We’ll take a look at how to monitor if your site is running at all (uptime monitoring), how to track and check response time, and how to watch for common server errors. You’ll also learn how to automatically check specific things on specific pages (website testing) and what you should be checking regularly on a WordPress website.
Although we’ll be showing you how to monitor a WordPress site using Testomato, you can use these tips with any other website monitoring service.
Uptime monitoring: Is your website running?
Uptime monitoring is the most important –but not the only– part of website monitoring. Testomato does this automatically –you just need to set how often you want uptime checked. Just keep in mind that if you set a very short interval between checks, this can slow down your website.
Uptime monitoring is related to another automatically measured feature called Response Time. This shows not only how fast your website responds to HTTP requests, but also the history of these responses in time and the particular time components of the request (DNS lookup, initial connection, the request itself, waiting for a response, content download).
Common server errors
Another thing that can be checked automatically is the most common server-side errors. Testomato has a large database of the most common error messages, and if it finds one on your site, it will let you know right away. You can turn this feature off in the project settings, but we recommend leaving it on.
Websites on WordPress use PHP, a MySQL or MariaDB database, and usually, run on an Apache or Nginx web server. Testomato automatically detects the most common error messages of these technologies. There is no need to set anything up.
Next, we will deal with simple specific tests over specific URLs. It is useless to test all pages of your website and no monitoring service allows it. However, you should make a list of the typed pages of your website and test one of each type. For WordPress sites, Testomato recommends the following (listed in order of importance):
Maybe you don’t need to go into such details. If you could only pick two typed pages, for a blog-type site it would be the homepage and one post, because that is your most important content and your most frequent landing pages. For a business or informational site, it would be the homepage and one page. And if you are running, for example, an e-shop on WP, you will have to add other content types (product, cart, etc.).
What to check on specific URLS
- measurement codes (Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Adsense, FB Pixel…)
- meta tags (title, meta description, Twitter:card, OpenGraph…)
- content (H1 heading and other things depending on what you think is important)
- the right number of articles on the homepage, in the category, in RSS
Google Analytics and other measurement codes
If you manage multiple websites, it can easily happen that you accidentally copy/paste the measurement code of site A to site B. To avoid that, check all sites to make sure they contain the correct measurement code. It’s also not a bad idea to check that they don’t contain code from your other sites.
Content and meta data
This is especially important on WordPress content types ‘post’ and ‘page’. With Testomato, you can easily monitor the so-called on-page SEO factors or any other part of the page content. The most important ones include:
- page title
- meta description
- Twitter card – especially important for publishing on Twitter
- Open Graph – especially important for publishing on Facebook, but the
og:attributes are also used by Twitter if you don’t have a Twitter Card
- H1 – Main heading of the page
Anything you insert using WP plugins
Don’t think of websites as something you create once and it’s done. They’re living organisms that are connected to other services and something is always changing, updating, etc.
On a WordPress site, plugins and themes are the biggest risks. They can help a lot because they add new functionality to WordPress, but they also have the potential of causing trouble if something stops working after an update. Updates mean not only a plugin or theme update, but also a WordPress update, a PHP version update on the server, or a MySQL database update.
Whatever you add to the site using plugins, check. When there is a change, Testomato will then let you know if something has stopped working.