02 Oct 2019

A few months ago we published a price comparison blog which compared every available website monitoring service on price. In this post, we ignore price completely and provide an in-depth feature comparison between Pro and Free services.

This post is intended to compliment our Plans page by providing a detailed comparison between Pro and Free features...

1) Monitoring Locations

Pro:  6 locations: Oregon, Montreal, London, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Sydney

Free: 1 location: London

global website monitoring locations

Pro Plan Locations

free website monitoring locations

Free Plan Locations

Global Monitoring Explained

The main advantage of monitoring from multiple locations is the elimination of false positive downtimes.

Sometimes, a website appears down (even though it is actually up) because the network is down between the web server and the user that requests the site. This is a false positive downtime.

Pro monitors can be set to double-check all downtimes from servers around the globe ensuring that false positives are prevented.

Pro Advantages

  • Choose monitoring locations
  • No false positive downtimes
  • No false alerts
  • More accurate uptime stats

2) Uptime Stats & Downtime Logs

Pro: 

    Stats: 3 decimal places, 24hrs, 7days, 30days, 90days, 1yrs, 2yrs

    Logs:  all downtimes, start time, end time, duration, http code, explanation

Free:

    Stats: 1 decimal place, 24hrs, 7days, 30days, 60days

    Logs : not available

pro stats and logs

Pro Stats & Logs

free stats

Free Stats

Accuracy & Detail

Global monitoring (see above) means that Pro stats are incredibly accurate and uptime can be shown to 3 decimal places (e.g. 99.999%) while Free uptime stats are shown to 1 decimal place (e.g. 99.9%).

All stats and logs are kept for 2 years on Pro plans and every individual downtime is available, along with the reason for the downtime. This can help when troubleshooting server problems.

Pro Advantages

  • 2 years of stats and logs
  • Uptime stats accurate to 3 decimal places
  • Every individual downtime is logged
  • View the reason for each downtime

3) Alert Settings

Pro: 

    Email: on/off, set alert time, choose email

    SMS:  on/off, set alert time, repeat alerts, choose phone number, rate limit

    Slack: on/off, set alert time, repeat alerts, rate limit

Free:

    Email, SMS, Slack: on/off

pro website monitor settings

Pro Monitor Settings

set SMS rate limit

Pro Rate Limiting of Alerts

free website monitor settings

Free Monitor Settings

Tailor Your Alerts To Your Needs

Pro settings allow alerts to be sent when a site stays down for x minutes. This prevents getting alerts when a site goes down very briefly.

Rate limiting of alerts is available on Pro plans. This is a really useful feature for users who manage multiple websites on the same server - it prevents being bombarded with alerts if the whole sever goes down.

Pro Advantages

  • Flexible monitoring to fit your needs
  • Don't receive alerts for very short downtimes (unless you want to)
  • Limit the number of SMSs and Slack alerts per hour
  • Multiple email addresses and phone numbers in one account

4) Response Time Monitoring

Pro:  logs & graphs: every minute (24hrs), hourly (7days), daily (2yrs)

Free: logs & graphs: every 3-minutes (24hrs), daily (2days)

pro response time graphs

Pro Response Time Graphs

free response time graphs

Free Response Time Graphs

Response Time Monitoring Explained

When Downtime Monkey sends a request to a website, it records the time the site takes to respond.

This means you can tell whether your site is running quickly or slowly.

You can view records of past response time in the form or pretty graphs and you can also see each individual response time.

Pro Advantages

  • Response times logged every minute
  • Hourly average response times
  • Daily average response times for 2 years - see long term patterns

5) Content (Keyword) Monitoring

Pro:  monitor websites for content changes

Free: not available

Pro content monitoring settings

Pro Content Monitoring Settings

Pro content monitoring logs

Pro Content Monitoring Logs

How Content Monitoring Works

You supply a keyword phrase from your website. Downtime Monkey checks the source code of the webpage to make sure that it contains the keyword phrase that you have supplied.

If the site is up but the keyword phrase isn't there - an alert is sent.

Pro Advantages

  • Get alerted if the content of your website changes unexpectedly
  • Catch on-page errors such as database errors
  • Catch hacked websites where the attacker replaces your content with their own
  • Content monitoring logs for 2 years

6) Bulk Manage Monitors

Pro:  bulk add monitors, bulk import from CSV, bulk edit settings, bulk delete

Free: not available

pro bulk add monitors via CSV

Pro Bulk Import Monitors

Pro bulk edit monitor settings

Pro Bulk Edit Monitor Settings

Pro bulk delete monitors

Pro Bulk Delete Monitors

Save Time

Pro users can bulk manage their monitors. This is a great time saver for users who manage a lot of monitors.

