How To Set Up Website Downtime Monitoring For Your WordPress Site

Learn how to set up downtime monitoring alerts for your WordPress site and receive automatic notifications if your website or blog becomes unresponsive or is down …

How To Set Up Website Downtime Monitoring For Your WordPress SiteIf your business depends on your website being available and accessible to online users 24×7, then you need to make sure that people can visit your site and access your content any time of day or night.

Unless you are constantly checking your website, however, it’s hard to know if your website is up and running or if visitors can access your content 24×7.

This is where downtime monitoring is useful. A downtime monitoring service regularly checks your website to see if everything is ok. If it’s not, it immediately lets you know there’s a problem.

How To Set Up Website Downtime Monitoring For Your WordPress Site

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up downtime monitoring alerts for your WordPress site and get automatic notifications if your website or blog becomes unresponsive or is down.

What Causes Website Downtime?

There are a number of factors that can cause website downtime.

For example:

Why Is Downtime Monitoring Important?

Even the most reliable web hosting providers will normally only guarantee around 99% uptime. This means that in a one-year period, you can expect your site to be down for at least 3.5 hours if you are hosting with the best of the best.

This may not seem too bad if an outage happens when no one is visiting your site. But what if your site goes down just as you launch a new product or service or send out your monthly newsletter promoting a special limited offer?

Clearly, if your business relies on your website for leads, sales, subscribers, etc. and your website goes down, then you are losing money.

If your website is frequently unresponsive, your reputation and credibility will suffer, visitors will leave and may not come back, and your ranking in search engines will also be affected.

This is one of the reasons why it’s important to host your website with a reliable web hosting provider (for more details see our tutorial on how to set up web hosting for your WordPress site). Make sure you use a reliable web hosting service provider but don’t rely exclusively on your web host to monitor your website 24×7 for you.

There are a number of different tests that can be used to monitor site uptime (e.g. Ping Monitor tests, HTTP tests, DNS server monitoring, etc.) and some services will perform complex backend checks and monitor dozens of checkpoints simultaneously to confirm problems.

WordPress Downtime Monitoring Plugins

When we last checked, many website monitoring plugins in the WordPress plugin repository are no longer being maintained, possibly because of the resources required to continually check if sites are up.

One WordPress plugin that is regularly maintained and provides downtime monitoring is Jetpack.

Jetpack

Jetpack by WordPress.com

(Jetpack by WordPress.com)

Jetpack is a powerful and useful WordPress toolkit plugin that gives you access to over 40 features, including web security and a free downtime monitoring service which automatically alerts you if your website goes down …

Jetpack Monitor sends you an alert if your site goes down!

(Jetpack Monitor sends you an alert if your site goes down!)

Jetpack Monitor also notifies you when your site is back up and lets you know how long it was down for …

Jetpack Monitor alerts you when your site is back up!

(Jetpack Monitor alerts you when your site is back up!)

Jetpack checks your site every five minutes from different locations around the world and sends your notifications by email and/or via mobile. You can also customize the email address where notifications are sent to.

To learn more about the Jetpack plugin, visit the Jetpack website, or see the tutorial below:

iThemes

iThemes

(iThemes)

iThemes provides downtime monitoring as part of its comprehensive suite of WordPress backup, maintenance, and security services.

iThemes Sync Pro, for example, offers a way to monitor WordPress uptime, downtime & overall performance for multiple WordPress websites from one dashboard and sends notification emails when sites go down, with a history of your overall WordPress performance.

For more details, go here: iThemes Sync

Downtime Monitoring Browser Extensions

Another category of downtime monitoring tools worth looking into for your WordPress site, are browser extensions.

If you use Chrome as your web browser, then check out the extension below.

Server Monitor

Server Monitor

(Server Monitor – Chrome Browser extension)

Server Monitor is a free browser extension for Chrome that lets you monitor any number of URLs for connectivity and content you specify and displays a status icon for quick reference.

This extension lets you poll one or more URLs at a defined interval to check the status and content of the page. An icon is added to your browser which indicates the status of the websites being monitored using different colors (e.g. Green = ok, Red = site is unresponsive).

Additionally, the extension can display pop-up notifications when the status of a monitored URL changes.

