Top 10 Website Monitoring Tools
There is nothing worse then your website going down and you hearing about it from someone else. As a CDN provider, we take downtime very seriously. Downtime could affect your company or brand in a lot of different ways such as lost sales, a bad first impression for new customers, customer loyalty, and your overall reputation. Today we want to dive into the top 15 website monitoring tools to help you stay on top of your website's uptime and ensure that your site is online and running 24/7 without a hitch.
I think that all services will have downtime. No matter how much you prepare, have redundant systems, or audit, there will periodically be a black swan event that is completely unlike whatever you've experienced before. It even happens to Google!"
When it comes to downtime, every second counts. Back in March 2016, Amazon.com went down for about 20 minutes. Internet Retailer estimates that a 20-minute outage cost Amazon about $3.75 million. Again, these are all estimates, but you can see how things begin to quickly add up. Especially when it pertains to large ecommerce sites. As a CDN provider we have it easier because we can route your requests to another edge server if one goes down. But with your origin server, most of the time you have a single point of failure. Below are just a few ways website downtime could affect you:
According to research from IDC, among the Fortune 1000 companies, the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion. Another survey, from Siemens Building Technologies, shows that 33% of organizations don't even know the impact of one day's downtime on their business.
Here is a simple formula you can use to calculate how much profit you might lose if your website goes down:
Yearly Revenue / Business Hours x Website Impact to Sales %
And if you are solely an online retailer or ecommerce site, that impact % could very well be close to 100%. Which means every second counts!
2. Brand reputation
What is the very first thing people do today when a website is down? They go straight to Twitter and Facebook to voice their frustrations. This can be very bad for brand reputation, as you don't want potential new customers seeing this activity on social media. Below is an example of just a few of thousands that headed to social media when Amazon went down earlier this year.
Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen: Amazon is down.— Dan Goodin (@dangoodin001) March 10, 2016
Social media can be a very effective tool for companies and brands today, but it also forces you to be very transparent. There isn't anywhere to hide on the internet.
3. Dissatisfied customers
Once you have customers, you don't want to lose them! If your website goes down, especially for SaaS companies with application logins, this can be a disaster. Just like with web performance, customer's only have so much patience before they might think about switching to another service. For ecommerce sites, a customer might simply switch to your competitor and do their shopping there instead. So it is very important to maintain good uptime and keep your current customers happy.
4. First impression for new customers
Brian Tracy, a worldwide bestselling author, sums it up quite nicely:
A first impression says everything. Perhaps the simplest example of the application of this rule, that everything counts, involves your image or appearance. You've heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. The fact is that when you first meet a person, he makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds..."
You can almost guarantee that if a new customer is looking to purchase what you are selling and your website is down, they will never return. So make a good first impression! And while your at it, ensure your website loads fast. Check out our 18 tips on website performance optimization.
List of website monitoring tools
Now that you have a few reasons why downtime is bad for your business and or brand, check out these 15 website monitoring tools below. Each of them offers their own unique features, notifications, and different ways to report your uptime. These are in no particular order and include both free and paid tools.
1. updown [paid]
updown is an awesome online service that checks your website's status by periodically sending an HTTP HEAD request to the URL of your choice. It then notifies you by email or SMS when your website is not responding correctly. updown was created by Adrien Jarthon, a software engineer, who was frustrated with not being able to find a really simple, cheap, and good looking service.
It currently features 8 monitoring nodes:
- Los Angeles, United States -
- Miami, United States -
- Montreal, Canada -
- Roubaix, France -
- Frankfurt, Germany -
- Singapore, Singapore -
- Tokyo, Japan -
- Sydney, Australia -
Additional features include OAuth access, fast checks down to 30 seconds, Slack integration, reporting, double-checks, and SSL testing. Make sure to also check out their REST and Push APIs. The pricing is very affordable and is based on number of websites and frequency of checks. For example, if you wanted to check 10 websites every 1 minute it would cost around $6/month.
