Building up our API

Some Exciting Changes to our API

Over the past few weeks we’ve been making incremental updates to our API to bring it up to date with our in-app features, a few of these updates have already been released, so now is a great time to recap and go through the new capabilities that are offered:

Page Speed

You can now fully manage your Page Speed tests through our API. You can create new tests, update existing ones as well as deleting them, and there are calls for listing current tests and grabbing the historical data too!

The same limits for data retention apply here as when managing these through app, so everything will match up to what you see there. The full documentation for the new Page Speed functions can be found here. 

SSL

SSL tests are another much requested addition to our API, and after our recent update to SSL monitoring it made sense to prioritise this one!

For SSL tests you can create, delete, list and update – with full control over the expiry alerts, as well as the settings for SSL validity. You can now also configure how many days before expiry you get the related alerts – which can be very handy for self signed, and other shorter term certificates.

In order to get going with this and take a look at our documentation on the new SSL API methods just click here.

Maintenance Windows

We have new functionality for our Maintenance Windows too, this has been something we wanted to add for a while as it’s a feature that really benefits from the added automation that our API can provide.

With the new API functions for Maintenance Windows you’ll be able to set up a new window, delete an existing window, list all current windows and update a pre-set window.

To check out the new functions for the windows and see how they can benefit your operations just click here.

There’s still more to come…

There are many further changes and additions to come, so keep an eye on our API documentation and update channels for the latest news as it comes in!

Feature Update: Enhanced SSL Monitoring

Today we’ve released a huge update, completely changing how our SSL monitoring works and enabling you to keep a much closer eye on all aspects of your certificates. We’ve introduced a new set of features for SSL, that enable much more powerful monitoring, these are summarized below:

Expiration Monitoring – We’ve fully revamped our expiration monitoring increasing the options in terms of how often the details are checked (anywhere from 5 minutes to 7 days dependent on plan level), also allowing customization of when the alerts for expiry come through – meaning that self-signed certs are now much less troublesome to keep an eye on.

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Certificate Validity – As well as expiry we now watch out for validity issues, we will run a complete check of the certificate chain, verify that the certificate is on the correct domain, and we’ll also ensure that the certificate has not been revoked by the relevant authority. You can get alerted by our system right away if any of these factors are not as they should be.

Certificate Score – We now take a range of factors into account to provide you with a certificate score. Firstly we look at the “Cipher Strength”. Cipher strength has a proprietary scoring algorithm that takes the following variables into consideration:

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* Key Exchange

* Bulk Cipher & Strength

* Used Keyed-hash message authentication (HMAC)

From the Cipher Strength and other factors, we give your certificate a final score, the full weightings for this score are shown below:

* Cipher Strength (50%)

* Perfect Forward Secrecy (25%)

* Certificate Errors (10%)

* Certificate Validity (5%)

* Certificate Presence (5%)

* Extended Validation presence (5%)

We will mark your certificate with a score out of 100%, you can see all scores within the SSL section in the left menu. All of the info can also be viewed on the details page, where we provide further data and comparison graphs.

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The new functionality is available across all paid plans, and all functions are now managed within the SSL section, meaning that there’s increased separation from the uptime tests and the ability to manage these separately.

New Root Cause Details available

We’ve today made it a lot easier for you to identify of timeout related downtimes with the addition of two new functionalities to our “Root Downtime Causes” section.

Now you can see both a Traceroute and a DNS check details in the event of a timeout on any test within your account, if you are looking for the Enhanced root downtime causes then these can be found below the “Status Periods” section, in the portion of the page marked “Root Downtime Causes”

In order to view the new info in the event of a timeout on one of your tests, simply click the “Details” button next to a Root Cause entry. You’ll then see a full summary of the DNS test and Traceroute. These new stats are only available on our paid plans, so you’ll need a subscription to take advantage of the heightened detail!

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Four reasons to use a responsive website design

Four Reasons to Use a Responsive Website Design

As the use of mobile devices steadily increases, it’s becoming more important for you to design a website that automatically responds and adjusts to mobile devices. The best approach to achieve this is to utilise a responsive website design.

A responsive website is not the same as a mobile-friendly website. A mobile-friendly website is a website that has an attractive appearance on mobile devices but could have a poor user experience (UX) when visitors view it on a traditional desktop computer. A responsive website is designed so that it adapts to the type of device that a visitor is using to view it. Whether visitors view your site on a mobile device or a desktop, they will have the same UX.

