Customers Don't Always Connect Where They Live
By David Leonhardt
Pop Quiz: You have an international website and you want to do business in Canada. But you want to make sure your website delivers top performance to your Canadian customers: speed, accessibility, as well as proper functioning of digital certificates, forms, password protections, shopping carts and more. In which of the following cities would want a website monitoring station?
- Toronto, Canada's metropolis
- Montreal, Canada's second largest city
- Vancouver, Canada's third largest city
- Ottawa, Canada's capital and fourth largest city
- Calgary, Canada's fifth largest city
According to one of the world's top remote website monitoring firms, Calgary is the best choice.
"Based on our research of major Internet backbones in Canada and our existing client locations, we see Calgary as a major point for Internet connectivity in Canada," said Mr. Mazo of Dotcom-Monitor.com network monitoring. "Calgary is not less important for Internet traffic than, let's say, Toronto or Vancouver."
What makes this announcement special is that almost half of Canada's population lives in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, including Montreal and Toronto...some 2,000 miles from Calgary.
Dotcom-Monitor's new monitoring station in Calgary is the second Canadian station by a major international monitoring company. The other station is located, more predictably, in Toronto.
"A Toronto monitoring station might be the best 'marketing choice' to sell monitoring to US or European client who know Toronto better, but we believe we can cover more Canadian backbones in Calgary than if we had chosen Toronto, and that means we can deliver better service to webmasters seeking Canadian customers," Mr. Mazo added.
Of course, Canadian webmasters will benefit most from the Calgary monitoring station, since it will help them ensure their website performance in their home market.
But how important is remote website monitoring to a website's performance and credibility, when there are many software options, including free downloads, available?
The answer is, "That depends". Software can monitor from only one server in one location. A local business, such as a hairdresser or a dry cleaner, might not need monitoring from across the Atlantic, since its entire clientele operates in the same region, but it still needs "remote" monitoring, from a different server than its own website.
A business with international clients needs to know that the website is functioning 24/7 around the globe. "Functioning" does not refer just to uptime and downtime, which is what many software packages monitor. A website is not functioning if clients cannot access their passwords, or trans-Atlantic blockages create time-outs or leave would-be customers deserting slow shopping carts in frustration.
Mr. Mazo points out that in competitive sectors, even content needs to be monitored to ensure it has not been tampered with. He offers his list of website monitoring featureshe recommends, and also lists the web site monitoring items his company services.
But he stresses that what is most important is that each item be monitored from multiple locations, and that those locations should be where website visitors connect, not necessarily where they live.