Talking tech since 2003

Pingdom is a freemium web service that allows you to monitor and track your websites uptime.  As all website owners and server administrators know – uptime is extremely important.  The more your site/server is down the more money you are losing.  Not only does it effect possible advertising or sales revenue, it can also harm your search engine rankings.  If your site is unavailable when search engine spiders go to crawl it, it hurts your rank.

The service provides both a free and paid version for their users.  The free version allows you to monitor and check one website, provides 20 SMS messages, and unlimited email alerts.  There are two tiers of paid versions, a Basic version which is $9.95/month and a Business version which is $39.95/month.  The Basic version includes up to five website checks, 20 SMS alerts, unlimited email alerts, and unlimited contacts (people who receive the alerts).  The Business version includes up to 30 website checks, 200 SMS alerts, unlimited email alerts, and unlimited contacts.  On both paid plans you can purchase additional SMS alerts for a cost (Business version has discounted SMS).

The control panel is simple and easy to use – it’s very straight forward.  You can view a summary report as well as more detailed reports.  Pingdom can also be configured to check on your site up to once every minute, therefore, you will be notified as soon as your site goes down.  Additionally, Pingdom can be configured to alert you only after your site was inaccessible after x amount of tries.  This helps eliminates you being alerted for possible routing issues or small glitches which may be out of your control.

The service also offers some of the basic troubleshooting tools for their users such as DNS checks, trace routes, and HTTP requests so if your site were to go down you can help eliminate some of the possibilities as to why.  Whether it be a DNS lookup fail, a routing/network issue, or maybe the server was just being rebooted.  It is also worth pointing the service offers a free iPhone application which brings all of the basic features and functionality of the control panel directly to the iPhone.

Overall, Pingdom is a nice service and I highly recommend any website owner and/or server admin check it out.  It is definitely a worthwhile tool.

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