Uptrends offers a wide range of monitor types for your monitoring needs. Each has a particular set of settings and configuration options to help you accomplish a monitoring task. First you need to decide which types of monitor you’ll need, because there are several choices for monitoring your webpage: synthetic monitors like basic checks (Uptime monitoring), checks that use a real browser (Browser monitoring, Transactions) or API Monitoring. Of course you can use multiple monitor types, side by side, and possibly combine them with Real User Monitoring, to measure your site’s actual performance as experienced by your users.
A basic check only looks at the initial response; other page elements are not considered. It checks the availability and response of the page, based on a few key components. A basic check may occur as frequently as once per minute giving a more accurate account of the page’s uptime than a real browser check does.
Real browser checks
A real browser check downloads and loads the entire page contents (scripts, CSS files, images, and third-party content) into an actual browser window. The real browser checks are potentially scheduled as frequently as once every five minutes. They provide you with a simulated view of an actual user’s experience with your web page. This monitor type gives you an idea about uptime but with less accuracy than a basic check.
More information on the difference between basic checks and real browser checks can be found in the knowledge base article Basic webpage checks versus real browser checks.
Uptime monitors are sometimes also called availability monitors. They carry out basic checks. The following uptime monitor types are available:
HTTP(S) and Web service HTTP(S) monitors
An HTTP monitor type checks a website for uptime while the HTTPS monitor type checks a website secured with an SSL certificate for uptime.
A Web service HTTP monitor type checks a web service for uptime. The related Web service HTTPS monitor checks a web service secured with an SSL certificate for uptime.
Network server monitors
A Ping monitor type checks any IP address reachable outside the firewall for uptime and availability.
The Connect monitor type performs a low-level TCP Connect to a specific port.
Database server monitors
Mail server monitors
Advanced availability monitors
The following advanced availability monitors are available:
An (S)FTP monitor type monitors your (S)FTP server for uptime and availability.
A DNS monitor type monitors your DNS for stability and uptime. By monitoring your DNS, you ensure that your DNS configuration stays as you intended.
- SSL certificates
An SSL certificate monitor type monitors your SSL certificates to ensure that they are always available, and have not expired.
The browser monitors in this category are real browser monitors and the following types are available:
- Full Page Check
A Full Page Check monitor type checks your website performance on an elemental level, displaying your data in a comprehensive waterfall chart.
- Full Page Check+
A Full Page Check + monitor type checks your website performance on an elemental level, including third-party content, and displays your data in a comprehensive waterfall chart.
The section Full Page Check has all the information on adding this kind of monitor and managing the settings.
Transaction monitors, or web application monitors, test your crucial user interactions for function and performance on regularly scheduled intervals. You always know the state of your transactions. Transaction monitors are real browser monitors. Transaction monitoring is explained in detail in the Transactions section of the knowledge base.
How does transaction monitoring work?
Imagine your users at a computer interacting with your site using a browser window. They fill out forms, click buttons, and make selections as they navigate through a transaction on your site. Now replace that user with a robot doing the exact same thing. That’s what happens when you monitor your transactions. Uptrends' checkpoint computers open a current Chrome browser and use a script to navigate to your site and perform the same interactions your users do every day. While the checkpoints check for the proper function, they also check your transactions for speed. If they find an error or your transactions fall below expected performance standards, you know about it.
What about the script for the transaction?
The checkpoint follows a script to conduct the test, but don’t worry, you don’t have to code any script if you don’t want to. We have the transaction recorder to help you with that. The transaction recorder is a Chrome extension that tracks your progress as you click through your transactions. Once recorded, you have two choices:
- Write and manage your scripts yourself using the transaction recorder or write your script directly (self service transactions)
- Have the Uptrends' Support team use your recording to write and test your script for you (full-service transactions)
How do I get started with transaction monitoring?
Depending on how you like to work with new topics, you can take different approaches.
- Dive right into the matter and follow the shopping cart tutorial to learn about transactions by doing.
- Familiarize yourself with the theory first and get some advice on planning and how to avoid pitfalls. All that information can be found in the Transactions section of the knowledge base.
Uptrends API monitors can check a single response or handle complex multi-step API calls. There are two different types to handle each of these tasks:
Web service HTTP/HTTPS
The web service HTTP/HTTPS monitors can test a single response. Using web service monitors is recommended to check on the availability and uptime of an API using basic authentication and content checks. You’ll find more information about Web service monitors in our knowledge base.
If you need to do any of the following you’ll want to use a Multi-step API monitor:
- handle redirects
- handle authentication
- make multiple API calls
- reuse values from one API call to another
You’ll find more setup details in our knowledge base.