Multiple monitors can be added at once either using a comma separated list or importing from a CSV file. All monitor settings can be changed at once with the bulk edit feature.

Pro Advantages

  • Save time when managing multiple monitors
  • Add, edit and delete monitors in bulk

7) Monitoring Frequency

Pro:  every minute

Free: every 3 minutes

Downtime Monkey checks that sites are up by sending an http request to the website and checking the response is correct.

Websites on Pro plans are checked every minute while websites on the Free plan are checked every 3 minutes.

Pro Advantages

  • Downtimes observed faster
  • More accurate uptime stats & logs
  • More frequent response time logging
  • Get alerted quickly when your site goes down

8) Number of Websites

Pro:  flexible plans to monitor from 1 to 1000 websites

Free: up to 60 websites

All Pro plans, no matter how small, have all the Pro features. The price of a Pro plan is dictated by the number of websites you can monitor.

Pro plans are: 1, 10, 30, 50, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 500, 750 and 1000.

Pro Advantages

  • Monitor more than 60 websites
  • Monitor fewer than 60 websites with all the Pro features

9) Free SMS Alerts

Pro:  free SMS credits, reduced price extra SMS credits

Free: not available

Pro users with annual subscriptions receive free SMS credits on sign-up.

Pro1 = 5, Pro10 = 10, Pro30 = 25, Pro50 = 30, Pro100 = 40, Pro150 = 50, Pro200 = 60, Pro300 = 80, Pro400 = 100, Pro500 = 120, Pro750 = 160, Pro1000 = 200.

Pro users can purchase extra credits at reduced prices.

Pro Advantages

  • Free SMS credits for annual subscriptions on sign-up
  • Reduced prices on extra credits
 

09 Sep 2019

The Downtime Monkey payments system looks super simple but behind the scenes it's not trivial...

  There are 12 Pro plans, each in over 130 currencies giving a total of more than 1500 different subscription plans.

  There are options to upgrade or downgrade with pro-rata costs being calculated on the fly as well as options to change payment methods, auto renew and cancel subscriptions.

  There are also one-time payments for 5 different bundles of SMS alerts, again in over 130 currencies with prices calculated in real time using current global exchange rates.

  The system also handles tax laws in different countries, both for payments by individuals and businesses.

This took several months to develop in 2017 and we're proud to say it worked like clockwork. So when we learned that we'd have to redevelop the system to comply with new SCA regulations you can understand that we weren't overcome with enthusiasm...

climbing the code mountain


What Is SCA?

We'll forgive you if this is the first you've heard of SCA - it's largely flown under the radar compared with the hype of, say, GDPR.

SCA is Strong Customer Authentication and it is soon to be required when taking online payments from customers in the EU.

In theory this means that customers will have to provide two of the following: something only they know (e.g. a pin code), something only they possess (e.g. a private key) or something which identifies who they are (e.g. a fingerprint).

In practice (unless you want to reinvent the wheel while simultaneously causing customers extra hassle) it means implementing "frictionless authentication" via 3D secure 2 or a similar auth process.

Why The Change?

The reasoning behind the new regulations is to reduce online fraud and increase payment security. A noble cause.

However, the work required for small businesses is considerable - it took a full two weeks for us to implement changes to our payment system. Being developers, we were lucky enough to be able to make the changes ourselves but for small businesses who need to hire developers costs would run to thousands.

Also, the system before worked well. To prevent fraud we make use of Stripe Radar, which leverages machine learning to prevent fraudulent payments going through. We also give each payment a 'human check' to make sure it looks legitimate. Using these safeguards there have been exactly zero fraudulent payments accepted at Downtime Monkey.

Further, if a fraudulent payment did get through the we'd be forced to pick up the bill and the card used would be refunded.

When Will Regulations Be Introduced?

Regulations were originally due to be introduced on Saturday 14th September, 2019. The plan was that after Saturday, payments from customers' cards that required authentication would be declined unless SCA was provided.

A wise man once said "the only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency" and in this case he's been proved true...

Some last minute backtracking has taken place and enforcement of SCA has now be postponed by many national regulators. All countries that have responded have opted for a delay of up to 18 months - responses are still ongoing and the latest information can be found here.

New Payments System

Despite the announced delays we have gone ahead and updated the main payment pages on Downtime Monkey to be SCA compliant.

Both one-time payments and payments for new subscriptions have been updated.