After installing the extension on your browser, right-click on the gray sphere icon and click on ‘Manage extensions’ …

Server Monitor - Manage extensions

(Server Monitor – Manage extensions)

Click on ‘Extension options’ …

Click on 'Extension options'

(Click on ‘Extension options’)

This brings you to the ‘Settings’ screen where you can enable your notification settings (e.g. pop up notifications on unexpected responses, connection errors, and when the server is restored), specify the interval to run checks and set timeouts, and add the URLs you want to monitor.

Click ‘Save’ after adding URLs to update the extension’s settings …

Server Monitor settings

(Server Monitor settings)

The extension’s icon will be split into as many segments as you have added URLs and indicates the status of the websites being monitored using different colors (e.g. Green = ok, Red = site is unresponsive)

Server Monitor is now actively monitoring your websites

(Server Monitor is now actively monitoring your websites)

You can view the status of your sites and refresh the monitor any time by clicking on the browser icon.

For more details, go here: Server Monitor

Website Downtime Monitoring Services

Many online services offer downtime monitoring as part of their suite of web services for all website platforms. Most of these services are not free but some offer free trials.

Pingdom

(Pingdom)

Pingdom provides a range of website checking services, including speed and downtime monitoring. Pingdom performs a second check on every incident to filter out false positives and will immediately alert you if something is wrong with your website, whether this is related to your site being unresponsive, or a failed transaction.

Pingdom also offers configurable alerts and performance reports.

For more details, go here: Pingdom Uptime Monitoring

Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot

(Uptime Robot)

Uptime Robot monitors your website every 5 minutes (or more depending on your monitoring settings) and alerts you if your sites are down.

The service asks for your website headers and if the status code returns a signal that your site is not loading, it performs several more checks in the next 30 seconds to make sure that your site is down. If the tests confirm that your site is, it will then send you an alert.

Uptime Robot provides both free and pro plans.

For more details, go here: Uptime Robot

Site24x7

Site24x7

(Site24x7)

Site24x7 provides an all-in-one monitoring solution, including monitoring websites, servers, cloud services, networks, applications, users, and other web resources.

For more details, go here: Site24x7

Useful tip

The above list of resources is just enough to get you started. To find more downtime monitoring services, just search online for “uptime monitoring” or “downtime monitoring.”

Also, many website monitoring services provide Chrome users with browser extensions that allow you to monitor your site at a glance from your web browser.

For example, if you use Uptime Robot, you can find extensions for your Chrome browser for this service …

UptimeRobot Monitor - Chrome Browser Extension

(UptimeRobot Monitor – Chrome Browser Extension)

However you choose to monitor your website for downtime, the important thing is to have some form of detection system in place that can instantly alert you if your site becomes unresponsive so you can take action to resolve the problem and restore your business online.

As stated earlier, make sure you use a reliable web hosting service provider but don’t rely exclusively on your web host to monitor your website 24×7 for you.

We hope that you have found this tutorial useful.

How To Set Up Website Downtime Monitoring For Your WordPress Site

Image source: Pixabay

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Disclaimer: This site has no association with WordPress or any of the WordPress products mentioned or reviewed on this website. We may receive affiliate commissions or financial benefits from the purchase of any third-party products advertised on our website. All images and descriptions sourced from product websites are the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use to the best of our knowledge and are being used solely for illustrative or training purposes.

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How To Add, Protect, And Manage Downloadable Files In WordPress

Learn how to better plan, add, protect, manage, and share downloadable files and content in WordPress.

How To Add, Protect, And Manage Downloadable Files In WordPress

How To Add, Protect, And Manage Downloadable Files In WordPressThis step-by-step tutorial shows you how to better plan the process of adding, protecting, managing, and sharing downloadable files and content online in WordPress.

You may want to add downloadable or shareable content on your site as part of your content plan or content marketing strategy.

This can include content such as:

  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Price lists
  • Product catalogs
  • Brochures
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Slides & presentations
  • Media (videos, audios, images)
  • Lead generation reports
  • PDF files
  • e-Books and guides
  • Other digital information products

Additionally, you may want to protect your download files or content from being shared or accessed without your permission.

Downloadable Content Planning Process

Before you start sharing downloadable content online, it will help to work out a few things first.

Downloadable Content Planning Process
Click image to enlarge.

