Welcome to another one of my ultimate guides, this time for a tool I can’t live without, a tool I use to ensure I make more money at the end of the day. This tool is Pingdom, and if you don’t use it – you are risking potentially losing a lot of money, opening up yourself to a whole lot of unnecessary stress,and not keeping your systems and operations under control.
I wasn’t using Pingdom either, until the day when I lost over 2.2k running a CPS offer on AdCash and having ClickDealer switch the CPS $50 payout to an SOI $1.5 payout offer on XMAS, a day I don’t check emails. When the problem happened, I knew how to solve it (thanks Problem Solving 101 book!) – and part of the solution was Pingdom, which can send you a text message to your phone, numerous alert emails to various email addresses if shit hits the fan (like they swap a cost per sale to an SOI offer on you!) And that is not all, pingdom can do a whole lot of more good, and that is why I decided to prepare this guide where I teach you all about it.
This is what I’ll cover in the various chapters in this super long ABSOLUTE guide to PINGDOM!
#1 – What is Pingdom and how to Sign-Up?
#2 – Adding a site you want to monitor
#3 – How to setup monitoring for the path (transaction) a user makes to find bottle necks and fix them for maximum speed
#4 – Setting up PING monitoring to ensure server is up
#5 – How to setup RUM to monitor the latencies on your sites
#6 – Setting up additional users under your main Pingdom account (great when you have a team)
#7 – What are Pingdom reports and why they are beneficial
Are you ready to improve your affiliate marketing ways? Then read on!
Chapter #1: What is Pingdom and how to Sign-Up?
Let’s begin with this fact that Pingdom is growing each day and is starting to be picked up by many at a rapid pace. You might be wondering why? Or even yet, what the hell is Pingdom? Well, let me teach you why it can be best tool for any marketer or website owner.
First off, Pingdom makes website monitoring a piece of cake. So many options to dig into, and see everything in great detail. Their service shows you uptime, downtime and performance of your server. But there is a lot more to it. You will never miss that your server/site is down and because of pingdom’s advanced monitoring you will be always first to know what’s happening to them.
Why is monitoring a good thing?
Lets take an example that you own a big website that is visited by many people from all around the world. You want to make sure that it’s working flawlessly and that it’s up 99.99% of the time. But wouldn’t be amazing to know which countries are visiting your site? This is important because you can optimize your site depending on the experience your visitors are having.
If your site is located in America but you have a lot of traffic coming in from China you might have latency issues because of the great distance. You would want to check that and see how can you enhance the experience for those in China.
See whether visitors are having troubles reaching your site via Mobile device. If so, which browser do they use, or even OS? Pingdom gathers all the data which you can use to your advantage to up the performance of your site(s).
I will cover the basics for you so you get an idea what you get depending on the package you choose.
So, let us begin by visiting their homepage.
1) Visit www.pingdom.com
Click on the Get Started button to start your account registration, or you can scroll all the way down where you will find 4 packages to choose from. You will find the option to select Professional package with a free trial.
Let’s use the Professional for an example.
I will take my time and explain each benefit that you get from any of the packages.
Cost – You can see in the bold the cost of a monthly subscription. But, there is a catch, the price in bold only applies to you if you choose a yearly sub. If you wish to pay month-by-month and not be obligated to pay for an entire year, then the price below applies to you.
Checks – These are used to monitor websites, the number of checks is equal to the number of sites you can monitor. Other than sites you can monitor even multi-step transactions, DNS etc.
RUM – or in other words Real User Monitoring enables you to monitor your sites in real time. So when a person visits your site, you can actually see the click in real time rather than in an overview per day or per week etc. This helps a lot in measuring the performance of your websites from all angles like where are the visitors from, what browser or device they used to access your sites and much more.
Beep Manager – this is actually a type of an alerting system. It will notify you when issues occur like server drops and other incidents. With beepmanager you can easily see what went wrong so you can work on resolving the issue ASAP.
Pageviews/month – These indicate an instance of a page being loaded by a browser
SMS Alerts – Be alerted via SMS when incidents occur. This option is only active for upgraded accounts.
Public status page – Share your data with others via public reports
Discount on SMS alerts – Discounted prices available (for some packages) when you buy extra SMS credits for your account
Check Tags – helps in grouping and filtering specific checks. You have manual and automatic options
RUM Pages/Tags – This allows you to filter subpages and use custom tags
Select Test Location – enables you to chose a location of your preference where your checks will be tested
Multi-User Log in – give limited access to additional accounts to a single Pingdom account
Bronze/Silver Support – level of support depending on the package
2) Choose Pingdom Professional account and click on Start free trial.
