Web Application Monitoring: Best Practices and Strategies for Performance Monitoring

Web application monitoring best practices and strategies for app performance monitroing

Table of Contents

Web application monitoring ensures that your web applications are running smoothly. Monitoring provides insights into such key factors as performance, user traffic, and response times that are vital to maintaining your web apps.

Take response times for example — we know that a web page loading delay as small as 100 milliseconds, on average, can result in a 7% lower conversion rate. So, being able to keep track of your response times is crucial!

This is just one example of why web app monitoring is crucial for businesses in 2024. So we’ve collected the best practices to know about if you want to make the most out of your monitoring.

Let’s dive into the guide that will allow you to oversee all the aspects of your web apps.

Before you start reading

When monitoring web apps, consider all the third-party services that support your application. The uptime of your hosting, database, payment gateway, and CRM affects the performance of your app directly. So monitoring these services makes sense if you want to have a complete view of the performance of your app.

StatusGator enhances the monitoring process by providing a view into the uptime of your app’s cloud and SaaS service providers. So whenever your dependency experiences an outage that affects your app, StatusGator immediately notifies you.

StatusGator offers status pages for both internal teams and public users. You can add dependencies on the public status page of your application or display the board internally on your premises for the IT team, support, and stakeholders.

There are more than 3,900 cloud services available and users can get notified of their status changes in Slack, MS Teams, email, and SMS.

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What is Application Monitoring?

Web application monitoring is the process of overseeing the web app’s metrics. This involves consistent checks of its functionality, performance, safety, response times, error rates, resource usage, and more. Modern software covers all of this for you.

This real-time monitoring isn’t just about keeping things running smoothly. It’s also about catching issues early on. Whether a web app experiences poor load times, security vulnerabilities, or unexpected downtime, monitoring is about spotting issues so you can resolve them.

Essentially, it’s your proactive approach to maintaining a robust user experience.

Types of Web Application Monitoring

Before picking any tools or software to help monitor your web apps, you should be aware that there are a few different branches:

  • Digital experience monitoring: Observes user interactions, such as page load times and navigation paths, to provide a smooth and satisfying user experience that aims to make your users return. Unlike other types of monitoring, it directly measures user perception and satisfaction.
  • Application performance monitoring: Includes application performance monitoring (APM), and focuses on the performance and functionality of the application itself. This includes server response times and error rates. By focusing on the application’s internal workings, you can gain insights into code-level issues and optimizations.

It’s also important to note that this type of monitoring is more technical since many application monitoring tools cover your entire application stack. This type of monitoring oversees application framework, operating system, APIs, web application servers, and more.

Types for web application monitroing
  • Database monitoring: Monitors database performance, including query execution times and database server health. It oversees efficient data retrieval and storage, unlike other types of monitoring that focus more on broader application functionality.
  • Availability: Ensures the application is accessible to users by monitoring uptime and downtime. It emphasizes continuous accessibility, distinguishing it from performance monitoring which focuses on responsiveness.
  • Performance: Measures various metrics related to performance such as response times, throughput, and latency to assess overall efficiency. It provides a holistic view of application performance, unlike other types of monitoring such as resource usage monitoring which focuses on specific system resources. 
  • Resource usage: Tracks resource utilization, including CPU, memory, and disk space. This is useful when identifying potential bottlenecks and optimizing resource allocation to alleviate potential consequences. Unlike performance monitoring, it delves into system-level metrics rather than application-specific metrics.
  • Security: Identifies and mitigates potential threats and vulnerabilities in the application, such as unauthorized access attempts or data breaches. It focuses on protecting sensitive information.
  • Third-party services: Allows you to see the full picture of your monitoring process as the root cause of an issue maybe not in the app but in the service that your app depends on.

Factors To Consider in Web Application Monitoring

There are multiple factors to keep an eye on. Some key factors involved in monitoring web applications include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance: This involves monitoring page loading speed and response times. Up to 53% of visitors abandon resources if a page loads longer than 3 seconds. So if you want your users to stay, you have to monitor the performance of your load times to prevent performance issues.
  • Errors: Web app errors can happen, but consistent monitoring can help you resolve them promptly, preventing disruption for your end users.
  • Resource Utilization: Consistent monitoring can provide insights into the efficiency of your server resources, such as CPU, memory, and disk space for optimal performance.
  • Dependencies: Monitoring third-party services that your app depends on allows you to be proactive during incidents. With StatusGator for web app monitoring, you gain visibility into the uptime of external services.
  • Security: Monitoring for security threats and vulnerabilities can protect sensitive information and your end users.
  • User Traffic: Watching changes in user traffic is important for scalability and ensuring your web app can handle its users.
  • Business Insight: Tracking business-specific metrics, such as conversion rates, sales revenue, and customer engagement, to assess the impact of the web application on overall business objectives.