After a month and a half of trying out updown.io we love it. Bought some credits!
- Ben Word, Roots
2. Uptime [paid]
Uptime is another great website monitoring tool that focuses on reliability and easy setup. They are used by clients such as AARP, IBM, Cisco, and Kraft. Uptime also includes additional features such as transaction monitoring, page speed analysis & monitoring, virus & malware scanning, and real user monitoring (RUM).
Uptime monitors your website's availability and performance at one-minute intervals across 6 continents. You can get notified immediately by SMS, phone call, email or custom integrations if your website goes down. They support the following protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, Ping, SSH, TCP, UDP, DNS, SMTP, POP, and IMAP. They don't have a free plan, pricing starts at $8/month which includes 20 checks, US test locations, 4 months of history, and much more.
3. Uptime Robot [free + paid]
Uptime Robot is also another very popular website monitoring tool. It is used by Expedia, Nginx, Fandango and many others. They have been around since 2010 and are know for providing a great service when it comes to uptime monitoring.
Uptime Robot reatures
Uptime Robot features 12 different monitoring locations in Germany, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Singapore, Ireland, and the United States. It monitors your website every 5 minutes and lets you know if your sites are down based on the response from your websites headers.
They have a very generous free plan which includes 50 monitors on 5 minute intervals and 2 months of logs. Their paid plans start at $5.50/month which allow advanced notifications, 1 minute monitoring intervals, and SMS credits.
4. Pingdom [paid]
Pingdom, which you are probably already familiar with, is probably used the most out of all the different website monitoring tools on the market. Some of their clients include Apple, Pinterest, HP, Amazon, Google, and Dell. Pingdom is known to be very reliable and has a long history of providing uptime notifications to clients around the globe.
Pingdom features a network of 60+ monitoring locations in which your website uptime is checked from. They also double check to filter out false alerts and test your website every minute. Alerts are available via email or SMS. They offer a unique approach as they also offer page speed monitoring. So not only can you monitor uptime, but you can also monitor if something suddenly brings your website to a crawl. They also provide a public status page so you can show off your results.
They don't have a free plan, but the pricing starts at a reasonable $14.95/month which gives you 10 checks at 1 minute intervals. And remember, Pingdom offers you additional features that some other uptime monitoring tools don't, so you might want to factor that into your decision.
5. StatusCake [free + paid]
StatusCake is a very accurate global website monitoring tool used by thousands of customers. Some of their clients include Netflix, Go Daddy, DuckDuckGo, Google, EA, and NASA. They pride themselves in having no false positives and provide a lot more than just another uptime monitoring tool. They also have a lot of integrations for notifications, with tools such as Slack, Zapier, PagerDuty, and more.
StatusCake features 60+ different monitoring locations around the globe. One unique thing about them is all their plans include unlimited monitors and unlimited alerts. Their premium plans include additional advanced features such as SSL monitoring, virus checking, domain expiration monitoring, page speed monitoring, browser testing, and even constant second check rates!
They do have a free plan which includes unlimited monitors, unlimited alerts, and a 5 minute check rate. Paid plans start out at 24.49/month which include 8 test locations, 1 minute check rates, and much more.
6. New Relic [free + paid]
New Relic is very well known in the performance and developer community for providing a lot of different features and has been around since 2008. New Relic gives you deep performance analytics for every part of your software environment. You can easily view and analyze massive amounts of data, and gain actionable insights in real time. They do provide uptime alerts and availability reporting as part of the Synthetics product.
New Relic features
The New Relic Synthetics product allows you to use a ping monitor as well as a simple browser emulation to test from 14 different locations around the globe, including the United States, Brazil, Europe, Australia, and Asia. And you set checks down to 1 minute intervals.
Besides uptime or availability monitoring Synthetics also includes API testing, chrome-based scripts, waterfall analysis of page assets, and alerts via PagerDuty, Slack, etc. Pricing starts at $69/month, which includes 10k advanced checks. New Relic also has a free server monitoring service.