You will find yourself at the beginning of the account creating process.
Fill out the fields with your information and desired Payment options.
When you are done, click Continue to move on to the Billing info.
Here you will see how will you be charged on a monthly basis.
Choose between two payment options and click Create My Account.
Note that you will NOT be charged during your 30-day trial period.
Final step is getting your log-in credentials.
After you have entered the billing info, you will receive an email with all the necessary data to get you started.
You can log-in at my.pingdom.com with the given credentials and start exploring the features.
Chapter #2: Adding a site you want to monitor
Now, to the fun stuff. Lets talk about monitoring. Pingdom has a bundle of features, so I will give my best to cover those which are crucial for you. Let us begin.
Here you can monitor all your sites/servers in one neat place. You can add some filtering like sort by status, Up, Down, Paused etc.
When you first login to my.pingdom.com this part will be blank. So you need to add a site/server to your account. It’s really easy, and you can adjust plenty of things on the go while you’re at it.
Adding a Check
While you are at the dashboard, click on the ADD NEW button in the right corner.
You will be confronted with multiple options which will help you setup a site really easily so you don’t need to come back and optimize a lot. I will go over each option so you get a good idea what’s it about.
Name of check – enter your desired name for a site that you will be monitoring (usually enter the actual name of the site)
Check interval – you can adjust how often do you want pingdom to check your site’s uptime
Check type – This part is separated into three branches: Email, Network and Web
– Email: Monitor a type of server: SMTP, POP3, IMAP
– Network: Monitor a port: TCP, Ping, DNS, UDP
– Web: Monitor a web page (HTTP(S)) or scripts on your web page (HTTP)
URL/IP – You have optional and required fields
– Required: insert the link of your site to monitor
– Optional: insert all the data you think it’s mandatory like Port, username or password that is necessary to access the site etc.
Test from – Choose which continent will be used for testing
Alerts – Choose when and how to be notified when incidents occur
– Incident Alerts: Choose some of the recommended options or add/edit an alert policy with additional steps
– Up/Down Alerts: simplest way to know when your site went down or up again. Change the settings as you see fit, alert a specific user via multiple options like email, sms, twitter, iOS and Android. If you leave everything unchecked, you will receive no alerts.
After you are done setting up the options you can either click Test Check or Create Check
– Test Check: every time you click on this button it will show you the response time for a different country
– Create Check: Finalize the Check adding
Your site can then be seen inside the Monitoring tab. Most changes you have made thus far can be edited by clicking the small arrow button on the right site of the response time bar.
Chapter #3: How to setup monitoring for the path (transaction) a user makes to find bottle necks and fix them for maximum speed
If you are still following this guide with wide open eyes, that means that you are hungry for more coverage. And I will be glad to feed you with even more information as we are getting deeper into this almighty monitoring service.
Next in line I will be talking about Transaction monitoring.
Now this sounds like you will be able to follow amounts of money your site is hoarding or something similar, and in a way you are right, but let me explain further. I believe it is a mighty feature that will keep your interest. Let me tell you just why is this feature awesome and why it has a great impact on your site’s performance.
Transaction check is used to identify broken and slow website interactions aka YOU will to be the first to know when there is an issue with the login, search, check out, or any other user interactions on your website.
Why is this important? Every day websites are getting more complex, things are getting more difficult to track. This is where transaction monitoring comes into the picture. Even if your website is working at full speed and many of its features are also doing great, that doesn’t mean that behind the scenes there are things that are broken or having a great impact on your sites performance. Pingdom helps you find these incidents and warns you accordingly.
There are two things that you must do on a regular basis:
– Test and monitor user interactions
– Monitor the performance of transactions
Now let’s move on to adding your first transaction check:
Add Transaction check
Let’s pretend that you have already added your first Up-time Check. Go to the Dashboard and click on Add Transaction Check to begin the process.
Fill out the fields according to your preference. Setup looks almost exactly the same as if you would add a monitor check. I will guide you through each field/option:
Name of check – choose a name for your transaction check
Test interval – move the scale to pick an interval of your choosing
Test from – choose a desired location, USA or Europe
Check editor – to insert a link you need to type ‘Go to URL’ and then follow up with the name of your site. You can expand this option after choosing a site with a simple command ‘Click’ and then enter a specific link located on your site. You can click on Run Test and see what is the response time depending on the continent.