(Downloadable Content Planning Process)

Ask these questions before adding downloadable content to your site:

  • Where will your download file(s) be stored?
  • How will your download file(s) be distributed?
  • Will your download file(s) or content need protection?
  • Who will share and distribute your file(s)?

Where Will Your Download Files Be Stored?

Downloadable files need to be stored either on your server (i.e. where your WordPress site is installed), or somewhere else (e.g. a cloud storage service).

There are many benefits to storing and distributing your downloadable files from a cloud storage location, like Amazon S3, Drop Box, etc. We’ll discuss some of these benefits later in this tutorial.

How Will Your Download Files Be Distributed?

Will anyone be able to freely access and share your downloadable content, or will they only have access to the content after completing a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or sharing it with their friends on social media?

Will Your Download Files Or Content Need Protection?

Depending on your strategy and whether you want to make your downloadable content freely available or accessible only after users take some form of action, another thing to consider is the level of protection your content will require …

Content Protection Level
Click image to enlarge.

(Content Protection Level)

For example, you may want to give account or trade customers access to a downloadable discount price list. In this case, you will probably want to store the file in a private area of your site that only certain users can access, but not necessarily need to protect the file content itself.

Instances where you would need a deeper level of content protection might include the following:

  • Limiting the number of downloads of a file
  • Giving access to confidential or encrypted files that need to be unlocked with a password.
  • Distributing software that requires users to enter a license key to unlock and use the application.

Who Will Share And Distribute Your Files?

Another thing to consider when planning to distribute downloadable content is who will share and distribute your files.

Will users only be able to download the file from your site or will your file be available for downloading on other sites too?

Planning this aspect of the process is important because if you don’t, things can quickly become unmanageable, especially when it comes to keeping your content files up-to-date.

Now that we have looked at some of the questions and decisions you will need to make when planning to add downloadable or shareable content to your digital presence, let’s take a look at how to add, manage, and protect your downloadable content.

How To Add Downloadable Files To WordPress

As mentioned earlier, downloadable files need to be stored either on your server, or in a remote server location.

Storing Downloadable Files On Your Server

Storing files on your server can be done:

WordPress lets you upload files directly into your posts or pages, or via the WordPress Media Library to be used later.

To learn how to add files to the WordPress Media Library, see the step-by-step tutorial below:

WordPress supports uploading various file types using the media uploader. To view the full list of supported file types, click here.

Tip

Not all file types are allowed to be uploaded using the media uploader and not all webhosts allow files to be uploaded. Additionally, you host may not allow large files to be uploaded to your server.

If you are having issues uploading large files to your server, contact your host or see the tutorial below to learn how to increase file upload size in WordPress:

Uploading files to your WordPress Media Library is easy but it may not be the ideal way to handle downloadable or shareable files and can cause issues with your hosting, such as exceeding allowed bandwidth or exhausting server resources

For this reason, we recommend storing and distributing your files from a cloud storage service like Amazon S3, Drop Box, etc.

To learn more about the benefits of using a cloud service to store and share your downloadable files, see the opening section of the tutorial below:

How To Protect Downloadable Files In WordPress

There are a number of reasons why you may want to protect a downloadable file and its content. The main reason is to protect files and content from being accessed by unauthorized users.

Content Protection Methods

Protecting downloadable files in WordPress can be done in several ways. You can add downloadable files to:

  • Deep-nested pages
  • Password-protected pages
  • Private pages
  • Content lockers
  • Membership sites
  • e-Commerce sites

These methods are all explained in more detail in this tutorial:

How To Manage Downloadable Files In WordPress

WordPress lets you manage your download files right out of the box but it doesn’t have advanced management features like download password protection, tracking file revisions and the number of downloads, preventing unregistered users from accessing your files, managing and selling digital downloads and more!

You can easily add these features using file management and download management plugins like the ones shown below:

WordPress Download Manager

WordPress Download Manager

(WordPress Download Manager)

WordPress Download Manager is a free WordPress plugin that lets you manage, track and control file downloads from your WordPress dashboard. You can control access to your download files using passwords and user roles, control downloads by speed or by putting a limit on download count per user, block bots or unwanted users or spammers using Captcha Lock or IP Block feature, ask users to agree with your terms and conditions before they can download files, and even sell digital items and products.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: WordPress Download Manager

Download Monitor

Download Monitor

(Download Monitor)

Download Monitor is a free WordPress plugin with an intuitive user interface that lets you upload and manage, categorise and tag downloadable files, insert download links into posts and pages, display download links, track downloads, log access & show file download counts, add multiple file versions per download, and more.

