Category Archives: Client websites

Why We Monitor Your Website 24/7

Management Summary

If your website is down, your visitors will go elsewhere. Lost visitors mean lost business. Here at BlueTree, we monitor all clients’ websites 24/7 to make sure they’re up and running well. We also monitor a few, non-BlueTree, local websites. See Datum_1 to Datum_4 in the charts.

Here is the monitor for the six months to July 2022. Our BlueTree site is hard to see on this chart as it was up all the time during the monitoring period. It’s also the dark red line at zero on the “Number of Incidents” chart, above.

BlueTree hosting uptime compared with other local businesses

More details

Why We Monitor

One morning, a while ago, I tried to visit three local business websites, only to see, “404 page not found”. It was a coincidence, but it made me wonder. Knowing that our clients’ sites are up pretty much 100% of the time, how do others compare?

That’s when we started monitoring a few other websites for local comparison.

We’ve always monitored our own websites, and around 2010 we started checking our clients’ sites too. Things do go wrong, sometimes badly but most events are minor, just a minute or two. Here are a couple of recent major events:

  • in 2017 Firefox and Chrome browsers began to insist web pages be encrypted, with a current SSL Certificate, displaying a warning if not; your BlueTree CMS sites now renew automatically, but certificates did cause problems in the early days; and a few long-term clients, who don’t use our hosting, sometimes fail to renew, even now
  • in June 2021 our ISP suffered a failure that left many servers without an internet connection for several hours. A lot of big company sites went down. Our websites are hosted in another data centre, but several clients lost email access until Open Reach fixed the problem

How We Monitor

Monitoring Software

We use a web service called Uptime Robot. There’s a free option, so you can use it yourself if you want. The free version reports downtimes of 5 minutes or longer. It sends email alerts when it finds problems.

The paid version operates at one-minute intervals and sends text alerts too. It will also check your SSL certificate. Over the years, we’ve spotted several SSL problems for clients.

What We Monitor

We host client sites on leased servers. If a server goes down or loses its connection, all its websites fail. That does happen occasionally when maintenance is planned. These incidents are infrequent, very short, and scheduled in the early hours.

Other failures are website specific. The most common is when a client fails to renew a domain. We’re able to tell them promptly so they can fix the problem.

We monitor our own websites, all clients’ sites, and those of a few, unrelated, local businesses. We chose sites owned by organisations similar to those in our extended “BlueTree family”.

Extracting and Presenting the Data

The monitor displays a list of events like this. These are our datum sites, so we redacted the names.

Uptime Robot monitoring dashboard, showing downtime events and duration

For each “Down” incident, it shows:

  • the down event, flagged in red, the “up-again” in green
  • the domain or IP address
  • date and time the event started
  • duration of downtime
  • duration of subsequent up-time – up to the time of display

At the top right, you can see the words, “Export Logs”, a link that downloads the last six months’ events in a .csv file for spreadsheet analysis.

When There’s a problem

Occasionally, we receive an alert for one of our sites, We find and fix the problem if we can. Where we can’t, or if it takes more than a few minutes, we tell you and explain what’s going on.

In Conclusion

The odd five or fifty minutes down in a month doesn’t seem a big deal, But remember Captain Edward A Murphy, USAF? In 1949 he said, “What can go wrong, will go wrong!”

Who knows? Your best new sales opportunity might choose to visit just when your site has disappeared. You’ll never know, Best to have a site that stays up all the time, if you can.

starling bank - claimed to be britiai;s best bank

Business Changes at BlueTree

We’re Changing our Bank

We decided to change from HSBC to a more ethical bank, Starling. It only affects the way you pay us, so please excuse the nuisance. Check how ethical your own bank is here, at the website.

Changes you’ll see on our invoices:

  • different format
  • less flexible payee name
  • new sort code and account number

We plan to use Starling’s bookkeeping software. These changes may take some time as we adopting it gradually. If you pay monthly for support and hosting, please be patient and we’ll contact you.

That’s all – no need to read any more unless you want to.


We started the business, back in 1984, with an account at the Midland Bank, on the High Street in Portishead. In March 1992, HSBC acquired the Midland in one of the biggest business mergers of the time.

That makes us loyal customers for 48 years! We’ve had no complaints in all that time, and having a manned branch nearby when others are closing has been very convenient.

However, our enthusiasm has waned in recent years as we became more conscious of the damage we humans are doing to Planet Earth.

Why We Decided to Change

Sadly, HSBC is not a green bank and this doesn’t chime with our environmental policy.

Why We Chose Starling Bank

Starling scores well and definitely avoids funding climate-damaging activities. Read more about Starling Bank here.

  1. green and ethical, with a good zero emissions plan
  2. they don’t invest in, or serve, organisations that damage the planet
  3. integrated bookkeeping system that works with our bank account
  4. free banking, since we don’t run an overdraft
  5. several best bank awards in recent years, including 2022

Don’t forget to check how ethical your own bank is here, at the website.


Starling’s account application process is largely computerized. Thankfully, there is a team of human decision-makers, to back up the system. The issues we encountered were,

  1. we don’t use formal contracts, required to prove we’re in business
  2. Confirmation of Payee is very strict, and doesn’t handle “trading as”
  3. signatories must be directors

First, before they’d even open the account, they wanted a formal contract, signed by both us and a client. If you’ve done business with us, you’ll know that we work informally, so we don’t have one. We provided a proposal, which quotes a fixed price and links to the terms of business on our website. Then we sent them a copy invoice, and a bank statement to prove it had been paid.

