Identifying and Measuring common Website Errors

Recently when I was going through a survey report I found a very interesting observation, the most common response to the question “Reasons for not completing an online Task” was either the ‘Website is slow’ or ‘Broken hyperlinks’. So, I thought of finding a solution for these problems and came out with a guideline of some important measures to take.

There are many types of errors that can happen, but not all of them can be traced with the help of typical web measurement tools alone. Here are a handful of the most common ones that can be tracked:

Website is slow or fails to respond

There are services that specialize in website monitoring and are designed to monitor websites regularly to ensure that they are accessible and the web servers are handling page requests on time. You can setup alerts for reporting errors. Typical web measurement tools usually do not provide adequate support for measuring these aspects, but it is possible to integrate response and availability into your web measurement application to provide a more holistic view of the situation.

Broken Hyperlinks

The most important things to monitor are Broken Hyperlinks. The broken link report should be run every day to look for problems on the website. Sometimes the problem might be from your end and can be easily corrected. Other times, the links might be coming from another site. In this case you can either write to the site owner, asking them to correct the link or put a redirect in place of the broken link, designed to push the visitor along to the right page.

Aborted page views and downloads

Tracking abandoned and interrupted downloads is more difficult than tracking HTTP errors. It requires using web server log files for your data collection because page tags can capture neither incomplete downloads nor the download time. The Microsoft IIS webserver records a server status code of 64 when a request is terminated. Some web measurement tools supply such plug-ins and can track page abandonment rates and incomplete downloads.

Client-side script errors

One of the most frustrating types of errors visitors encounter are Script Errors, the type that prevent links from working, forms from being submitted and result in an overall poor user experience. While difficult to actively measure, creating a strategy for measuring this type of error can explain a great deal about why visitors fail to move from page to page on a site.

It is essential to track errors on site and act upon the data you generate. Nothing is more frustrating to a web visitor than an error message, especially when it is well within your power to prevent and correct problems.

If you want to know how to measure these type of errors, then go ahead and read the blog “Tackle those Website errors”

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One Response to Identifying and Measuring common Website Errors

  1. Pratik joshi says:

    This is excellent post. If someone has encountered with website speed problem and script error then the below tool will be useful to resolve it:-

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