This plugin also provides extensions and add-ons that allow you to integrate your downloads with remote storage accounts (e.g. Amazon S3, Google Drive, etc.), add Captcha, email lock (users need to provide their email address before they can access the download), email notifications, adding terms and condition checkboxes, CSV import and export and more.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Download Monitor

WP Download Manager Pro

WP Download Manager

(WP Download Manager Pro)

WP Download Manager Pro is a premium WordPress files and documents management plugin for managing, tracking, and controlling file downloads. It is also an e-Commerce solution for selling digital products from your WordPress site.

The plugin includes many features for selling & monitoring file downloads like price variations, licensing, password protection, download visibility based on members roles and capabilities, hit counter, etc., as well as social locking and media streaming features.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Download Monitor

WP-Filebase Pro

WP-Filebase Pro

(WP-Filebase Pro)

WP-Filebase Pro is a plugin that keeps your download files structured in categories, comes with smart, mobile-responsive templates to embed files into your post or page content, and provides fast download features for users.

This plugin lets you securely sync files with an FTP server or use an extension for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon S3 (including Cloudfront), GitHub, ownCloud and others. Files remain wherever they are uplaoded and the WP-Filebase plugin handles permissions, URL signing and redirects.

Additionally, the plugin scans your files for meta data and keywords, so your actual document content becomes searchable, lets you assign individual access and upload permissions per user or user-role, prevents direct, unauthenticated file access, and protects download files stored in the cloud.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: WP-Filebase Pro

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

(WooCommerce)

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything, anywhere. WooCommerce powers over 30% of all online stores and is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, giving store owners and developers complete control, endless flexibility, and access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions.

WooCommerce is more than just a download file management plugin. It is a complete WordPress e-Commerce platform that lets you sell all types of physical and digital products, offer bookings, memberships, recurring subscriptions, discounts on digital downloads, and a whole lot more.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: WooCommerce

Trackerly

Trackerly Link Management And Redirection Tool

(Trackerly)

Trackerly is a complete link management and redirection tool that lets you create powerful keyword redirect links branded to your website, with advanced analytics made for marketers, and gives you complete control of your download links (see the special tip below). Trackerly is an SaaS (Software as a Service) application with a WordPress plugin.

To learn more about this tool, go here: Trackerly

How To Distribute And Share Downloadable Content Effectively

Let’s suppose that you distribute your products through different outlets. As part of your marketing strategy to increase product sales, you create an online catalog and encourage your distributors to promote your online catalog.

  • Where will you store the catalog file?
  • Will your distributors have access to a copy of your catalog file so their customers can download it from their website, or will they have to send their visitors to your site to download the catalog?
  • If your distributors have a copy of the catalog file, what happens when the catalog needs to be updated?
  • If you store the catalog file on your server and ask your distributors to point their download link to your server location, what happens when you update the file? Will you have to overwrite previous versions of your catalog? If so, what happens to the old versions? How will your distributors access older versions of the catalog if required?

Tip

Here is a really useful time-saving tip for managing, distributing, and sharing your downloadable content effectively …

How to manage your downloadable content effectively
Click image to enlarge.

(How to manage your downloadable content effectively)

First, you will need to set up a cloud storage service like Amazon S3 to upload and store all your downloadable files.

Next, set up a link management and redirection tool to manage your download links.

Now, here’s all you have to do to keep your downloadable and shareable content manageable:

  1. Upload your file to your cloud storage account (see this tutorial).
  2. Copy the link of your uploaded file and use it to create a redirection link in your link management tool (see this tutorial).
  3. This redirect link is the download link for your file. Use only this redirect link on your site and everywhere else.
  4. When your file needs updating, all you have to do is upload the new file to your cloud folder location, overwriting the old file. Anyone who clicks on the download link will get the latest version of your file.
  5. If you change your download file’s destination, simply change the destination URL in your link redirection tool. The download link will remain the same but users will be redirected to the new destination URL.

