Part of running your website every day is knowing that things are ok. Websites experies outages for all kinds of reasons, and indeed as the complexity of the website increases, so too does the likelihood of something going wrong.

Outages comes in all shapes and forms, unreachable DNS, 3rd party scripts misbehaving, failing AJAX calls, buggy javascript are just a few of the reasons. The symptoms can be truly diverse and more often than not it is something we hadn’t thought of (otherwise we would have a code path handling that case, right, right??).

Regardless of what can go wrong and how badly it can go wrong, when it comes to running a successful website it is critically important that you find out about problems before most of your users do. Some users will always be affected, but when something is already wrong, then the name of the game is recovery and damage limitation.

In order to recover quickly and hopefully limit the damage, you’ll want to know as soon as possible after problems arise. That’s where alerting comes in. It is impossible (though enthralling!) to watch the logs and charts constantly, and a quick check each morning means you could miss hours and hours of problems.

Computers love doing the boring tasks and that’s why it’s perfect that we use them to watch our key metrics for us and let us know what things go wrong.

Setting up an alert with BytesMatter is straightforward.

On the alerts page we can see alerts that have already been set up.

Alert table showing existing alerts

You have the options on this screen to either edit or delete existing alerts, or start setting up a new alert.

Clicking on “Create” opens up the alert editor

Alert editor for creating and editing alerts

As you can see all you need is:

  • a name
  • filters to choose your alert parameters
  • a threshold on which to trigger an alert
  • to select who should be alerted (you’re there by default of course!)

The chart shows the most recent metrics for your chosen filters to give you an idea of how high or low to set the threshold.

Worth pointing out that if the theshold is time based then it should be entered in milliseconds.

After entering the required information and clicking Create, you can relax knowing that BytesMatter is watching over your site for you. You’ll be sent an email whenever the threshold is crossed.

Now go on, get back to doing something that is actually productive instead of staring at metrics all day :)

Tags: #alerting #features #frontend #tools