In this article, we are going to look at the definition of website monitoring, and how it works.

And we will end this lesson by comparing the two types of website monitoring we are going to discover in this article they are Automate Monitoring and Real User Monitoring (RUM).


Imagine spending days writing so many articles on your website only to discover that you are not getting the right amount of traffic that you expect.

And when you do a Google search for what could be the problem, you discover that there are so many errors like your site speed, downtime, etc that might be preventing your site from performing well.

And you are just stuck there thinking of how to dig out of this problem, and further research helps you to understand that you cannot do this manually and that you should opt for a website monitoring service that will enable you to discover what is wrong with your website.

So you start surfing the internet looking to really have an understanding of website monitoring before you make a start with it. And that surfing lands you on this article which I have really taken the time to write about website monitoring, how it works, and its types.

So just relax and read on because this article is guaranteed to help you learn how to use website monitoring to put your website in the right shape.

And I hope you are able to achieve this aim after reading it.

If you are ready, I am; so let’s move ahead.

What is website monitoring?

Website monitoring simply means testing the general performance, functions, and availability of a website or web service.

The process involves running your website URL through a website monitoring tool or service through automated testing or Real User Monitoring (RUM).

When you consider the number of things that influences the performance, function, and availability of a website, you will realize that manual testing is isolated.

And for that reason, we are going to concentrate more on Synthetic monitoring.

How does Website Monitoring work?

As we mentioned earlier in this article, website monitoring occurs in 2 different ways and they are:

  1. Automated website monitoring and
  2. Real User Monitoring (RUM).

1. Automated website monitoring.

In automated website monitoring, network computers are located near the website’s end users are used to monitor a website.

The process involves this network of computer checkpoints interacting with a website to confirm if it is working normally as expected.

The checkpoints which are used by the monitoring system may undergo several steps and processes as means of conducting this test.

Some of those steps are:

  1. Connecting itself to the website that it’s going to check.
  2. Checking the return for a response code. For basic availability, the checkpoint gives a full report of the result when the test is completed, but if the monitoring is more advanced the checkpoint continues.
  3. Tests are run and given results on verified content.
  4. Loading the content into a real browser is known as Real Browser Monitoring.
  5. While loading in the browser, the monitoring records the load times for every element of the page.
  6. The monitoring system may attempt to log into the site, perform a search, use a shopping cart, or even complete a purchase which is known as web application monitoring.
  7. Once the test is completed, the monitoring system will send a report back to the monitoring service or tool.

If errors or slow responses are included in the results, the service may perform the test again from a different checkpoint to ascertain a persistent error before finally sending an alert to the website’s support team.

2. Real User Monitoring (RUM)

In Real User Monitoring (RUM), the monitoring is done by using data which is provided by the real users of a website.

This data may include script files, cookies, agents, or server-side code which is used to track to track the performance of a website when each visitor is accessing the website.

RUM gives real users insight because it still depends on user interaction with the website to obtain data, which makes it impossible for tracking uptime.

Automated or real user monitoring, which one is better?

A good argument exists between which website monitoring is the best automated and real user monitoring.

Most people agree that real-user monitoring is the best. However, automated monitoring makes sense only when the website is available to users behind a firewall, for instance, a corporate Ethernet.

But this also means that the monitoring service is located in the same environment that needs to be monitored.

If there is an outage, it can affect automated monitoring and the problem can go undetected until the end users of the website begin to lay complaints.

Real-user monitoring takes away the point of failure that occurs with automated monitoring and can notify the support team if there is an outage.

Another argument for automated monitoring is due to localized problems. Some public-facing websites can have problems that only affect a portion of users who are located in a specific area.

Many errors such as DNS lookup errors and poor performance is likely to affect some users. And it is only in testing the using checkpoints located near such users that one can detect localized errors and slow performance.


Website monitoring is crucial for every website to check its performance, availability, and functioning.

Whether it is a small or big online business or organization, a well-optimized website is very important because it will help them with whatever services they are intending for their prospects.

Every website in the world is competing to stay at the 2 seconds interval load time, and frustrated end users are known to abandon a down, a poorly performing website that is malfunctioning and move on to do business with the site they can reach in a jiffy.

This is why every website owner must consider using a website monitoring service or tool to always keep track of how their website is faring in cyberspace.

Last modified: December 11, 2022



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