Alerts – Incident Alerts: Choose/edit one of the alert policies below or add your own custom alert policy
Alerts – Up/Down: choose which user will be notified in case something on the site goes down and choose in which way will that user be notified.
After you are finished with this you can safely click Create Check and you’re done.
Chapter #4: Setting up PING monitoring to ensure server is up
We learned how to add a Check at the beginning of the guide and we will use that knowledge here to see how we can set up Ping monitoring to our site. It’s really simple. Go to Uptime monitoring section and add a new Uptime Check.
If you want to check the same website then you can enter the same data. But there is one thing that you will do differently. When you get to ‘Check type’, out of three tabs, pick Network and choose Ping from the list. Fill the remaining fields and you’re done.
This is how your monitoring board will look like after having two different types of checks for one website:
I will let you know a little secret. There is a ‘hidden’ tools section in Pingdom. If you visit http://tools.pingdom.com/ping/ – here you can test ping and traceroute of a site. This comes in handy if you rarely want to ping test a site. But if you want to ping test your site often then the first method of adding a uptime check with ping monitoring is the way to go.
Here are examples of Pingdom’s ping test tool in action:
Chapter #5: How to setup RUM to monitor the latencies on your sites
What is RUM monitoring good for? I will make this clear in just a few sentences.
– You get a view of real users visiting your site as it happens
– It can be used in internal systems also
– You can split it into real time visitor, browsers, mobile users, geographical location
– With this information you can make clever decisions about how to increase performance of your site. This is why RUM is important.
To be able to setup RUM (Real User Monitoring) site you will need only 1 minute of your time. Go to the dashboard and there click on ADD RUM SITE.
This button will open a new window with a few options:
Website domain – choose between http or https and enter the link of the domain you wish to monitor
Website name – enter the name of the site you wish to monitor
Include subdomains – include performance data from the subdomains
Load time treshholds – 4 seconds is preferred, but you can adjust the scale as you see fit. You will notice three types of treshholds: Satisfied, Tolerating and Frustrated.
Satisfied: is the fastest response time usually 4 seconds and less
Tolerating: is mediocre response time usually between 4-16 seconds
Frustrated: is low response time is usually over 16 seconds
But these values can be scaled so let’s say that the above ones are default.
Timezone – choose by location of your site to calculate the best response time from-to your site
Now you can click Create Site.
When you do this, you will get few lines of code which you need to paste between the <head> and </head> tags on your site so it could begin collecting data. If you don’t do so, Pingdom cannot show you real time results.
For WordPress sites it’s a bit different to set up. Nothing complicated just not many people would know that Pingdom made a plugin specifically for WordPress sites. That plugin can be downloaded from WordPress.org under the ‘plugin‘ section.
You have two ways on how to install this plugin:
- From your WordPress administration interface, go to ‘Plugins‘ > ‘Add new‘. Once there, search for “Pingdom” or “real user monitoring.”
- Click ‘Install Now‘ and follow the instructions.
- Now go to ‘Plugins‘ > ‘Pingdom Real User Monitoring‘. There you will find further instructions for how to enable RUM on your WordPress site.
- Upload the full directory into your /wp-content/plugins directory
- Activate the ‘Pingdom Real User Monitoring’ plugin from the ‘Plugins‘ menu in WordPress
- Now go to ‘Plugins‘ > ‘Pingdom Real User Monitoring‘. There you will find further instructions for how to enable RUM on your WordPress site.
RUM sites overview:
When you have installed the plugin, or copied the script into your site you will begin getting loads of data as visitors start accessing your sites. The overview will look like this:
1) Here you can see the load time and total page-views your site is getting. You can filter the view by real-time, weekly, monthly, daily. Additionally you can switch between Median and Average load time.
2) In this part you can see the load times for visitors from various countries, from the slowest to the fastest and you even get a nice map of the world which is colored by Tolerance. As mentioned before in this post, we have Green for satisfied, Yellow for Tolerating and Red for Frustrating.
By looking at this data you can adjust your site so that visitors from distant countries have better response time.
3) Get a detailed view in % on visits per load time. Have a look at which sites are performing better and why. There are many reasons why some pages load faster than others. It can even come down to the type of browser a visitor is using, from what device is he accessing your site/page or from which country he’s from. Have in mind that response times can also vary on the visitors Internet connection.
If you wish to get even more details on RUM monitoring, for example, if you are only interested in what browsers are your visitors using then you can go to the Browsers tab and get a more detailed listing. You can do this for every section. Summary only gives you the most crucial data and some details, but if you do want to look at more data, then you can visit any of the sections on top of your RUM page.
