Anyone hoping to run a successful website that serves users and brings in new sales, clients, or other benefits, needs to know how important tracking website errors are. If you’re looking for new ways to monitor your own site’s errors, we’re diving into that and more on why tracking is so important below.
Understanding Error Tracking
Building and maintaining a website comes with many responsibilities and burdens. One of which is making sure that your website is functioning correctly to serve visitors as effectively as possible.
When undetected errors are lingering, you ostracize web users looking for a smooth experience. You also encourage search engines like Google to not index your site as it is not performing as well as others.
Think about it: with millions of websites out there, many of which offer the exact same information, why would Google, or any other engine, recommend your site if it’s full of broken links or other errors?
1. Code Checking
Sure, not everyone who has a website is the most tech-savvy, but for those with little experience, checking individual webpages source codes can be a full-proof way of identifying and tracking errors.
If you’re new to the idea, you can either check your page by looking at the page source to identify errors directly.
On the other hand, you can run your website through a code checker to narrow down any coding errors that can be causing problems for your site’s overall health.
2. Set Up 404 Alerts
One of the most common website error types is a 404 error. These errors are a type of code error that can pop up when a person tries to access a webpage without a valid link.
Take, for example, you’ve changed your category header on your primary webpage but forgot to update the links for the new category titles.
When a user visits your site in hopes of going to a category they regularly visit, they’re likely to reach a 404 error notification because that link was not updated and no longer leads to a valid page.
It is possible to accumulate a list of all your page’s 404 pages through your hosting website or another source. In some cases, you may also be able to set up notifications that promptly alert you when a new 404 error has been detected. This can be helpful to quickly resolve any issues.
3. Let Your Users Help
An underutilized tool too many websites don’t take advantage of is relying on users. Who better to report errors and make tracking easier than the very people who are consistently using your site?
Remember, however, that users are not going to go out of their way to help you. Instead, make it easy for them to report any issues. If that means putting a quick “form not working correctly? Let us know” button that is available on that same page or some other approach.
However, if you can use those that are visiting your website to your advantage, you’ll find that the extra set of hands can help you to monitor your site better than you alone can.
4. Utilize a Tool
There are numerous third-party tools out there that allow you to better track your website errors. Ranging from free to pricy high-level packages, there are plenty of options that can fit in with the scope of your website.
In some cases, the third party will not only report and track errors but also suggestions on ways to improve those errors.
One relatively easy platform for beginners is Google Analytics. Via Google Analytics, you can monitor how anyone visiting your site interacts with the web pages.
By closely monitoring your Google Analytics, you can see where users may be running into problems like dead links or 404 pages.
You may be able to even pinpoint problems at a glance if your site analytics indicate a major drop-off of traffic. If you’re having major site issues, including shutdown, your site will not be recommended to users leading to a drop in traffic.
To run a successful website, it’s crucial that you are constantly proactive with your website’s health. That means tracking errors and resolving them as quickly as possible. Remember to keep them at the forefront of your mission, so the site continues to be available to your users and promotes your overall vision.