submit sitemaps, which can help Google index your site more effectively.
Google Search Console gives you valuable insights into how your site is performing in the search results, and it can help you to identify and fix any issues that may be holding you back.
Perhaps best of all, Search Console is incredibly easy to use, even for beginners. In just a few minutes, you can start tracking your site’s progress and making improvements that will help you to achieve your goals.
Hotjar is a user experience tool that lets you see how visitors are really using your website. Hotjar collects and analyzes heat maps that show you where people are clicking and scrolling on your site, as well as what they’re doing in key conversion areas. This information is essential for understanding how your users interact with your site, and it can help you improve your design and content to better meet your website visitor needs.
In addition, Hotjar also offers user surveys and other feedback tools that can give you even deeper insights into your users’ thoughts and concerns.
Best of all, all of your website data is presented by Hotjar in an easy-to-understand way so that you can make changes to your website that will improve the overall user experience.
Price: Free, Premium Upgrade Available
6. Better Uptime
If you’re trying to work fewer, more intentional hours in your business, you need your website to function as a 24/7 employee for you when you’re not in the office — and if it’s not working, you need to know that too. That’s why I recommend Better Uptime.
Better Uptime is a simple yet effective uptime monitoring service that will notify you if your website goes down. And best of all, it’s free!
All you have to do is visit the Better Uptime website, enter your URL and email address, and you’re all set — Better Uptime will email you if they notice an issue with your site, and you can rest assured that you don’t have to monitor your site all by yourself.
Price: Free, Premium plans available
7. Google Pagespeed Insights
Much like website hosting, Google Pagespeed Insights are a non-negotiable part of having a website in the year 2022.
However, while website hosting is something that you choose, Pagespeed Insights is a tool created by Google to rate the performance (and potentially impact the search engine optimization efforts) of your website.
In order to get the full benefit of Google Pagespeed Insights, you technically don’t have to do anything other than check it every once in a while; if you set your website up correctly with Google Search Console your website will be indexed + monitored by Pagespeed Insights as soon as it goes live on the web.
With Pagespeed Insights, Google will give your site a failing or passing grade based on the speed, performance, and real world testing of your site, and you can use this information to inform decisions about your website such as whether you need to further optimize your site’s performance.
With these website monitoring tools, you can be sure that your site is always performing as it should be – even when you’re not around! So take advantage of these free (or very affordable) options and add them to your website today. That way, you can rest assured that your site is in good hands – no matter where you are!
Tool list (so you don’t have to scroll back up!):
- WP Engine
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Better Uptime
- Google Pagespeed Insights
- 10 Incredible time-saving tools for your creative business
- Recommended Resources
- 5 Books to refresh your creative business for the New Year (or any time!)
I’m Christina Marie Anderson, owner of Wandersoul Co — a web development studio packed with personality.
I make investing in a WordPress website fast, simple and approachable for confident creative business owners, alongside offering white-label development services to brand designers and creative studios who are tired of building websites in-house.