Webmon is a SaaS that’s designed to give website owners peace of mind. It monitors a range of online services – websites, blogs, cloud applications and more – to make sure everything is up and available, day or night.
If something fails, Webmon automatically notifies a contact person via email and SMS (in some cases – read on for more details). It’s possible to add multiple users with different roles and permissions on some plans.
A free version of Webmon is available on a trial basis for 14 days. After that, there are four pricing tiers offering progressively more features and capacity. To summarise, I’ve boiled it down to the three main features we’ll cover in this review:
- Personal (12 Monitors, 5 Triggers, 1 Escalation Policy) – $8.99 / month
- Business (40 Monitors, 20 Triggers, 5 Escalation Policy) – $34.99 / month
- Business+ (100 Monitors, 30 Triggers, 10 Escalation Policies) – $79.99 / month
Setting Up Webmon
Getting started with Webmon is really easy, and adding a new Monitor is the first step. On the Monitors screen, users simply select the type of monitor they want to add and fill in its details.
My first monitor will keep an eye on the Rated Cloud website. Most of the fields are self-explanatory.
Once my new Monitor is added, I can add more Monitors. To keep it simple, I’ll add a few more straightforward HTTP Monitors to keep track of other sites. I’ve set the check frequency to 30 seconds on all of them so that I can build up some data quickly.
As you can see, my four HTTP Monitors are now checking each website for errors and measuring the response time from the West and East Coast of the US. All of these graphs update in real time without any need to reload the page. After just a few minutes, you can see meaningful data building up.
It would be nice if I could get a response time from within Europe, though, since I’m in the UK and so are most of my clients and readers. Their experience is therefore more relevant to me. I couldn’t see an option to change that setting, so we can assume that Webmon only pings sites from servers within the US.
Within the Escalations tab, users can set up multi-level notifications. (The users that appear within this screen must be defined in the Users tab first – this is also where you create user roles. It’s very simple, so no need to look at it here.)
Webmon doesn’t just ping out a notification to a set email address or number. It uses a policy builder, so you can fine-tune the notifications to your liking. Building a policy is easy enough.
I couldn’t build a multi-level escalation as the free trial is limited to just one level of policies.
In theory, notifications can be sent via email or SMS. However, Webmon only accepts US telephone numbers, so I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this feature.
It’s fairly common for UK mobile numbers not to be supported within services like this, but it does restrict the feature somewhat. If you really wanted to work around it, you could probably cook up a notification recipe with a third party service like IFTTT, but it would be nice if there were more options here.
The Triggers tab allows users to set up custom notification criteria. For example, you might want to alert someone if response time falls below a certain value in milliseconds.
I created a Trigger along these lines, although I encountered a confusing error message in the process (it turns out that Webmon wanted me to select 5 minutes or fewer). Nonetheless, the Trigger was easy to create and manage.
As I’m a new Webmon user, I didn’t have time to build up a huge amount of data, but there is more to play with. There’s an Incidents page which keeps track of any problems the service has detected. In addition, users can build up their own custom Dashboard using the Monitors and Triggers available to them. I’ve added one custom dashboard in the screenshot below.
And these are the settings for that Dashboard. As you can see, this would be a more powerful example if I had a little more data to work with.
If you do need assistance with Webmon, there are three support channels:
- A live chat service that is accessed through the browser
- An email form, which also appears automatically if live chat isn’t available
- A knowledgebase
Unfortunately the knowledgebase is currently empty, and there was nobody available on live chat. That’s a shame, and it doesn’t inspire confidence.
Had I seen a handful of help topics in the knowledgebase, I would have felt a little more reassured about the support experience. As it is, I think most users will have to rely on email to get the help they need.
Webmon is the kind of service I really like. I use some similar services, and pay for them. I like to keep an eye on my website throughout the working day, so this is a SaaS I could see myself subscribing to. The user interface is intuitive, attractive and speedy, and there’s no real learning curve involved in getting started.
My concerns are really threefold.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I feel that Webmon is going to be more useful to people located within the US who will benefit from the SMS alerts and response time figures. Users in Europe will almost certainly be left wanting more. In addition, the Personal plan doesn’t include multi-tier escalation; this is the company’s USP and is prominently advertised on its homepage.
Finally, that empty support page is something of a concern.
Webmon is a SaaS I would make good use of, but for the level of service I would need, the price is prohibitive and it doesn’t serve users outside of the US well enough to sway me. More notification types, a better low-cost plan and a more mature support network could convince me to come back and give it another chance.
Category: Initial Reviews
About the AuthorClaire Broadley is a technical author and SEO copywriter. She reviews cloud applications and SaaS products for Rated Cloud.
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