As you can see, monitoring your web apps requires taking into account multiple factors. Here are the tips for the best strategies and practices for efficient monitoring.

Web Application Monitoring Best Practices

Best practices of web application monitoring

1. Set Clear Monitoring Objectives

Before you invest in any monitoring tools or software, consider what your monitoring objectives are. Ask yourself and your stakeholders, what they need to monitor.

Perhaps it is application performance monitoring or security. Or maybe you just want to monitor your web app to gain some business insight? Whatever the reason — it’s good to have this figured out.

As you set your objectives, consider these 3 factors:

  • Think of end-users, stakeholders, including C-level, and partners’ expectations when setting objectives to align with their requirements.
  • Compare app performance to industry benchmarks to set realistic goals and identify areas for improvement.
  • Set achievable goals that consider the company’s capacity to respond to issues, focusing monitoring efforts on key business processes for maximum impact.

This will help you narrow down and choose the best web app monitoring tool and the best approach for your business.

2. Select the Right Monitoring Solution

There are numerous web app monitoring solutions in 2024, offering extensive features and within different price ranges.

So how do you choose the best web app monitoring tool before you invest?

Some tools, for example, Pingdom and Datadog, are well-known and include an array of features that follow the best practices of web app monitoring.
Other tools, such as Raygun and Logit.io, do not solely focus on web app monitoring but offer features that can be sufficient for monitoring. Also, there are solutions not designed for monitoring web apps, but add value to the process such as StatusGator.

Since web apps depend on other cloud services, monitor them too if you want to oversee the whole picture. And StatusGator covers that for you by monitoring the dependencies of web applications. Being a full-featured status page platform, it offers public and private status pages, in-built website monitoring, and the ability to monitor the status of third-party services. 

However, it can be tough to find the right one for you. To help you out, we wrote an article breaking down the 20 best tools for web app monitoring.

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3. Define the Key Performance Metrics

Key performance metrics, also known as key performance indicators (KPIs), are a statistical measure of various factors to help you improve or adapt your web app components, ensuring efficient end-to-end monitoring.

So, whatever web app monitoring tool you use, it’s important to define your key performance metrics before launch. This includes:

  • Uptime and Availability: These are the basic metrics to monitor if your web app is up and available to users.
  • CPU Usage: This helps with server resource utilization for optimal application performance monitoring and scalability management.
  • Error Rates: Detect bugs and configuration errors to maintain reliability and prevent disruptions.
  • Response Times: Maintain fast, responsive interactions for improved end-user experience.
  • User Experience: Collect insights to enhance usability, engagement, and overall user satisfaction.
  • Request Rates: Monitor traffic patterns to predict demand and allocate resources efficiently to prepare.
  • MTTR: An important rate to oversee if you want to ensure that you resolve disruptions promptly.

By monitoring key performance metrics, you can efficiently predict and track any arising issues and identify the root cause of them. This helps to ensure a good user experience.

4. Set Up Customized Alerts and Notifications

Default alerts and notifications can unnecessarily flood your communication channels. To keep your team informed without overwhelming them, dedicate time to set up notifications. 

Customize alerts to inform the customer support team and stakeholders of any changes, such as maintenance or updates. Consider using popular channels like Slack, MS Teams, or email. 

Look for a monitoring tool that offers a variety of settings for notifications. So you won’t end up with a flood of them. For example, StatusGator offers a variety of configurations to limit alerts. With StatusGator’s internal status pages, you can avoid excessive notifications to developers during service disruptions.

Therefore, consider setting up an alerts and notifications process to keep all parties well-informed. But also double-check that you do not filter out important messages while customizing alerts.

5. Test and Verify Web App Monitoring

Testing your monitoring processes and pipelines is just as crucial as testing your web application itself.

To ensure your monitoring setup works effectively, start by verifying the functionality of dashboards, alerts, and logs, to see if everything is configured correctly.

Simulating issues with test data can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your setup. This approach helps identify inefficient or non-functional areas. Then allocate time and resources to improve the identified areas.

Comprehensive testing verifies that alerts trigger correctly, dashboards display issues accurately, and data provides useful insights.

While manipulating data may not be suitable for all scenarios, testing the entire process from alert to resolution is essential for effective web app monitoring.

