How Do You Track Website Uptime? Must Know Server Monitoring Tools

Most website owners do not track their site’s server uptime regularly. People just expect it to work. Well, although most hosting providers guarantee nearly 100% server uptime these days, a web host can never be up and running all the time. Human errors, network malfunction, overloaded server, power failure, hacker attacks, or even a heavy storm could cause a server outage – there are just too many breaking points to cover.

Hence, no matter how satisfy you are or how much trust you have with your hosting provider, you should monitor and track your site.

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of different server monitoring tools online – some are free and some cost thousands of dollars annually; some do simple HTTP check to make sure that your site is up and running; some do very complicated backend jobs and monitor more than 50 checkpoint in the same time. Unless you are running a large IT infrastructure, else I don’t see why you need to invest more than $6,000 on a Nagios XI system.

In this article, I am listing some of the easy-to-use (and mostly free) server monitoring tools that are suitable for small-to-mid website owners who are normally on shared or VPS hosting. In case you are looking for the more powerful ones, check out Nagios, Nimsoft, or Cacti instead.

1. Monitor Scout (Free)

Monitor Scout

Monitor Scout is currently in Beta and it’s completely free at time of writing. The tool helps monitor websites availability from 15 different locations and runs checks on HTTP, HTTPS, PING, mySQL, MS SQL, IMAP, POP3, DNS, etc upt to every one minute interval. Users get email and SMS alerts in case of server outage; detailed reports including uptime, latency, and in-depth analysis are provided.

I had a Q&A session with Johan, Monitor Scout’s CEO, last year and here is the interview.

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: https://www.monitorscout.com/

2. Pindgom (Free and Paid)

Pingdom

Pingdom comes in 3 different service plans, namely Free ($0), Basic ($9.95/mo), and Business ($39.95/mo). The Free Plan covers one website, monthly email reports, and 20 SMS failure alerts; Basic Plan monitors 5 sites with 20 SMS failure alerts, unlimited email and Twitter alerts; and, Business Plan covers 30 sites with 200 SMS failure alerts. Pingdom also comes free in mobile apps hence you’ll get push alert on your iPhone or Android phones. Website check (monitoring interval) is done every 5 minutes for Free Plan, every 1 minute for the Paid Plans.

I use Pingdom to track WebHostingSecretRevealed.com and publish the uptime report online occasionally, see examples here and here.

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: http://www.pingdom.com/services/api-applications/

3. Monitor Us (Free)

Monitor Us

Sponsored by Monitis, Monitor Us website monitoring service is 100% free. With this tool, users get to track website availability from different locations and check website uptime using HTTP, HTTPS, PING, and DNS. The tool also covers public IP checks using TCP, UDP, SSH, and IMCP protocols. Failure alerts will be sent instantly via email, instant messaging, SMS, and live voice; detailed reporting with service level metrics per interval.

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: http://www.monitor.us/free-website-uptime-monitorin

4. Got Site Monitor (Free and Paid)

Got Site Monitor

I have never used Got Site Monitor before but a few of my readers at WHSR strongly recommend the tool. From outside, we can see that the Free plan covers up to 5 URLs, 20 SMS alerts on signup, and unlimited email alerts. Website check (monitoring interval) is done every 5 minutes for Free Plan, every 1 minute for Paid Plans. The users get to track websites uptime from different locations; and the tool also check webpage content, SSL secure certificate, and website performance besides site uptime..

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: http://www.gotsitemonitor.com/

5. Status Cake (Free and Paid)

Status Cake

Status Cake supports both free and paid accounts. For Free Plan, users get a 5 minute interval check on unlimited websites plus detailed monthly reports at the end of each month. However, no alert will be sent out during outages. On the other hand, Paid Plans – Basic, Superior, Business (priced at $4.99/$9.99/$29.99 monthly) – support SMS alerts, 1 minute monitoring interval, real browser testing, content matching checks, custom status code, malware check, and many other valuable addon features.

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: http://www.statuscake.com

6. Service Uptime (Free and Paid)

Service Uptime

Service Uptime provides 4 different service plans: Free ($0),Standard ($4.95/mo), Advanced ($9.95/mo), and Professional ($52.50/mo). The Free Plan comes with very little feature – it covers only one URLs and only check your website every 30 minutes. In contrast, The Standard Plan covers up to 10 differnet websites with 3 minutes monitoring intervals. I don’t really recommend Service Uptime as it’s a little too costly and the monitoring interval is too long compare to the others – the main reason I listed it here is more for comparison purpose.

Server and Network Monitoring Tools Visit Online: http://www.serviceuptime.com/

Which Uptime Tracking Service Should You Go With?

Well to answer the question, I would like to quote Johan’s answer in our interview.

Which monitoring tool to choose, depends basically on the users’ requirements. Several such web monitoring services as you have mentioned are available on marketplace. The users should take time and make a comparative study on the offerings of the monitoring service providers. Many users wrongly believe that expensive services are high in quality. For their kind information, some expensive alternatives come with basic monitoring that is of no great help.

As per my experience in the industry, monitoring a server or a webpage is not enough to ensure a bullet-proof situation for your business. Several other aspects need to be monitored. To say for example, your e-commerce store is being affected due to downtime or some other issue; you are losing customers and making a loss. The most feasible solution is monitoring the web pages, the login page, database, hosting server, hardware components, and the vital applications. Choose the monitoring tool that packs in all these opportunities.

When the user finds it difficult to choose between 2 or 3 monitoring companies, the user should contact the customer support of those companies to check if free trial version of their services is available. . All major monitoring companies should be able to offer this to customers that are in te evaluation process.

To compare various website monitoring tools, here are a few factors are: How often does the tool check your site uptime? How does the provider alert you when your site is down? Does the provider support monthly (or quarterly) report? Is the user interface user-friendly? Are you comfortable using the tool? How much is the cost?

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