Status Page: What It Is and Why You Need It?
A status page is a web page that displays the current status of a website or online service. It is a useful way to keep users informed of any problems or scheduled maintenance that may be taking place. A status page can help improve customer satisfaction and reduce support requests.
On other hand, an internal status page ( private status page ) can be a valuable tool for company employees, providing information and updates that can help answer questions from other departments. This can save developer teams time and energy, and help keep everyone on the same page.
Some internet companies have their status page on the status subdomain status.domainname.com like status.stripe.com or status.slack.com, while others opt for different URLs, like GitHub with githubstatus.com or PayPal with paypal-status.com.
Why you need a status page?
The 4 main benefits of using a status page are:
Saving customer support resources
When an incident occurs, users begin asking questions and customer support can be overwhelmed with incident reports and queries. This causes extra work for the support team and slows down response time for other issues, leading to more frustration for users.
Having a status page in place will allow you to easily communicate updates and developments to your users, removing the need for 1 on 1 communication with your support team.
Saving IT resources
A status page can be a helpful tool for development teams when they are dealing with an incident, as it can help them resolve the issue more quickly. By providing information on the issue's current status, teams can avoid obstacles and communication breakdowns that can delay a resolution.
Integrating a status page with the monitoring and incident management process can automate manual tasks like sending incident emails and writing up status updates, which can lower stress levels for developers during incidents.
Saving business resources
Many people are interested in knowing what is happening when an incident occurs. A status page allows people to subscribe to receive updates about the incident so that they can stay informed. Coordinating activities with the current situation help avoid problems like spending money on online ads when the landing pages and products are not operational. Other teams, like legal, can also get involved when it comes to issues like SLAs, for example. There are many possibilities for streamlining operations in this way.
Supporting marketing and sales
Being honest and transparent about your system's status and sharing information about incidents builds trust with users over time. In some cases, this can even be a way to positively engage with users, as seen with redditstatus.com.
If you advertise specific SLAs, a public status page can serve as evidence supporting your marketing claims by displaying historical uptime and incidents data. This can help potential customers see the reliability of your service and make your claims more believable.
Different kinds of Status communication
Embedding system status
Since most users are not familiar with status pages, it is best to use an embedded system status widget directly in your product. This way, they can see the system's current status and easily find support channels if needed.
By embedding the widget, incident updates can be seamlessly shared on a homepage, in a product, or on support pages.
Twitter for status updates
Twitter has become an important communication channel for many companies, not just the tech industry. This is because Twitter allows for two-way communication between a company and its customers. It also allows for real-time feedback and customer service.
Many status updates are seen faster than when sent via email. Some paid and open source status page tools can also embed tweets so that both channels are easily connected.
The best example is the stripe profile @stripestatus, it's often used in tandem with regular status pages and helps proactively announce any system issues to interested Twitter followers.
Customizing your status page
When designing a status page, it is important to consider the following factors:
1.Displaying relevant services
The best practice for public status pages is to only show relevant services for the given user group. This allows users only to see relevant information and prevents overwhelming them with too much data.
The average user will not need to know about your product's DNS or CDN- those are more technical details that will only create confusion for people who don't understand them. Instead, focus on features or capabilities of your product that will be relevant and useful to the majority of users.
The most important thing to keep in mind when designing a status page is what users will care about the most. Make sure to only include information that is relevant and useful to them.
2.Grouping services properly
DevOps teams tend to break down services into individual components, but users are generally more concerned with whether the overall service is functioning properly.
If a service is complex and relies on different monitors, it is better to show one status monitor with clear functionality like Search, Login/SSO, and Messaging. This will make it easier for users to see the overall status of the service, rather than having to investigate multiple monitors with different information. A good example of this is the GitHub status page, which provides a clear overview of complex services.
3.Keeping transparency and practicality in balance
Being open and honest about any incidents that occur is the best way to build trust with your customers or clients. If you have pre-defined SLAs, it is even more important to be transparent about any issues that may arise.
Being completely transparent about their past performance could be detrimental for startups or indie hackers. This is because early setbacks or problems could scare off potential customers. Therefore, it may be worth considering how far back in time these incidents occurred before sharing this information.
4.On brand communication
Status pages are a great way to communicate with your users and surprise them with something they didn't expect.
Having a cohesive and well-designed custom status page builds relationships with customers and creates a better overall experience.
Get a custom domain status page in 2 minutes with Odown
Odown is an infrastructure monitoring tool that offers public status pages with all of its plans. This page can be used to communicate incidents to your user base.
- Once signed up, head to Status pages → Create status page
- Enter your company name and the subdomain on Odown you want to use, let's make it
yourcompany.odown.io(alternatively you can set up a CNAME and get a custom domain status page)
- Add your logo, title and other customizations
- Click save settings
For more information, explore Odown docs.