6. Analyze and Respond to Monitoring Information

Analyzing key metrics and data is crucial for enhancing the efficiency of your web application. Collect data from various logs and indicators to gain insights into the app’s performance. Correlating this data helps DevOps teams with error detection, troubleshooting, and improving performance.

By analyzing logs, you can identify behavioral patterns and detect security threats. It is essential for maintaining security standards and protecting end users.

Trend analysis is important not only for developer teams to anticipate potential issues and identify areas for improvement but also for all stakeholders.

This analysis helps track whether a web app is growing, stagnating, or declining. This process provides essential insights that influence strategic decisions across the organization.

Therefore, reviewing collected data is vital to consistently maintain and improve your web applications.

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Why is Monitoring Web Applications Important?

Monitoring web applications is important for multiple reasons. Web apps have become a fundamental aspect of many businesses, so overseeing them is vital. That’s why monitoring infrastructure, performance, security, resources, and error rates go a long way in optimizing your web apps. Not only can you identify performance drops or room for improvement, but you can also establish some business insight.

Monitoring your web apps is essential for maintaining high performance, ensuring security, enhancing user satisfaction, facilitating troubleshooting, supporting scalability, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Implementing Continuous Monitoring

According to the best practices for monitoring this process should be continuous to ensure your web app is monitored 24/7 without constant input.

Continuous monitoring involves automated tools to oversee IT systems and networks for security and performance, rather than requiring input from personnel. It offers real-time insights into security vulnerabilities, system performance, and availability. Since your web app is constantly up, monitoring should be automated. 

Implementing continuous monitoring is an important strategy in web app monitoring. To establish sustainable continuous monitoring, identify critical app components and relevant metrics. Choose monitoring software that is aligned with your budget and business requirements.

Summary

Effective web application monitoring is essential for maintaining high performance, security, and user satisfaction. By following these best practices, and monitoring the app’s dependencies with StatusGator, businesses can proactively address issues, optimize performance, and gain valuable insights into their web applications, ultimately delivering exceptional service to their users.

So if you have a perfect web application tool that works for you, follow the best practices, and enhance your monitoring further with an all-in-one status page by StatusGator. Try for free today!

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FAQ

Q: How do I monitor web applications?

A: To monitor web applications most companies use APM tools and monitoring platforms that help them to follow the best practices for monitoring web apps.

We have created a list of the Top 20 Web Application Tools in 2024 to help you out. The guide is available on our blog. But it’s important to consider what you want to get out of your tools.

These tools cover all bases, so they make a good investment. Furthermore, tools such as StatusGator are designed to be simple, yet effective, monitoring tools that can help you out.

Q: How can I improve my application monitoring?

A: To improve application monitoring follow these tips:

  • Consider automating processes with continuous monitoring, therefore reducing manual entry requirements. This also saves time for your team, meaning resources can be allocated elsewhere.
  • Set up customized alerts and notifications so your end users are informed effectively.
  • Put your monitoring to the test by running simulations to identify improvements.

If you have these points covered with your current solution, check out our blog on how to tweak your process.

Q: Which is the best application monitoring tool?

A: The best application monitoring tool can be Pingdom or AppDynamics enhanced with an all-in-one status page by StatusGator. But in general, it depends on what you require from your monitoring tool. However, we have made a list of the Top 20 Web App Monitoring Tools in 2024 to help you out. You can find it in our blog.

Q: What are the basics of application monitoring?

A: Web application monitoring basics include overseeing your web app health effectively. This involves consistently checking functionality, performance, safety, and speed. Monitoring supports proactive maintenance, optimizing user experience, and app functionality.

Key factors include monitoring performance for fast load times and SEO, tracking user traffic for scalability, resolving errors promptly, optimizing resource usage, ensuring security, and tracking business metrics for overall impact assessment.

Q: Why is monitoring your application important?

A: Monitoring web applications is important due to their integral role in modern business operations. With web apps serving as key platforms for customer engagement and sales, continuous monitoring of performance, security, resources, and error rates is crucial.

This ongoing analysis ensures optimal functionality and user experience, allowing businesses to promptly address issues and gain valuable insights.

Ultimately, monitoring web apps isn’t just about maintaining operations — It’s about delivering exceptional service to users and safeguarding their experience.

Q: What is web application performance monitoring?

A: A continuous web application monitoring is an automated process backed by AMP ensuring the functionality, performance, safety, and speed of your app 24/7. Monitoring software tracks response times and anomalies, aiding early issue detection for smooth operation and proactive maintenance.

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