You can select from States, Browsers, Platforms, Experience, Geographic and Pages. This will present you with all the information you need in order to make the necessary updates that will benefit everyone who visits your site.
Chapter #6: Setting up additional users under your main Pingdom account (great when you have a team)
It you have multiple sites you wish to monitor, then it’s advised that you have a small team that will do the monitoring for you while you focus on something else. You are able to set limitations for each user so that they do only what you want them to do. What alerts should they receive, how to handle them etc…
There is no way for those users to register and then get access to your account. Your credentials stay private, and the users cannot have access to them. Then you might be wondering, just how can I add more users to my personal account without jeopardizing it? Well, Pingdom has thought of a simple invite system.
You just insert the email address of the person you wish to become a user of your account, they receive the notification, accept it and it’s done. You set the limitations before sending an invite and that’s all there is to it.
But how do you get to the part of adding more users? Simple. If you want to add more users to your Pingdom account you can easily do so by just visiting the Alerting tab and clicking on the Users button.
Now, on the right side you will see a different interface with a list of users . If you haven’t added any users before then you will see only yourself listed.
You can click on the arrow on the right side to edit the user, change the email settings or edit the login details for that user.
Now, how to actually add a user. Just click on the Invite New User button on the top right corner. You will have a simple window pop up and then the first thing you need to do is insert the email of the person you wish to invite.
Next choose what kind of limitations will that user have. There are three options to choose from:
Admin – basically gets access to change almost everything even the ability to change billing details and make purchases
User – can add/edit checks view reports and schedules, respond to some incidents for which he is assigned to but he cannot change billing details and make purchases
Restricted – can only view checks, reports, incidents and schedules
There are many ways in which a new user can be contacted: Email, Text to cellphone, via URL, via Twitter.
And now just click Send Invite and wait until your new user accepts the invitation (you will be notified via email when a user accepts the invite).
Setting up Alerts & Notifications via EMAIL or SMS
Go to Edit User by clicking on the arrow on the right side next to the user you wish to edit.
While editing you will notice a neat button called ADD CONTACT METHOD
By clicking there you will get a few options to choose from as mentioned above. If you add multiple contact methods to one user then on the next step you can easily switch between them at any time. Below I will show you how the interface looks like if you have more than one contact method:
For example, you want one of the users to get Alerts & Notification via Email then you choose Email from the dropdown menu and insert the address. Now whenever an incident occurs this user will be notified with an email.
As another example, if you want the user to be contacted via SMS/Text then you just add his cellphone info via ADD CONTACT METHOD by choosing the Text/SMS Cellphone option.
Regarding the alerts & notifications, you can choose either you want the same contact method for every type of alert, or you can choose individually by checking/unchecking the ‘Use same for all‘ checkbox.
Chapter #7: What are Pingdom reports and why they are beneficial
There is almost no reason to explain why reports are a great thing to have.
With multiple report types you can easily see which site had uptime and transaction problems or incidents. For an overall view just check the Reports Overview button, or select reports individually.
For example, you are interested in how uptime report is looking this week compared to last week. Then you go to Uptime Reports, choose the site you are interested in, add filtering for more detailed report and compare the numbers.
How individual reports look like:
In the Uptime Reports page you will be able to see each individual report for all your Uptime checks. This include Ping checks, HTTP/S checks etc.
Amazing and yet simple graph shows how the users interacted with your site.
Simple overview which gives you a summary of all incidents created which helps you understand how often they occur, how long it took to get them resolved and even see currently open incidents.
RUM Reports take you to the RUM monitoring dashboard from where you can track every detail.
There is also a cool option you might like. You can get reports sent to you by email! It’s true, and you can even choose whether you want it to be weekly, monthly etc… Just visit the Sharing tab and click on Email Reports to take advantage of this.
So why are reports beneficial?
Because they give you a detailed overview of every little bit of detail that is happening on your sites. As you go through every report, you can easily locate issues and start thinking about how to resolve them or improve them. This is most crucial if you want your sites to be always up and working flawlessly in every aspect to provide the best experience to most if not all your visitors.
And there you have it. These are the most crucial things to know if you ever consider using Pingdom as your primary monitoring service. All these steps I covered will help you a lot in understanding how monitoring works in general and how you can benefit from it. I believe Pingdom is a smart investment, if you are still unsure don’t forget that you can have all the privileges of a premium member for 30 Days!
Check ’em out on their official Website