Status Pages are critical for effective Incident Management. Just as an ill-structured On-Call Schedule can wreak havoc, ineffective Status Pages can leave customers and stakeholders, adrift, underscoring the need for a meticulous approach.
Here are two, Matsuri Japon, a Non-Profit Organization and Sport1, a premier live-stream sports content platform, both integrate Squadcast Status Pages to enhance their incident response strategies discreetly. You may read about them later.
Crafting these Status Pages demands precision, offering dynamic updates and collaboration. Let’s uncover some questions that might pop up while you’re thinking about or setting up your Status Pages.
A Statuspage serves as a communication instrument enabling you to notify your customers regarding service interruptions and scheduled maintenance. It can be public or private. A public Status Page enables you to cultivate customer confidence by displaying the status of your services or components. You can present a historical record of your service's uptime and performance trajectory over time.
It works by monitoring different components and endpoints for any incidents or disruptions. When a problem is detected, the Status Page updates to reflect the issue and provides detailed information about the problem, such as the root cause. This allows users and customers to quickly and easily check the status of a service or system and stay informed about any ongoing or resolved issues.
Status Pages pose many benefits.
That being said, there are many tools in the market offering Status Pages. But there are different types of Status Pages too.
Some popularly used status page types include:
Public Status Pages display information about service health and ongoing incidents publicly for their customers to view. Alternatively, private Status Pages are intended for internal stakeholders, engineers, CTOs, etc to keep them notified of and aligned with the incident resolution process.
API-driven Status Pages fetch real-time data from monitoring and alerting tools via application programming interfaces (APIs). This integration enables automatic updates of incident information, ensuring that the Status Page reflects the most current state of the system.
API driven Status Pages are different from normal Status Pages in essence that (most) normal Status Pages require manual updates.
Webhook-driven Status Pages receive updates directly from systems through webhook notifications. Webhooks are triggered when specific events occur, such as an incident being detected or resolved. This approach provides instantaneous updates to the Status Page without relying on periodic API calls.
Audience-specific pages are for pre-specified users and groups to view. They are usually customized to show the status of the components and systems that are relevant to a specific audience, such as a region, a segment, a partner, or a customer.
They also provide updates and information about any incidents or maintenance that may affect the components and systems that are relevant to the specific audience. Audience-specific pages are useful for providing personalized and tailored communication to different audiences, as well as enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Ensure the Status Page layout is intuitive, with clear indicators for service status. Organize information logically, using concise language and visual elements that are easy to understand. Make key information easily accessible to users, and consider mobile responsiveness for users on various devices.
Craft incident messages that are concise, accurate, and transparent. Clearly state the impact, ongoing efforts for resolution, and expected timelines for updates. Use plain language and avoid technical jargon to ensure users comprehend the situation easily.
Allow users to subscribe to incident notifications via various channels (email, SMS, etc.). Provide options for users to customize notification preferences based on the severity of incidents. Ensure a straightforward process for users to subscribe and unsubscribe.
Notify users in advance about planned maintenance through the Status Page. Specify the maintenance window, expected impact, and reasons for the update. Offer guidance on what actions users need to take, if any, during the maintenance period.
Regularly review historical data on incidents and performance. Analyze trends, common issues, and user feedback to identify areas for improvement. Use these insights to make informed decisions and enhance service reliability.
Maintain a continuous flow of updates during incidents, keeping users informed about progress, challenges, and resolutions. Clearly indicate when new information is available, and close the incident only after confirming complete resolution.
Include a well-organized incident history that documents past outages, their causes, and resolutions. This transparency demonstrates accountability and helps users understand your commitment to addressing issues.
Conduct periodic tests of your Status Page and notifications to ensure they function as intended. Simulate incident scenarios to confirm that updates are accurate, timely, and well-delivered.
Integrate your Status Page with your preferred notification channels and stay informed about any website downtime instantly. This enables you to easily receive notifications through various channels including Slack, Telegram, custom webhooks, and more.
