Though downtime is inevitable for all hosts. Surges of traffic can cause a server to go down, hackers and malicious scripts can cause problems too. Your server may go down because of a change of settings, resulting in the server overloading. Whatever the reason, you will want to know when your blog goes offline. Which is why you should consider using a website monitoring service.
Monitoring services are designed to let you know when your website goes offline. One such service is BinaryCanary, a website monitoring service which lets you monitor 5 destinations or sites for free. They also offer premium packages which give you more monitors, update more frequently and send you a text when your blog goes down.
Every BinaryCanary plan comes with a host of features. The plan you should choose depends on your needs.
The 4 plans available are:
- Free Account: 5 Monitors, 15 minute checking frequency
- $5 per month: 10 Monitors, 1 minute checking frequency, 20 SMS included
- $10 per month: 30 Monitors, 1 minute checking frequency, 30 SMS included
- $20 per month: 100 Monitors, 1 minute checking frequency, 100 SMS included
The basic account gives you 5 monitors. This allows you to check a website on 5 different locations. So for example, you could check one that your blog is online at Seattle, Washington and London; this would use up 3 monitor credits. Alternatively, you could use 3 credits to check if 3 individual blogs are online at Washington.
The frequency determines how often they will check if your blog is online. With the free account your blog is checked every 15 minutes but all sites being monitored on premium plans are checked every minute. You will be notified of downtime via email however all premium plans also include a set number of text messages so you can be notified of downtime via your mobile phone.
Additional notification credits can be purchased at any time. Check out their plan comparison page for a more detailed look at the differences between each package.
Notification & Reporting
BinaryCanary offers a huge range of reporting options on every plan to make sure you know how your host is performing. You can be notified if your websites go down, if your email server goes down, your FTP server and much more.
You can be notified via email, SMS and via a phonecall where you will hear a recorded message telling you that your server is down.
You can also be notified if your blog has been hacked. This is a great feature which I haven’t seen on other website monitoring services. They simply check your site for unauthorised changes and then report it to you if it looks like you’ve been hacked.
Thousands of websites are hacked every year so it’s something be aware of. One of my old forums was hacked by a Turkish hacking group 3 or 4 years ago with my home page being replaced with an anti-American message. Obviously they didn’t take the time to read my about page as they would have quickly realised I’m Scottish haha.
BinaryCanary provides some handy reports too which show you the uptime of the site you are monitoring.
The more you develop your blog, the more important it is for it to remain online all the time. So a website monitoring service will let you know when your blog is down wherever you are.
I’m a big fan of services like BinaryCanary as they offer you a great service for free. So if you are looking for a website monitoring service, I recommend giving them a try. If you find the service useful, you can upgrade to a premium plan when necessary. If you don’t, you can simply try another service, so you have nothing to lose.