Keeping an eye on your website


My hosting company have had some stability issues lately, so and all my other sites have been down a couple of times.

To get an exact idea of how big the problem is I started checking out a couple of services that can monitor your web site and alert you by mail if it is down.

I found several solutions. Here are the two that I am currently testing:

Montastic. Completely free. Lets you add up to 100 web sites to monitor. You get an email if one of them goes down. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed with status information.

SiteUptime. Free for keeping an eye on one site every 30 minutes. Gives you an email if it is down. Stores some data and details so you can keep an eye on the total uptime. Commercial version available with more functions.

Do you have any other suggestions? I have a couple of servers running 24/7 at home as well. Is there a simple application that I can install on my computer that will check on a web site at regular intervals?

Keeping an eye on your website

11 thoughts on “Keeping an eye on your website

  1. Shwiiing says:

    If you want a more flexible solution, you should try out Nagios. Not shure if it will run on windows, but who uses windows anyway. I run it on a Linux box to do all kinds of tests against 100’s of computers.

  2. Nagios looks like a very powerful solution. Linux only, and I have to admit that I am currently one of those strange persons using Windows on my computers at home. Now I really have to consider throwing together a Linux box that can run 24/7 taking care of stuff like this…

  3. Thank for the article. I have been using Uptime for awhile now.

    Info from there website:

    What it does
    Uptime periodically requests a page from your server. If the site is unreachable, Uptime sends you email. Uptime will continue checking your site. When it becomes reachable again, Uptime will send you one more message.

    If you wish to be beeped by Uptime, then you need only subscribe to a beeper service that has an email gateway. You can give Uptime a custom subject line or message body if your beeping service needs a specially formatted message.

    What’s the period? Right now, the average user’s server gets queried every 15 minutes. We have “gold” and “silver” users who get queried every two or five minutes. These are generally friends of ours or people who help support this site in some way.

  4. Uptime is recommended. I’ve been using it for a long time, and the e-mails are easy to forward to the mobile phone to alert you if you’re on the run and your site goes down.

  5. Henning Sund says:

    Hi Eirik,
    I’ve been using for a while. Reliable service, and it offers a free trial for single sites that really covers a lot.

  6. This is excellent. If my blog had a limit of only five readers it should be the ones that have commented here. I can use this post as an example in my presentations.

    First I suggest two services. In a couple of days I have loads of services that are way better than the ones I started with.

    Again, thank you very much. 🙂

  7. Now that I see that Dreamhost offers 200 GB of storage they seems to be able to acommodate all my needs. I have a huge online photo gallery that makes up most of the size.

    Can you recomend Dreamhost in spite of the stability issues?

  8. Dreamhost has an incredible valu for money. Huge amounts of storage that keeps increasing as long as you keep your account. They have a fantastic system with one-click installs of the most popular software. Like Worpress, Gallery2, Mediawiki, PHPbb etc… They have even got one-click upgrades.

    This makes it very easy to set up blogs, forums, wikis etc.

    They even have pretty good customer support and have been very open about the recent stability issues and web outages.

    But, they still have stability issues, I still don’t know what will happen the next time my site is on Digg or another busy site. It survived Slashdot and Boingboing recently, but the preassure wasn’t extreme on those links.

    The speed isn’t fantastic either, but that’s difficult for me to measure because the bottle neck is often between europe and the US, not out of the Dreamhost servers.

    Currently I don’t need all the space and bandwidth and would prefer a host with better stability and speed, and less space and bandwidth.

    However, the stability is much better now, and it seems like they work hard on the issues they’ve had lately.

    So, despite the problems I would still recommend Dreamhost if you need the space. I think they’re serious and that they’ll fix the stability issues. It depends on your need. Huge storage with pretty good but not fantastic speed and stability, or rock solid and not that much storage. Problem is that I don’t know any rock solid hosts…

    If you decide to go for Dreamhost and want to support this site you can use the Dreamhost banner in my sidebar when you enter their site. That’s a sponsored link that’ll give me a small kick-back when you sign up… 🙂

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