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Top Website Monitoring Services

Monitoring services provide uptime alerts and tracks your site's response time.

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When your website is your storefront, it's critical that it is up and accessible at all times. Afterall, being open 24/7/365 is one advantage of doing business online. If your web host provides slow or spotty service, potential customers won't stick it out just to buy from you -- they'll be visiting another website within seconds.

What we're looking for in a Web monitoring service:

  1. 1 minute check intervals
  2. global network of test servers
  3. response time monitoring
  4. historical data
  5. optional public reports
  6. SMS text message and email alerts of outages
  7. reliability in monitoring and alerting
  8. reasonably priced
  9. string verification

1. Pingdom

Good middle-of-the-road monitoring service. It's a pay-service, but much cheaper than Alertra.

Monthly price for 5 website checks: $10

You can configure the checks to have intervals as low as 1 minute with no extra cost. The basic service provides up to 20 SMS text messages, and you have to pre-purchase additional credits.

Pros:

  • reasonably priced
  • historical data
  • 1 minute checks
  • 20 SMS text messages included in basic plan
  • optional public reports
  • string verification

Cons:

  • ... not free?

Pingdom is a great service at a really good price. Their basic plan includes up to 5 websites, SMS text alerts, historical data, and 1 minute checks. For 90% of webmasters out there, Pingdom offers the closest thing to an ideal monitoring service package.

2. Alertra

By far the best-in-class and priced that way. I've used Alertra for years and they have always -- always -- been reliable in sending me a text message when there is a website outage. But they're very pricey.

Monthly price for 1 website check at various intervals:

  • 1 minute: $144
  • 5 minutes: $32
  • 10 minutes: $17

I use Alertra as a backup to the other services below for mission critical monitoring. I pay for 5 minute checks from Alertra in addition to 1 minute checks using other (cheaper) services.

3. Montastic

Pricing: FREE forever

Montastic only has one service level, and no confusing options. It's free forever, monitors up to 100 websites for you, and is very easy to use. It's great for casual monitoring, but insufficient for mission critical work.

Pros:

  • FREE forever
  • dead easy to use

Cons:

  • no SMS text alerts
  • limited to 10 minute check intervals
  • no historical data

What's the catch? Why is it free? Montastic is operated by the same people who sell Mojo Helpdesk -- a hosted trouble ticket management system.

4. Mon.itor.us

Cost: FREE

Mon.itor.us is supported by advertising. They also charge a fee for premium features like SMS text alerts.

Mon.itor.us is a good solution for low budget monitoring, but not for mission critical monitoring.

Pros:

  • FREE forever
  • historical graphs
  • also monitors response time

Cons:

  • ad supported (there are ads all over the place)

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