Knowing the uptime and response time of a website is essential for any webmaster. There are quite a number of companies out there that offer a variety of services to monitor your site. The one that I like most is Pingdom. With a free account you can create a regular check of your website and create a long-time profile of both uptime and response time of your website.
Create a free Account and set up your Website
Go to www.pingdom.com and sign up for a free account. After confirming with the link sent to your mailbox you can access it and start setting up one check. For more checks and more sophisticated services like mail or SMS alerts you will need a paid account.
After logging in, go to the dashboard and click on “Add new check”. Just type in the URL of your website, choose the checking period and that’s it. Your check has been set up and will ping your website in the interval you have chosen. Now give Pingdom some time to actually take data. You can then access your profiles under “Reports”. Most useful for most webmasters will be the Uptime Report and the Response Time Report. For both report types you can define the timeframe to display, from daily up to the entire time of data taking.
The Uptime Report
The uptime report will look like this: It will show the uptime of your website as an average of the readings within the specified timeframe. You can use this report to analyse the reliability of your hosting, especially when you want to verify the uptime promise of your hosting company.
The Response Time Report
Apart of the timeframe, the Response Time Report offers another great feature: Filters. By default, Pingdom uses alternating servers to ping your website. These servers are distributed in a variety of locations throughout North America and Europe. By filtering only results of certain servers, you can easily display the data that is most relevant for your and your target audience.
The response time report is fantastic to check out your hosting’s performance over a larger timeframe instead of just running a speed test once. Especially when you are running on a shared server, this will give you valuable information, as the time you are maintaining your site and running these tests might not be the time when most of your customers are using your website. This makes it a no-brainer to check your average response time spread out over a day or a week to decide whether you need to upgrade your hosting plan or not.
Unfortunately, the free account doesn’t offer alerts to let you know when your site is down, so for this you might look for other services. However, to regularly check the performance is still essential. Especially when you reconsider your hosting and need long-term data, the data Pingdom provides is absolutely essential.
Having said that, I would like to know what monitoring services you are using? Is there something even better than Pingdom? What experience did you make when using their service and for which decisions did Pingdom provide the data basis? Leave a comment and let us know!