title:The Importance Of Monitoring Your Website
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
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