As part of your website maintenance plan monitoring whether your site is up (working) should be an ongoing task. One way to conduct website monitoring is to use a piece of software on your own computer (opposed to using a service).
Website Monitoring with SiteUp
SiteUp is a freeware website availability monitoring program. Just install the program, allow it to be added to the list of programs which load when your computer is started and you are set.
SiteUp monitors your web sites and warns you when any become unreachable (e.g. when a server crashes). Because it checks page content it can even detect when the server is OK, but a site or page is unavailable.
There is no limit to the number of sites that can be monitored, including secure sites, and the checking frequency can be anywhere between once a minute and once a day. When a site goes down the system tray icon will change to an animated alarm and optionally you are displayed a warning message. When a site becomes available again you can view a log to determine how long the site has been down. Free!
Setting Up SiteUp to Monitor Your Site(s)
Setting up SiteUp is pretty easy. When you open the program, a monitoring of Google.com is already there by default. This program monitors your site based on being able to read certain text on the site. If your site is not accessible, the text cannot be read therefore SiteUp logs the outage and notifies you in the System tray (those icons over on the right of your taskbar). Keep in mind, your computer has to be on if you want to monitor your sites. i.e. If you turn the computer off when not in use, then there is no access to the internet for the program to do it’s job.
On to setting up SiteUp:
- Start the program (if not started already) by double clicking the icon it installed on your desktop.
Activates it in your System tray.
- Double left click the SiteUp icon in your System tray to open the program.
Opens showing you a list of sites you have set up already.
- Left click the Add Site button on the right.
Opens the Edit Site screen.
- Enter the site information
- The name of the site you are going to monitor.
- The url (website address) of the site.
- The text to monitor.
Pick a piece of text that is not going to change. e.g. If you have a blog, a phrase in a post would not be a good choice because the post isn’t always going to be on the home page if that is the url you chose to monitor.
Left click the Check site for text button on the right. If the site is reachable and you typed the text properly you will get a message confirming the site was reachable.
- Left click the Ok button at the bottom of the screen and you are done!
Setting the Monitoring in SiteUp
Once you have setup the site(s) you wish to monitor you are taken back to the first screen. Here is where you can adjust the default settings.
- Check site status is the first item in the Monitoring Options section. The default is to check the sites every 10 mins.
Use the up and down arrows to the right of the box to adjust the frequencey with which to check the sites.
- Check unavailable sites is set to 3 times by default.
Adjust how many times to check a down site using the up and down arrows on the right of the box.
- When a site is down you get a warning message by default.
Left clicking the arrow on the right of the default message choice gives you the options of seeing a balloon message or have the SiteUp icon flash in the System tray.
- Under the above 3 monitoring options are checkboxes with futher monitoring options:
- Display a message when an unreachable site becomes available.
- Display the log file when an unreachable site becomes available.
- Automatically start SiteUp with Windows – should be checked
- Always check for an active internet connection.
Check or uncheck the items you wish to use (or not use)
Completing the SiteUp Setup
When you initially setup SiteUp it needs to check the sites in your list. Left click the Check Sites Now button down at the bottom of the screen. All your sites should have a green check mark in front of their names now (if they are up).
The last thing to do is to click the Close and Start Monitoring button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Now that you have SiteUp setup it will run in the background checking your sites. The only time you are going to be reminded you have it running is when there is a problem connecting to the site(s).
There is a log kept so you have a record of downtime. If you notice that the site is down a lot or for extended periods of time then you have a record to present to your web hosting when asking why.
SiteUp is one way to monitor your website’s availability. If your site is down (not working) then your visitors and the search bots can’t see your site. This is a problem. You loose money, visitors and an opportunity for the search bots to index your pages.
Get SiteUp setup today. It’s free!
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