Having a website is eminent in the world of the internet and computers. Whether you are providing your services online or not, you must have a presence on the internet. This helps in many fields including marketing and user awareness. A well designed and fast website gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. This helps in bringing more users and consequently, gives you a boost — both financially and demand. As the internet becomes more populated, monitoring your website can become harder due to the traffic on your website.
It is prominent that your website stays functional at all times and that there is no downtime. If your website goes down for some reason, finding the cause can be rather a tiring job. However, those days are now gone as we have automated tools that will monitor your website for you. Website Performance Monitor is a tool that will enable you to monitor your website at all times and also notify you if there’s any suspicious activity. Developed by Solarwinds Inc, a network and system management company, the tool will also monitor user-experience on your website for you. So let’s begin.
Before we begin, let’s start with the installation of the tool. Go ahead and download the tool from here, you can get a 30 days fully functional trial version of the tool to experience it. Once you click download, it will start downloading the Orion installer for you. Orion Platform is a suite of many products of Solarwinds and the installer helps you install them with ease. Follow the steps below to install the tool:
- Run the file once it has finished downloading. Click Yes when the UAC dialog box appears.
- Wait for it to start the installation wizard. Once it has started, select Lightweight Installation and choose a directory where you want to install it. If you have used the Orion Installer before, then you won’t be able to see this step as you have already been through this. Click Next.
- Make sure Website Performance Monitor is selected and then click Next.
- Now, the installer will run some system checks. Wait for it to complete, this will only take a few seconds.
- Accept the license agreement and click Next.
- The installation will begin. Wait for it to complete.
- Once the installation completes, the configuration wizard will open up automatically.
- Click Next.
- Now you will able to choose the services to install. By default, the WPM Job Engine Plugin is checked, just click Next.
- Click Next again and wait for it to complete. This will take a while, so be patient.
- Once the configuration wizard is finished, click Finish.
Setting up Website Performance Monitor
Now that you have successfully installed and configured WPM, it is time to set it up and start monitoring your website.
Recording Transaction Steps
Once you have installed Web Performance Monitor, you will first have to record transaction steps that you want to monitor using the WPM Recorder. Here’s how to do it:
- Open up the WPM Recorder from the Start Menu.
- Enter the URL of your website and press Enter.
- Start Recording by clicking the Red button in front of the URL. You will that it splits into two panes, the left pane shows what you are recording and the right pane lists the actions performed.
- Perform the actions that you want to include in the recording. Once you are done recording, click the Stop button.
- To save the recording to the Orion server, click on Save to Orion Server.
- Click Calculate when prompted.
- Provide your Orion server configuration.
- Give your recording a name and a description (if you wish to). Click Save.
- If you wish to save the recording locally, click on the three dots and click Save Locally.
Creating Transaction Location
Now that you are done recording, you will have to choose a transaction location; also known as payback location. To make sure WPM monitors user experience accurately, choose a location that is located near the users. Here’s how to add transaction locations:
- In the Orion web user interface, go to Settings > All Settings > WPM Settings.
- Click on Manage Player Locations under Transaction Management.
- Click Add location. Make sure the Install location on my network option is selected and click Next.
- Enter the IP address or hostname of the location and click Next.
- You can change the Player Name if you don’t wish it to be the same as the location name. If you select advanced options, you will have to add a Player Name, Player Port and Player Password. Using the default option is recommended. Click Next.
- In the next step, you can assign credentials to the newly added locations. Click Deploy Players.
Creating a Transaction for your Recording
After choosing a transaction location for your recording, it is time we add a Transaction Monitor for the recording in the Orion web user interface. Here’s how to do it:
- In the Orion web interface, go to Settings > All Settings > WPM Settings.
- Click on Add a Transaction Monitor.
- Select your recording and then click Next.
- Select the location where you want to play the recording and then click Next.
- Enter a description of the transaction. Select an interval to specify how frequently you wish to play the transaction.
- Select Thresholds. If you wish to use a proxy URL, click on Advanced and enter the proxy server. Also, if you wish to enable Screen capture, do it so under Advanced.
- Click Next.
- If you wish to add Nodes and applications for better troubleshooting, you can do it by selecting the Advanced option.
- Click Save Monitor.
- You are done. Now if you wish to see the Transaction Summary, go to Dashboard > Transaction Summary.