The designs of responsive websites are based on fluid grids; the sizing of the page elements is based on proportions rather than on pixels. For example, if a page on your website has three columns, you wouldn’t specify how wide those columns should be; rather, you could say that the first column should take up 50% of the page and the second and third columns should each take up 25% of the page.

You would also size images on a relative basis so that they would stay appropriately placed within the page’s design elements. Here are four reasons why using a responsive website design is beneficial:

1.   Increases traffic from mobile users

It was once common for businesses to have one version of its website for desktop users and another one for mobile users, and some businesses still maintain that practice. However, with the rapid increase in using mobile devices to access business websites, maintaining two versions of a website is both time-consuming and a high-maintenance proposition. Having a responsive website that seamlessly works with all devices makes it more likely that mobile viewers will continue to access your site and continue to purchase goods or services from you.

2.  Lowers the cost of website maintenance

Initially, developing a responsive website can be relatively expensive. However, once you have it operational, the maintenance costs of operating a responsive website are lower than operating two versions of the same site, and it takes less time. You can devote the time saved from maintaining two sites to other important functions in running your business.

3.  Provides a better UX

Providing a better UX is one of the best benefits of a responsive website. Unresponsive websites tend to distort the way that your site appears on mobile devices, and visitors who don’t have any problems viewing your site on a desktop computer may see jumbled text and distorted images. Visitors who experience a poor UX on your mobile will most likely choose not to return to it again.

With a responsive website, visitors will have a consistent experience when visiting your site. Since it adapts to devices with varying screen sizes, your responsive website will seamlessly work with new mobile devices as they continue to proliferate.

4.  Improves your SEO efforts

Responsive websites are more likely to rank higher in search engine results. A site with a consistently good UX is more likely to entice visitors to stay longer. Search engine algorithms take the time that visitors remain on a site into account when ranking a site, so your site is likely to receive a higher rank if it is responsive.

It’s worth your time and effort to make your site responsive.

Five Reasons to Redesign Your Website

Five Reasons to Redesign Your Website

There are many reasons why you may need to redesign your website. Customer expectations change, new website styles become popular, and businesses evolve and grow. It’s naïve to think that you would never have to give your website a new look or an update.

The internet has experienced a lot of changes over the past five years. Your customers increasingly access your website using mobile devices and expect greater functionality. Also, millennials have grown up in a world with internet access, and they now comprise one of your most valuable target markets.

Therefore, planning a website redesign and update should be high on your priority list. Of course, businesses must carefully consider how they spend their money, and your first thought may be worrying about how much it would cost to redesign your website. However, once you understand the importance of keeping your website up to date, you’ll see that a redesign makes sound financial and business sense.

When you redesign your website, your objective is to take your current site, improve it and both increase your profitability and your business efficiency. Your website redesign should focus on increasing your traffic volume and sales leads. Your redesign should incorporate the latest technology to meet your customers’ expectations and be consistent with your marketing goals.

Essentially, redesigning your website is the process of bringing your website up to date and meeting the requirements of your business. The following are the five main reasons for doing so.

 Optimise for mobile devices

Slightly over 60% of all time spent online in the UK takes place on a smartphone. Therefore, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you are missing a large portion of the e-commerce market. Search engines now give mobile-friendly websites a higher ranking, and you are certainly hurting yourself if you ignore mobile responsiveness since about 75% of internet users never go past the first page of search engine results.

 Provide better user experience (UX)

Studies show that you have about ten seconds to engage visitors before they leave your website and go elsewhere. Customers tend to be impatient these days, and they quickly want to know if you have to offer what they’re looking for. Good UX is critical to maintaining your advantage over your competitors. About 75% of consumers rate a website’s credibility on the UX it provides, so providing a better UX than the competition is an important reason for redesigning your website.

 Keep branding up to date

The e-commerce marketplace is always changing, so you need to make sure that your website reflects how you want your brand to be perceived by your customers.

 Improve page loading time

About 40% of visitors to a website will abandon it if it takes more than three seconds for a page to load. Always monitor your website, and use page speed testing to redesign it if you find that your site is loading slowly.

 Improve website flexibility and functionality

While your site may meet today’s needs, change always occurs in business conditions, so you need to ensure that you can easily modify your site to add new products and content. Social media has become a very important marketing tool, so you need to ensure that your site can efficiently incorporate social media plug-ins.

Redesigning your website can be crucial to your future success.