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The Importance Of Monitoring Your Website

title:The Importance Of Monitoring Your Website

author:Douglas Titchmarsh

source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/web_design_and_development/article_715.shtml

date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:20

category:web_design_and_development

article:

Are you monitoring your website?

You should be, especially if you are using it

to make some extra cash, and definitely if

it is your only source of income.

You need to monitor your website to protect

it from so many nasties which could affect your

bottom line. Any of the following could bring

your site to a close.

A hack attack.

If your website is hacked, it could be used

for any number of illegal activities.

A hacker could use your hosting

account to send uce (Spam) from your domain

or even add web pages such as user information

"phishing" sites. These sites will have a page

which looks like a login page for Paypal, Ebay

or any bank. If someone fills in the form their

details are sent to the hacker who now has

access to their account. Your website will be

shut down, and you lose money while you sort

out the mess.

If you have any user information stored on

your websites server, a hacker may also

gain access to that too, and personal information

is a very easy commodity to sell on.

Keep an eye on your site for any unexpected activity

or unusual stats showing for pages you didn't

make yourself. Most accounts have some kind of

statistics built in to the control panel so

it shouldn't cost too much to monitor visits

and hits, and to which pages they go.

Make sure any scripts you use are secure and

updated with any patches to keep the hackers

out too.

Hosting or server problems.

Your host, or server may have a problem, and

lose access to the internet, or crash taking

all sites hosted there down with them.

This gives you two potential headaches, firstly

loss of business while it is offline, but more

importantly you may lose data. Making sure you

take regular backups of all databases, and all

your sites pages will help, also monitoring how

often any outages occur, and how long each lasts

will tell you whether it's time to change hosts.

No host can guarantee with absolute certainty

100% uptime, but some are much more prone to

downtime than others. If you have all the

site information backed up, moving hosts isn't

as much of a task as it used to be, and can

be done in quite a short time if needed.

As hosting is such a cut throat business,

finding a new one is also relatively simple.

There are even software programs which will

alert you if your site is unavailable.

Blog and Forum spamming

With the all pervasive spread of blogging

it was inevitable that some people would

resort to spamming them. Forums and

message boards are also open to abuse

from software which will autopost to

thousands of sites in minutes.

If your blog is able to accept comments, it

is wise to ask for some kind of registration

from people who wish to make comments. If

you don't ask for registration you leave

your blog open to blatant advertising done

by software, which will be unlikely to bear

any relevance to your blogs subject.

This goes for your forums too, allowing

guests to post without registration is

open to abuse by widely available software

which autoposts inane comments with a signature

which contains a url to the spammers product.

Asking for registration will help ensure that

only people committed to posting something

relevant get to add their comments or

posts. If someone wants to post they will

take the time to register.

It may take a little time, but monitoring

your websites could save you from a lot

more wasted time in the future.

Backups of your site will help and should

be taken at least weekly, and all your

scripts should at least have security updates

as soon as they are released.

It's your site, make sure it stays in your

control.

ZZZZZZ