From the uber informal and useless series of posts, a very geeky and information embedded post might be a shock for some. But anyways, this will probably catch the interest of bloggers and website owners alike since we all dedicate a fraction of our (if not our whole) time daily to maintaining our blogs and websites. Uptime is very important to a website, and in turn it is important that the server where the website resides is always to almost always accessible. Everyone who owns a website wants their website to experience minimal or no downtime because if the site always seem to be experiencing downtime, network failure, system outage or connection failure, either or both can happen:
- loss of revenue and/or profit
- loss of interest of viewers to revisit the blog or website
And we really don’t want our sites (especially business types) to be cause of great annoyance and distrust now, do we?
In order to minimize server downtime or maintain highest possible website uptime and availability, it’s important that when something does go wrong, it should be attended to immediately. If you are not the server owner, it is of course still important to notify your host provider that you are experiencing a problem and it would help if you have proof of when and how the problem transpired. And if in the case that you seem to always be a victim of server problems, you would know (and not just guess) that it’s time to move to a better host provider.
Aside from the blogs and websites I discretely own and is affiliated with, I have been maintaining a number of websites for several clients and could not afford to not know if a server is down for a certain host or site since it does affect my report about traffic and conversion rates.
The question entails, how do we know if the server/our website is down? There are numerous website monitoring services available online in your disposal, some are free and some require payment for monthly or annual, and for some other there are options for both and you could easily upgrade for advanced and extra services.
One of the site monitoring service I use is Pingdom, I was able to acquire their services through their 404 – Price not Found Promo last September. I like their charts, it’s easy to comprehend and their email alerts have been reliable. They also send out sms messages to your phone aside from the email notifications if your site is down. Overall, I have been very happy with their service especially during the time when I had experienced a major server blowup on my previous reseller host. If in the case I want to continue their services, I’d have to pay $119.4 annually which is quite a lot for a frugal girl like me but I think the services they offer is worth thinking it twice over.
I’ve also tried Server Mojo whose site honestly doesn’t look too impressive (as of writing, websites do change) and their signup page isn’t exactly quite friendly (again, as of writing) but I must say their notification service works pretty awesome. I like the option they have for Twitter alerts when your site experiences down time. This feature is so cool since I’m always, always (as of writing, hahaha) alert with direct messages coming from Twitter. I’ve also just realized that ServerMojo is actually still in beta version and I think there’s a lot to improve and work on but it already has great potential.
Another monitoring site I have used is Mon.Itor.Us which has been giving a satisfactory service considering it’s free. You can choose to have your downtime reports sent by IM, or by RSS feed, or by email. I have opted for the RSS feed reports and so far it has been working in sync with Pingdom and ServerMojo, but I have yet to see their IM alerts at work and I have not received any email notifications from them either. Maybe I should configure the settings better but I really haven’t had the time to roam and tweak around their services. If anyone has ever used their service, I would love to hear from your side of the story.
Aside from the monitors I have used, I only know, based from research and compilation, about the following sites that offer free monitoring services:
- SiteUpTime where a free account allows you to monitor 1 service from 4 monitoring locations at the frequency of 30 or 60 minutes and you get email alerts.
- HostTracker which Allen from SilkenHut has recently written a short review about on his blog entitled HostTracker – Free website monitoring service
- Website Pulse, Internet Vista, Service UpTime, Up Panel, Basic State, Website Monitor, Nagios, Manage Engine
Anyone else use monitoring services out there in the Internet? Care to share your experiences?