7. Monitis [free + paid]
Monitis is an all-in-one monitoring platform that has been around 2006. It is used by clients such as Visa, Puma, Siemens, and 1&1. They offer website, network, cloud, server, application, and custom monitoring services, all under one dashboard.
Monitis features 30+ monitoring locations around the globe to monitor your website's uptime. They offer 1 minute interval checks and 2 years of a historical archive. You can use multiple protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, PING, DNS, TCP, UDP, ICMP, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. You get instant failure alerts via email or SMS and detailed level reporting.
They have a small free plan. Paid plans are based on the number of uptime monitors and monitoring locations that you choose. For example, 5 monitors tested from 3 different locations would cost around $6/month.
8. StatusOK [free open source]
StatusOK currently features notifications via Slack, SMTP email, Mailgun, and HTTP EndPoint. And of course being that it is on GitHub, you can also add support yourself for other clients. You can save data to InfluxDB and view response times over a period of time as above using Grafana. Because it is self-hosted you won't have multiple locations to test from, but you could easily fire up a cheap DigitalOcean, Linode, or Vultr VPS and run this on it, separate from your current web stack.
9. Uptrends [paid]
Uptrends offers both website monitoring and server monitoring. They have been around since 2007 and have worked with clients such as DHL, eBay, PBS, Schiesser, and Episerver. If you want a beautiful looking website monitoring tool, definitely give this one a look! Their dashboard UI is amazing.
Uptrends features over 150 website monitoring locations around the globe. You can choose between 1-60 minute interval checks. They have additional features such as SSL certificate monitoring and real browser monitoring which include things like waterfall reports, mobile website monitoring, transaction screenshots, and third party content monitoring.
They don't have a free plan. Paid plans start out at $13.35/month which includes 10 monitors, 60 SMS alerts, a public status page, and 1 year of history.
10. Site24x7 [free + paid]
Out of all the website monitoring tools we have mentioned, Site24x7 is one of the oldest ones, operating since around 2006. They are now owned by Zoho and used by clients such as Groupon, Getty Images, Xerox, and Harley-Davidson. They offer website monitoring, server monitoring, and application monitoring.
Site24x7 features over 50 monitoring locations around the globe you can choose from. They support numerous protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, REST API, DNS, Ping, TCP, FTP, POP, IMAP, and SMTP. They have integrations with popular services like Pager Duty and Zapier for notifications. 1 minute interval checks are done on all their plans and include false alert protection by rechecking from 3 additional locations.
Site24x7 does have a free plan which includes monitoring 5 websites and 10 alerts per month. Paid plans start at $9/month which include monitoring 10 websites, 8 test locations, and 50 alert credits.
Additional website monitoring tools
We can't include every website monitoring tool out there, but here are some additional ones that also deserve a mention that you can check out.
- Monitor your website uptime with Google Scripts and Google Docs for free.
And of course you can't forget Down for Everyone or Just Me.
Perhaps you want to monitor your CDN provider as well as your web host? Any of the tools and services above can easily be used as a CDN monitoring tool. Remember though, a content delivery network (CDN) is all about reliability. For example, with KeyCDN, if a POP or edge server happens to go down, we automatically route the additional requests to the next nearest POP. This ensures that your content delivery never stops. Most CDN providers all have fail-overs in place in case of a catastrophe.
Monitoring your uptime is very important, so a tool like one of the ones above can come in very handy! The last thing you want to happen is to wake up one morning to discover your website offline and you didn't know about it. That could mean a loss in sales and customers. There are hundreds of different website monitoring tools out there you can try. We tried to list some of the most popular ones and those that we have used in our own testing. Hopefully, this saves you some time and perhaps you even discovered a new one you didn't know about.
Did we miss any really important ones? If so, feel free to comment below.