If you have your own Website, when there’s down time, that means frustrated users and potentially lost revenue. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a website to find that it’s down.  It happens whether you like it or not.  Several months ago, we looked into different options for monitoring CyberNet News.  One of the best sites that we have come across is Site24x7.com which is in beta.  We’ve been using it for several months now and have been very impressed.

Interestingly enough, they are part of AdventNet Inc. which also owns Zoho (online project management). It’s always nice to know how often our site goes down, and for how long! Site24x7.com sends out instant alerts via email (or SMS) when your website is down.  You can set limits, and if the response time crosses those limits, you’ll also get an email.  What’s also nice is that when the site goes back up, you’ll get another email letting you know everything is up and running. What’s even more impressive is that this service is free.

Not only does Site24x7.com monitor for down time, they can also notify you if a page is taking a while to load, or if there are content errors, etc. While we have it check Cybernet every 5 minutes, you can change the interval to a time that suites your needs .  You can view history data for the past 7 days all the way on up to the past 30 days.  They display convenient graphs that show you the availability and response time history.  The picture above shows the history data for the last 30 days.  It shows that on November 23, 2006, we were down for 9 minutes and 0 seconds.  This happened to be when we manually took the site down to switch over to the new design. Had we not manually taken the site down, it would have been nice to know that there was a problem with our server.

Because it’s a free service, they only allow one account per email address to monitor.  If you have scheduled maintenance time, you can disable the service, and then re-enable the service once your maintenance is completed. I noticed in their FAQ section that they mention the service is free during beta, and once out of beta, they will have both a paid and a free version.

Another option that we haven’t spent much time exploring with is mon.itor.us which is also in beta.  They have over 12,000 sites that they currently monitor, and it’s another free service. One of the major differences that I noticed is that they have widgets that you can get to see the monitoring results for your Personal Google, Yahoo!, Netvibes, or Microsoft Live homepages. They offer a demo so that you can learn all about the service. If anything, you could use two services and see how they compare.