If you have a website then you may already be aware of the downtime that happens due to various reasons out of your control. Being able to get alerted when these site downtimes happen is one of the crucial factors in getting the website back-up online as soon as possible.
In order to help you monitor the uptime of your website, we will be reviewing a free uptime monitoring service called Uptime Robot in this article.
If you are running a WordPress site, you may already be aware of free monitoring provided by JetPack Monitor. However, if your website is not built with WordPress, or you want more features such as Slack integration then Uptime Robot can be a good free alternative.
With the free plan of Uptime Robot, you can monitor upto 50 website for free and get notified via email, SMS, chat, Twitter etc. when downtime occurs. Let us take a look at different aspects of this uptime monitoring service:
Uptime Robot has a dashboard like interface which allows you to switch between your websites being monitored easily. For each website, you get to see the uptime data which comprises of uptime percentage data in last 24 hrs, last 7 days and last 30 days.
A graph for various response times recorded in the last 24 hours for your website is also presented. Additionally, any downtime event is shown in the log along with the duration of downtime.
While the dashboard design feels a bit dated and cluttered, it presents all relevant data and allows you a quick glance of your website uptime. A no-clutter ‘TV Mode’ is offered which can be used to project live feed of your website’s uptime on large screens in your office.
Uptime Robot offers all the basic uptime checks including HTTP/HTTPS endpoint check, keyword check, Ping check and Port check. You also have the option to get alerted about downtime via e-mail, SMS, web-hook, Twitter, Slack, HipChat etc.
Uptime checks are done via their main monitoring location in Dallas-USA and there are other nodes in other countries/continents to verify down statuses. You can’t opt for a specific location for the checks and are pretty much limited to the default options.
Moreover, if you are looking for in-depth logs of why the downtime happened, it won’t be possible to get that data through Uptime Robot as it only performs an external endpoint check. You will have to rely on your own server’s log to debug the downtime cause.
Nonetheless, UptimeRobot can give you a good starting point by notifying the exact time of downtime along with the failed HTTP status code such as 404, 500, 503 etc.
Another feature that we like is that you can create free public status pages for your websites similar to the one shown below:
If you want to have a custom status page, then Uptime Robot also makes REST API available which can be used to build the same. Take a look at this GitHub repo to see how our team built a custom status page for our websites.
Uptime Robot does a good job in monitoring the websites. In the free plan it offers to check the website every 5 mins. You can upgrade to the pro plan to reduce the time to every 1 minute. As per our experience, the downtime notification is sent within the 5 mins duration on free plan and their e-mail delivery is pretty reliable. We didn’t find any additional burden due to these checks on our site.
The free plan of Uptime Robot provides monitoring of upto 50 websites with an interval of 5 minutes. This is more than enough for bloggers and startups running small number of websites. If you are looking to monitor more websites or want the checks to happen every 1 minute then you can upgrade to the paid plan. The paid upgrade offers many additional features such as SMS notification, 12 month logs, SSL monitoring, advanced notifications etc.
Overall, we are pretty impressed with the features offered by Uptime Robot and feel it to be an essential free service for any blogger or startup looking for monitoring their website’s uptime. Note that we are not affiliated with Uptime Robot in anyway and all opinions expressed here are completely unbiased.
Apart from Uptime Monitor, you can take a look at these other free website analysis tools for getting more information about your own site or any other site.