With the account set up, we tried a few test payments, in and out. These revealed another problem: they can’t handle trading names. Nobody quotes our company name (M A Fielden & Co Ltd) on payments: it’s always BlueTree. Our solution was to change the company name, so we’re now BlueTree Website Design Limited. They’re still quite strict: Ltd gives a partial match but nothing else seems to work.

Only directors can be signatories on the account, and we have only one. We’ll have to  appoint another…

The Importance of NAT on Your Website

website legal graphicNAT or NAP, Your Website May Not Be Legal

Whilst looking for an example to show a possible new customer, I noticed one client’s website was missing the company name and address.

You guessed it: NAT – Name, Address, Telephone number. Or NAP if you drop the “Tele”. AKA Business Information.

On this page you can read about:

  • legal requirements for showing NAT on your website
  • why you probably need it anyway
  • how to stop hackers scraping it
  • how to maintain it with BlueTree CMS
  • what to do next

Rules for Business Information on Websites

Your website is an official business document, like an invoice. According to the Companies Act (2006), whether your business is incorporated or not, with one exception, your website must display your Company Information. The actual information required varies by the type of registration, but all include:

  • the registered name or trading name
  • registered or trading address
  • registration number and place of registration (if registered)
  • sometimes, trade organisations to which your business subscribes

The only time this doesn’t apply is for unregistered sole traders, trading under their own name. However, it’s still worth including because:

  • in these internet rip-off times, it helps to prove your business is real
  • search engines use it, among other things, to decide your site’s “authority”, so it affects your position in search results
  • business directories, a useful SEO tool, use it to qualify their listings and some won’t list you without it

business info block from BlueTree CMSMoreover, it’s very easy to do with BlueTree CMS – and to protect that important data from web crawlers that generate spam.

BlueTree CMS has a spider-proof, “Business Information Block” feature that handles your name, address, and phone number.

NAT Tips

Get this right at the start and you won’t find that, later on, you have a big review exercise that you’ll never start because it’s too big and too boring.

  1. always use your full trading name, including the “Ltd” bit
  2. make sure your information is consistent everywhere on the internet

You may not be too worried now, but at some time you’ll see competitors above you in search results. If you don’t get all this right, search engines may penalise your website, or maybe not display it at all.

  • Domain Registration: search engines check the Business Information on your website against that of the “Registrant” in your “whois” data
  • Business Directories: search engines check against other sources, too, including directories like Yell, Thompson Local, and 181
  • Correct Business Information: a search engine may prefer to display your business information, perhaps wrongly, from its favourite directory if the version on your website is different

Web Crawlers and Spam

Whilst it’s largely irritating, not dangerous, spam is  a big time-waster. Worst case, someone may use it to steal your business identity.

Don’t just type your Business Information into your web pages. Make sure your CMS protects it from “spiders”, the computer programs hackers write to crawl the web and collect such information.

How to Spider-Proof Your Business Information

website settings dialog in BlueTree CMSFirst enter your NAT, just once, in the Sitewide Settings panel.

The CMS will use the data to display your pretty Business Information Block, like the one at the top of this post. It contains:

  • the trading name
  • your address
  • your phone number: click to dial on a smartphone
  • your email address: click to open a new mail with your address in the “To” field
  • optionally, a thumbnail Google map, centred on your postcode, which opens full size in new window, when clicked

You need only display your full Business Information in one place, but you may want to put NAT, in whole or in part, on several pages, to make it easy for customers to get in touch with you. You can include this block, as many times as you want, anywhere on your website, by typing,
on a separate line, just like that, with no other characters.

And, anywhere on your website, even within a paragraph, if you type that same telephone number with no spaces, BlueTree CMS will convert it to a clickable link, hidden from web crawlers. It will do the same with your email address.

Your Business Information Is Safe

Whilst humans will be able to read your Business Information, web crawling software will not. There’s more than one benefit:

  • less spam and fewer time-wasting phone calls
  • the information is consistent across your whole website
  • if it ever changes, update it only once and all your pages change immediately

What to Do Next

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. We offer the information on this page in good faith but please don’t rely on it. Take legal advice.

1. Establish Requirements for Your Type of Business

Registered businesses must display more than this basic information. The requirement for partnerships is different from that for limited companies, for example. Search for a phrase containing your registration type, e.g.

website business information required for [registration type]

The “” parameter will ensure you see results from the UK Government (apart from the ads), just to be on the safe side. If you omit it you’ll see results from solicitor websites, too, which is fine but maybe not definitive.

2. Check Your Domain Business Information

Often forgotten, your domain registrar holds a copy of your Business Information. Check yours by typing your web address into this page at The registrant (hopefully you) is able to change this if it’s wrong.

3. Check Your Business Information Elsewhere

This is the subject of our second post in this series. If you’d like a notification when it’s published, please sign up using the “Find this useful?” button, bottom right.


  1. Companies Act (2006)
  2. Online domain registration check
  3. What to do if your domain registrant isn’t you