By adhering to these best practices, you can create a well-structured, transparent, and responsive Status Page that effectively informs users and contributes to a positive user experience.
Here are some of the best Status Page tools in 2023 based on features, pricing, and popularity.
Additionally, the decoupled association ensures customizable presentation, promoting autonomy in message delivery, and planned downtimes are showcased for enhanced trust. Issue progress comprehension is simplified, and separate issue creation streamlines workflow management, all contributing to an effective and customizable Status Page experience.
Pricing: $16 per user for 5 Status Pages, 5000 subscribers/page along with On-Call Management, and Incident Response features.
For detailed pricing, visit Squadcast’s pricing page here.
2. Better Stack: A Status Page provider that combines incident management, uptime monitoring, and Status Pages into a single product. It offers on-call calendar scheduling, unlimited phone call and SMS alerts, synthetic monitoring, embeddable system status notice, codeless integrations, AI-powered smart incident messaging, and a free Status Page for all users on a custom domain.
Pricing: The cost factor plays in Better Stack's favor as unique Status Page with custom domains can be created by all users on the free plan. Their paid plan, offering five Status Pages along with a custom domain and customizable theme, starts at $24 for a single user account.
Cachet offers fundamental uptime monitoring and presents metrics in an engaging visual format. It offers multilingual support for your Status Page. In terms of cost, while Cachet is open-source, starting the installation of its Status Page requires a fee of $249.
2. Staytus : Staytus offers the ability to create neat Status Page, with customizable themes to fit your brand.One of the best parts about Staytus is its flexibility. You have the option to either manually add issues/incidents through the Web UI or directly link your services to your own monitoring systems.
Choosing a Status Page provider involves considering factors like features, pricing, reliability, security, and support. Different providers cater to various needs and preferences, making the decision complex. Here's a brief overview of open source vs. paid options of Status Pages:
Pros: Offers more features, integrations, and support with dedicated teams and professional hosting.
Cons: Typically more expensive, less customization, and reliance on predefined templates.
Pros: Free or low-cost, offering flexibility and customization through source code modification.
Cons: Requires technical expertise for setup, may lack features, integrations, and support compared to paid options.
Building your own Status Page might seem tempting, but the reality is that it takes a lot of time and effort to make it work seamlessly. Maintaining and updating your own Status Page can drain your team's energy and resources, without giving you the desired outcome. You'll need a dedicated team to handle the technicalities, which could be better used elsewhere.
Instead, think about a simpler option – using a service that provides a ready-to-go Status Page. It's a smart move that saves you the trouble of managing everything yourself and ensures that your Status Page is always reliable. This way, you can concentrate on your main tasks and let the experts handle the rest.
Rest assured, we'll guide you toward the optimal choice considering all factors in the next section.
Squadcast is an end to end Incident Management platform that enables you to carry out On-Call Management, Incident Response and SRE workflows in one platform. It’s built around the best SRE practices and brings you the ability to create both internal and external Status Page.
For more on Status Page's latest update check: Unveiling Squadcast’s Enhanced Status Pages
Squadcast Status Pages are offered in Premium and Enterprise plans. These plans enable public/private Status Pages, notifying subscribers/ internal stakeholders of incidents or maintenance.
Additionally, Incident Response and On-Call Management features are included with both these plans.
Not all Status Page providers are created equal, and you need to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Whether you opt for a public page to build user trust or a private one for seamless internal coordination, the choice depends on your specific needs.
Balancing factors like customization, integration, and simplicity will guide you towards the right solution. Remember, a transparent and informative Status Page not only enhances user experience but also showcases your commitment to reliability and responsiveness.
Squadcast is a Reliability Workflow platform that integrates On-Call alerting and Incident Management along with SRE workflows in one offering. Designed for a zero-friction setup, ease of use and clean UI, it helps developers, SREs and On-Call teams proactively respond to outages and create a culture of learning and continuous improvement.