In developing any business online one of the most overlooked areas in business management strategies is having a service oversee their website uptime. Many people assume that their web host is going to be responsible for alerting them when their website goes down. This is a big myth and in fact it runs entirely contrary to what a website hosting company would do. Think about it. Why would a web hosting company tell their clients there service is having troubles causing their site to be down temporarily? They are going to hope a client doesn’t spot it as it directly affects the claims that most web hosting companies say they can provide 99.9% uptime.
An online business is only as good as the amount of time that it’s up online. When I first got started running multiple websites online I heavily relied on my sites being up especially when I was running pay per click campaigns. Now if your just running a personal blog that doesn’t rely on being available for members, readers or advertising campaigns then you might not be too bothered by half an hour of down time but for companies who rely on their site being online every minute of the day. A 30 minute or longer down time can have devastating effects on their long term goals.
Why Website Uptime Monitoring Service Matters?
The truth is not all web hosting company can provide 99.9% uptime as many web hosting companies are packing servers with clients and multiple people are sharing servers even on reseller plans. If you are seeking a stronger and more reliable solution they will need to look into dedicated plans that are either self or fully managed. The challenge for many small based businesses is that going dedicated requires a huge investment of money each month when a shared or reseller plan would suffice at a fraction of the cost. So what is the solution? Website monitoring services are, but which ones are the top services in their industry? Why are they the top? And what do you really need vs what they offer?
Key Things to Look For:
- What is the interval between each time they check your site?
- What methods do they provide to alert you to down time?
- What Reporting do they provide for tracking long term site performance?
- What are the price options?
Track Your Websites With These Uptime Tracking Services
Well, here goes the top 5 uptime website monitoring services.
Quoted directly from Pingdom: Pingdom is a company founded by Sam Nurmi. Sam Nurmi is also the founder and previous CEO of Sweden’s biggest web hosting company, Loopia, which he sold in 2005. Pingdom has a very strong and narrow focus. That focus lies on covering the uptime monitoring needs of 90% of the companies in the world. Instead of branching out into other areas, we will instead place all our efforts into maintaining the best uptime monitoring service available. The technology behind Pingdom is developed in house, which gives us an unparalleled ability to satisfy both the current and future needs of the market.
Also, note that Pingdom also offers its services via free apps on iPhone and Android phones. Take iPhone Apps for example, the Pingdom app allows you to get push alert of your website status as well as getting into Pingdom to view your website uptime and response time status.
In case you not know, Pingdom is actually my favorite tracking service. I’ve been using these guys to track all my test-site including WebHostingSecretRevealed.com. My recent Hostgator uptime review, for example, is built based on the server record tracked by Pingdom.
- Monitors every 1 min
- Packages prices: 0 (free), 9.95, or 39.95
- Alerts by SMS, Twitter and Email
- 20 SMS alerts are free as well as email
- Excellent reporting
- Reputable – Pingdom is used by companies with big brand name
- 30 Day free trial on the paid services
- Monitors every 30 mins
- Sends alerts via email and RSS
- Packages prices: 0 (free), $9.98, $39.98 or Custom
- Offers 15 days free trial
Established 2004, ServiceUptime provides website, port and server monitoring and alerting services. ServiceUptime’s monitoring servers are located around the world in reliable carrier-class data centers with nearly 0% downtime. What ServiceUptime does is deploying remote monitoring agents in strategically selected cities and on major backbone segments around the world to simulate the end-user experience of your web site and its key areas at any given moment. ServiceUptime.com instantly alerts you in case of problem detection and provides you with web-based access to real-time reports for performance and availability analysis.
- Monitors every 30 minutes
- Sends alerts by email and sms
- Free and Paid at $4.95, $9.95 and $52.95
- No Free trial
- Detailed reports
Not to be confused with Microsoft’s prototype software HostTracker, Host-Tracker is another site monitoring service. The service has 91 nodes and multuple monitor points from all over the world. Host-Tracker is special as it comes in several different language package, including French, English, Spanish, and Greek.
- Monitors every 30 mins
- Sends alerts by email, ICQ, Gtalk or SMS
- Free and paid service
- Uptime reporting
- 30 day free trial
BasicState is another website monitoring service that make sure your homepage is running properly. The service is totally free for unlimited number of sites and users can get alert from BasicState via n email or text message.
- Monitors every 15 mins
- Sends alerts by email or sms
- Free service on unlimited Sites
- Reporting features are not as nice as other two above
- Have to use exactstate for paid pro version which monitors every 1 minute
What’s next if you found your site is down?
So your site is down, now what? In case you notice that your site is going down at odd hours of the day and for extended periods of time. There are a number of things that could be causing it and a few things you can do short term are:
- The scripts you are running on your site can add increased strain on servers and usually are responsible for down time
- Contact your web host and make them aware that you know this is going on as you have reports to show. See what they will do about it. Don’t leap to the assumption that they are aware of it, they may have 1 server and are piling too many people on that server causing added strain or one person on that server could be using a script that is affecting the server and in turn going to cause issues with other sites on that server.
- Visit DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com (awesome web tool) and check if your ISP is having connection problem with your name server. If so, contact your ISP to rectify the problem.
For long term solution, switching web host might be a good solution if your web host is the one causing the outage.
What can you do to avoid downtime?
- Be sure to use a website monitoring service that offers checking your site at least every 15 mins
- Do you homework, read at least a few web hosting reviews to know your choices before you get decided.
- If you plan on running a service, membership site or store, consider getting a dedicated server as that way you will be the only one on the server and there will be less strain placed on it.
- Have someone manage your dedicated server – many hosting companies, in fact, offer website monitoring as part of their hosting package (but then again, you gotta make sure that they are trustworthy).