Every webmaster wants their websites to have 100% uptime. But the truth is that not even Google is able to ensure that. So the next best thing we can hope for is to be informed whenever a website goes down, so that the necessary actions can be initiated to bring it back online. Unfortunately, it is not possible nor viable to constantly monitor your website and check whether it is up or not. Hence we go for uptime monitoring services like Pingdom, Mon.itor.us, BasicState etc. The best uptime monitoring services charge a premium fee for using their service. Fortunately, the monitoring services mentioned above have a cut down version of their premium service available for free. Most of the times the free service will be limited in frequency of check, alert methods, detailed statistics, number of checks etc. In fact, none of the free uptime monitoring services I had used provided free sms alerts directly. They either require us to pay or use our own sms gateway subscription.
Everything I have mentioned so far might be known to you already. So why put a false title? Well, I am not finished yet. Yes, you can get a free every minute uptime check with free sms notification when your website is down, depending on your location and mobile service provider.
Pingdom is one of the best uptime monitoring services available. I had been their premium subscriber till last month. When my subscription period was about to end, I started looking for an alternative, since I felt I was not using my subscription fully. I was using only one check, and a premium account allowed up to 5 checks. Most of the free service I checked were limited in frequency of checks (max being every 5 mins). Finally I came across Pingdom’s twitter account and found that they were offering free accounts with one every min check. There was also 20 free sms credits available with the account. What happens once that is over? Their alert methods also includes sending direct messages to your Twitter account. Now twitter allows sms updates for tweets from people you follow. By setting up Direct Message alert in Pingdom and following PingdomAlert on Twitter with sms alerts turned on, you can get unlimited free sms alerts when your website is down.
When you are depending on two services, it is possible that problem with any of providers can cause delay’s and reduce the overall effectiveness of the system. Even if Pingdom sends the alert within a minite, there is no guarantee that twitter will send the sms alert on time. If you have a critical application, do not rely on such an unreliable setup and go for a premium subscription. When I checked, I got sms notifications within 1 min of receiving a Direct Message. Also, sms check is not much important for me since I have my mailbox open most of the time, and usually detect downtimes within 5 mins from email alerts. Your case might be different, so use at your own risk.