Site Monitoring

Site Monitoring is a paid add-on designed to help you detect and respond quickly to an outage on your website.

With the Site Monitoring product, WP Engine will monitor selected sites on your account to confirm that your environments are accessible to visitors. Additionally, notification alerts can also be configured to ensure you’re always in the loop, should any issue arise.


About Outages

WP Engine’s Site Monitoring product will send a ping to each of the selected Production environment’s primary domains once every five minutes. If an outage is detected, you will see an alert banner at the top of the Site Monitoring page indicating such, You will also receive an alert with the environment name and the error code, if you have alerts configured.

Site Monitoring detects outages on the homepage (such as a 404 or 500 error) but does not provide information regarding server-level outages. Therefore, we recommend signing up for platform status updates at wpenginestatus.com as well.

Detecting an Outage

Site Monitoring pings the Primary domain of the selected Production environments by default. For example, https://domain.com/ is monitored, but an image used on that homepage https://domain.com/wp-content/images/image.png is not monitored. Monitoring for additional URLs can be set up if needed.

Some of the most common domain response codes the Site Monitoring product will look for are:

  • 401 – Unauthorized (This error will display if your site is locked by password protection.)
  • 403 – Forbidden error
  • 404 – Page not found
  • 500 – Internal Server Error (“Whitescreen of Death”)
  • 502 – Bad Gateway
  • 503 – Service Unavailable 
  • 504 – Gateway Timeout

All 2xx/3xx status codes, which indicate success or redirection (EX: 200 or 301), are used to determine if the site is accessible and that there is no outage.

NOTE

These response codes and more can be found in your site’s Access Logs. Learn about common response codes in our guide.

Responding to an Outage

Being notified when an outage is occurring is the first step to a quick resolution. Once you’re aware of the environment that’s experiencing an outage you’ll need to proceed swiftly to collect information and triage the error.

The best thing to do when your site is down is to determine if the downtime is caused by an internal factor (a modification you, or your team, have recently made to the site, for example) or an external one (WP Engine is experiencing degraded performance or scheduled maintenance, for example) and then go from there. 

  1. First, check WP Engine’s System Status page. This is where you can keep on top of any disruptions in service to our WP platform, support services, or product features.
    • Alternatively, if you configure Site Monitoring email alerts, the outage email will tell you our current platform status.
  2. If there are no outages on WP Engine’s System Status page, you should next check the specific environment’s Access Logs.
    • Use the filters in the Access Logs to find the response code you are troubleshooting: 400, 404, 500, 502, 504, etc.
  3. If you do not see any errors in the Access Logs, you should check the environment’s Error Logs for any recent entries.

Once you have found the error in the logs, you can troubleshoot in a few ways:


Access Site Monitoring

Managing the Site Monitoring product can be managed from your WP Engine ​​User Portal.

  1. Log in to the WP Engine User Portal
  2. Expand Tools in the main menu
  3. Select Site Monitoring

This page will have a variety of information available. The information in the table can be adjusted to display a specific time period by changing the time frame dropdown at the top of the columns.

Status

The Status column indicates the current uptime status of the environment.

  • No current outages – A green checkmark with the status “No current outages” indicates the environment is available and no outages are detected.
  • Outage detected – A red crossed-through circle indicates the site is experiencing an outage. The response code that Site Monitoring is detecting will display next to it.
  • SPM is running – A grey clock icon with the status “SPM is running” indicates when Smart Plugin Manager is performing updates. This will display instead of a 503 error code that a maintenance page can sometimes display.
  • SSL expired – Site Monitoring will now check for expired SSL certificates. Currently, the response code will display a 200 but with a warning symbol indicating an SSL warning.

Failed Checks

The failed checks column indicates the number of pings to your site that failed. Failed pings do not always indicate a site is down, but can indicate a less critical issue. Failed pings are measured against all pings to your site during the selected time period. 

Response Time

The response time displayed for each environment is the average time it takes for your website to respond to our monitoring pings, measured in milliseconds (ms). The average is calculated over the time period selected in the dropdown located at the top of the columns.


Add Site Monitor

Site Monitoring can be purchased when you first sign up for a plan, any time from the User Portal, or by reaching out to your WP Engine Account Manager. Once you have acquired the add-on, you will then need to select and activate Site Monitoring for the desired environments.

  1. Log in to the User Portal
  2. Select Tools
  3. Then select Site Monitoring
  4. Click Add Monitors
  1. Select the environment name(s) from the dropdown that you wish to monitor
    • Only Production environments can be monitored
  2. Click Monitor Environment

Additional URL Monitoring

Once an environment has a primary monitor assigned, additional URLs can be monitored. The Primary domain must be monitored to monitor any additional URLs within the site. Each extra monitor will require an additional Site Monitoring license.

  1. Log in to the User Portal
  2. Expand Tools
  3. Select Site Monitoring
  4. Locate the environment you wish to monitor additional domains for
  5. Open the 3 dot action menu to the right
  6. Choose Edit monitors
  1. Select any domains on the environment that you wish to monitor
  2. Click Save

At this point the domain is monitored. To monitor additional URLs within a domain, including subdomains, continue with the steps below.

  1. To monitor additional URLs within a domain, click Add Pages next to the domain
  1. Input the URL to monitor then Save any changes

Alert Preferences

The Site Monitoring product allows for the configuration of alert notifications. If an outage is detected, this alert will supply the environment name, error or response code, and WP Engine’s current platform status to help you quickly diagnose the issue.

Alert notifications are sent when there is an outage, and sent again when there is no longer an outage detected. You will not continuously receive alerts during a failure.

Additionally, users that are selected to receive alerts will receive them for all environments that report an outage. Future iterations will include the ability to specify users for each environment.

The contacts available to receive notifications are pulled from the account owners and full users assigned to the monitored environments. All users selected will receive alerts for all monitored environments.

To select users that should receive alerts:

  1. Log in to the WP Engine User Portal
  2. Expand Tools in the main menu
  3. Select Site Monitoring
  4. Click Alert Preferences
  5. Toggle Alert Notifications to On
  6. Under Email Contacts, select one or multiple users to receive alerts
  7. Click Save Preferences

Limitations

There are currently some situations where the Site Monitoring service is not yet supported:

  • Multisite is not supported.
  • Password-protected sites (either through WP Engine or a third-party) are not supported.
  • Atlas accounts are not supported.
  • Email alerts are the only available notification type. (Additional notification channels will be available in the future.)
  • Site Monitoring will only take place on Production environments.
  • Only the Primary domain will be tested. Learn more about the Primary domain here.
  • Site Monitoring identifies site-level issues only. i.e. 404, 500 etc

Site Monitoring and APM

Site Monitoring is a standalone product and therefore does not require New Relic or Application Performance Monitoring (APM). However, Site Monitoring and APM can be used at the same time and will complement one another.

Site Monitoring provides alerts when your website has an issue, such as a 404. While APM provides more granular code-level information and can have custom alerts configured.


NEXT STEP: Learn about WP Engine server monitoring

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