Let’s go through a practical example of the above method:

Let’s say you create a product catalog and name the file XYZCatalog2018.pdf.

First, upload file XYZCatalog2018.pdf to a folder on your cloud storage server (e.g. create a folder called ‘catalogs’). If you use the Amazon S3 service, the URL where your file is located would then be something like this:

http://xyz.s3.amazonaws.com/catalogs/XYZCatalog2018.pdf

Next, copy the above URL, then create a new redirection link and paste the URL from your clipboard into your redirect link’s destination. If you use a tool like Trackerly, you can create redirection links using your own domain name. So, for example, if your domain was xyzcompany.com, your redirection link would look something like this:

http://xyzcompany.com/catalog

This is the link you will share and use everywhere for downloading your product catalog.

If you update your product catalog, just replace the old file stored on your Amazon S3 account with the updated file and everyone who clicks on the dowload link will get the new version.

Now, what if you want to create a new catalog each year (e.g. XYZCatalog2019.pdf, XYZCatalog2020.pdf, etc.)?

Here’s a simple way to have users download the new catalog edition instead of the old one without having to change download links:

First, upload each new catalog file to the cloud into the ‘catalogs’ folder.

E.g:

  • XYZCatalog2018.pdf
  • XYZCatalog2019.pdf
  • XYZCatalog2020.pdf
  • XYZCatalog2021.pdf
  • etc.

The URLs for each of the above files should look something like this:

  • http://xyz.s3.amazonaws.com/catalogs/XYZCatalog2018.pdf
  • http://xyz.s3.amazonaws.com/catalogs/XYZCatalog2019.pdf
  • http://xyz.s3.amazonaws.com/catalogs/XYZCatalog2020.pdf
  • http://xyz.s3.amazonaws.com/catalogs/XYZCatalog2021.pdf
  • etc.

Using your link management and redirection tool, your download link for the file would still be:

http://xyzcompany.com/catalog

Each year, however, all you would need to do is change the destination URL in your redirect link to point to the link of the latest version of your catalog …

Easily manage and share download links using a link management tool
Click image to enlarge.

(Easily manage and share download links using a link management tool)

With the above example, your call to action should be something generic like “Download the latest version of the XYZ catalog here …” (i.e. don’t mention the year). This way you don’t need to change anything in your posts or pages. Everything will be managed from your cloud storage folder and your link redirection tool dashboard.

Also, if users need to download previous versions of your catalog, just create an archive or repository page and add a table or create a list with links to the older files.

We hope that you have found the information above on planning, adding, protecting, managing, and sharing downloadable files and content in WordPress useful.

Downloadable Content Creation Tools

Check out the tutorials below for more information on methods, tools, and resources that will help you create downloadable and shareable content:

Designrr - eBook Creation Software

Designrr – eBook Creation Software

Designrr lets you convert WordPress posts and pages into PDF ebooks and reports ...
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How To Publish Books And Create Online Courses On A Shoestring Budget

How To Publish Books And Create Online Courses On A Shoestring Budget

Learn how to publish books and create e-courses on a shoestring budget that will attract new clients and help grow ...
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Explaindio - Animated Video Creation Tool

Explaindio – Animated Video Creation Tool

Explaindio lets you easily create animated and hand-drawn whiteboard sketch videos ...
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Post Gopher - WordPress Lead Generation Plugin

Post Gopher – WordPress Lead Generation Plugin

Post Gopher is a WordPress plugin that automatically turns your blog posts into lead magnets and grows your subscriber list ...
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Viddyoze Live Action Video Animation

Viddyoze Live Action Video Animation

Create stunning live action video intros and logo stings with Viddyoze live action video animation tool ...
Read More
Link Redirection Management

Trackerly – Link Redirection Management And Tracking Tool

Learn how to manage thousands of redirect links on multiple domains from one central location using a powerful link management ...
Read More

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

Button and download arrow images sourced from Pixabay.

Disclaimer: This site is not directly associated with WordPress, Automattic, or any products reviewed on this site. We may receive a financial benefit from the sale of any services or products advertised on this website. All images and information sourced from product websites are the copyright of their respective owners and comply with all license terms and agreements of use to the best of our knowledge.

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