Web Analytics

StatusCake: Real-Time Site Monitoring, Domain Expiration, and More

by Jason Unger, Founder

This is the latest in an ongoing series of Tools We Use at Digital Ink, both internally and for our clients. Previous editions have focused on big picture tools for web design and operations to software for animation and icons.

In the real-time environment of the Internet, where an inaccessible website can mean lost donations, revenue, and community, it’s crucially important to know if and when something isn’t working as it should be.

Is your website down right now?

Hopefully not, but it’s always better to find out about a website problem before your users start reporting it to you.

In our role as creative and digital partners for dozens of nonprofits and mission-driven organizations, we provide website management and support so if there is an issue, we’re immediately notified and can investigate what may be happening.

The website monitoring and uptime tool we use and recommend is StatusCake.

Monitoring Notifications Pushed Directly to You

StatusCake supports a ton of vital website tests, including uptime monitoring (to know if your website is inaccessible), page speed tests (to see how long it takes your site to load), SSL status monitoring (to know if your SSL security certificate has expired), and domain monitoring (to know when your domain name is set to expire).

But its most useful feature may be the fact that, when something important happens on your site, you can immediately get notified about it. StatusCake can send you emails, text messages, app notifications, and can even connect to your Slack, Teams, Discord, and other third-party software.

For a team like ours, we like to get notified in multiple ways – so in case one service is delayed or we’re busy doing something else, we’ll be sure to get the notification.

Here’s what an email notification looks like:

StatusCake Email Notification

For its uptime monitoring, StatusCake lets you choose how often your website should be checked – anywhere from every minute to every 24 hours. The tool pings your site to see if it’s sending back a successful status code or an error – if it’s an error, you’ll get notified.

After the issue has been resolved, and StatusCake is able to successfully access your site, you’ll get another notification saying that everything is working as expected.

Domain Name Renewal and SSL Certificate Checking

There’s nothing more annoying than forgetting to renew your domain name or your SSL security certificate. If for some reason they aren’t set to auto-renew (which they should be!), then StatusCake has a solution for that, too.

You can set up notifications about your expiring domain name, and StatusCake will remind you 30 days, 14 days, 7 days, and then 1 day before it’s no longer yours. Hopefully, this isn’t a setting you need – seriously, just make sure your domain name is on auto-renew – but if you have some specific circumstance why you can’t auto-renew, you can at least get constantly reminded.

For your SSL security certificate, you can get notifications about its upcoming expiration – 30 days, 7 days, and 1 day before – but you can also get notified should there be any issues with the overall security of your site. If the SSL certificate throws an error or there’s mixed content on your site, you can set up a notification to be instantly informed so you can fix it.

StatusCake will even provide a full report on your site’s SSL certificate, including an overall grade and comparison to other websites.

Page Speed Tests and Load Time Reporting

As you know, page speed is crucial for both users and for search engines – so using appropriate caching, image optimizations, and web hosting can make a huge difference in your website’s success.

While we always recommend GTMetrix for performance reporting, StatusCake includes its own Page Speed tool that tracks your website’s speed over time, displays any issues, and digs into the different file types and sizes being loaded.

It’s a great way to compare performance over time, rather than just a one-off snapshot that GTMetrix or Pagespeed Insights will provide.

All in all, StatusCake is an incredibly useful tool in our tool belt – helping us to prevent issues before they become widespread.

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About Jason Unger

Jason Unger is the Founder of Digital Ink. He built his first website on Geocities, and hasn't looked back since. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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