As a small business, you want to keep costs down. If you are promoting your website and visitors are receiving errors then you are wasting money. But paying for a whole bunch of monitoring services when your small business is just starting can be untenable. Fortunately, the following services offer generous Freemium plans that can help you keeps the costs down allowing your small business to grow.
Website Performance and Availability with Pingdom
With the free plan you can monitor the following:
- Uptime – Find out if that 99.99% uptime your host claims is accurate
- Number of outages, how long they lasted, and at what time they happened
Error logging with Sentry.io
This is a service that offers server-side and front-end error logging.
I use it to log errors for websites that use the LEMP/LAMP stack.
It is great because it shows the source code, the stack trace, and variables. Almost like having XDEBUG available for every user when they run into a bug! I love it because, in conjunction with MouseFlow, I am able to attach the error log with a MouseFlow session and recreate the steps to reproduce the error.
I use Sentry both for development and production environments.
Now Sentry.io also integrates git commit information, so not only am I able to track errors by release but also see errors solved by release.
These are the most common reports I receive in production and which I am glad to be able to catch quickly thanks to Sentry.io:
- Missing images
- 404 errors
Session Replay with MouseFlow
This service is really easy to integrate. Just like Google Analytics, you simply add the tracking code to your website. They offer plugins for many platforms. I use their plugin for WordPress.
These are the features I use the most
- Session recording – like I mentioned above, I use this in conjunction with Sentry.io to help reproduce bugs
- Heatmaps – Make sure those CTA are working hard
- Form Analytics – Where are users getting stuck filling a form?
- (NEW) Feedback – A quick survey that lets you know why users are getting frustrated
These three services have saved me countless times. I recommend you make these tools part of the development and operations
of your small business website.