We haven't yet updated pages for upgrades, downgrades or card changes because our payment processor doesn't have a good solution in place for this yet. We will make sure these are updated by the date of the new deadline (expected March 2021).

Will I Notice The Difference?

Almost entirely no... all Downtime Monkey payment pages look exactly the same as before and if you already have a subscription, payments will continue as normal.

A very small number of EU customers may have their card authenticated using 3D secure in one extra step at checkout although we don't expect to see this happen until March 2021.

We're now happy to be back working on some features that you will actually notice! Watch this space...

 

08 Aug 2019

We've just released another major new feature - global monitoring locations!

We now provide website checks from 6 locations worldwide: Australia, Canada (east), Germany, India, UK and USA (west). Read on to see how it works, why it's useful and how to get started...

global website monitoring locations


How Does Global Monitoring Work?

We monitor all sites from our main server in the UK. A request is sent to the website that is being monitored and if it responds as 'down' then Downtime Monkey checks the site again from servers based in the monitoring locations around the globe.

If these requests also respond as 'down' then we can be sure that the site is down. Downtimes will be logged and alerts will be sent.

If at least one of these requests responds as 'up' then the downtime is overruled and the site is marked as 'up'.

Just one? Yes! Read on to find out why...

Website Down vs Network Down

If a website is actually down at the server then it will respond as 'down' no matter where you try to access it from.

However, sometimes a website appears down (when it is actually up) because the network is down between the server and the location that requests the site. "Ahhhhh - the internet is down!" :)

In this situation the website will appear down from certain locations but up from others. All the 'down' responses are false positives and should be overruled.

No False Alerts & More Accurate Uptime Stats

The major benefit of monitoring from multiple locations around the globe is the prevention of false positive alerts.

With global monitoring you'll only get alerted when it really matters!

Global monitoring also makes your uptime stats more accurate - false positives are ignored in a website's stats and logs.

Setting Up Global Monitoring Locations

1) Login to your Downtime Monkey account and select 'Locations' from the top menu.

2) Under 'Your Locations' check the boxes next to the locations that you wish to monitor from. Then click 'Update Locations'.

global monitoring checklist

That's all... were you expecting more? All your monitors will now be checked from these locations.

Off By Default

Global monitoring locations are off by default.

Some of our customers use IP address whitelisting on their servers and it was deemed important not to add checks from global IP addresses without an active decision from the customer.

IP Addresses of Global Servers

If you use IP address whitelisting on your server and want to add global monitoring simply add the relevant IP addresses from the list below:

13.239.127.181  Australia (Sydney)

52.60.202.11    Canada (Montreal)

3.120.66.176   Germany (Frankfurt)

13.235.107.253  India (Mumbai)

52.26.56.164    USA (Oregon))

Privacy & Your Data

To maximise privacy, no personal information is sent to remote servers.

The only data that is sent to servers outside London UK is the URL of the website that is being monitored and an ID which enables the main server to process the result.

Also, no information is stored on remote servers. The remote servers have no database and simply return the results to the main server.

New to Downtime Monkey? Get started here... you'll be monitoring in under 2 minutes!

 

04 Jul 2019

Ryan Glass, lead developer at Downtime Monkey and director of Big Toe Web Design gives us the recipe for his ideal downtime alert setup...

ingredients for recipe


Back in 2017, you originally developed Downtime Monkey as an in-house tool before making it available to the public. Do you still use it?

Yes! At Big Toe we use it for all our website monitoring.

As well as building sites, we manage the hosting of our client's websites and we monitor these to make sure that they are up and running round the clock.

How important is uptime to your clients?

That depends on the site/client. We maintain a range of sites - from simple static sites for small businesses, to e-commerce sites and more complex web apps.

We have three different 'tiers' of hosting and use a different hosting provider for each 'tier'. I assume that any client who pays for mid-range or high-end hosting considers uptime vital.

Do you use the same monitoring setup for all websites?

No - we set a different alert schedule for each tier:

For sites with budget shared hosting we set email and Slack alerts to be sent if the site stays down for 3 minutes, and SMS alerts if the site remains down for 10 minutes.

For sites using the high-end shared hosting there is a 99.9% uptime guarantee so we set email and Slack alerts to be sent if the site stays down for 2 minutes, and SMS alerts if the site remains down for 5 minutes.

For sites on VPSs and dedicated servers the host boasts 100% uptime although in reality it's a tiny bit short of this so we schedule email, Slack and SMS alerts if the site stays down for 1 minute.

downtime alerts custom setup

Why the longer alert delay for SMS compared to email and Slack?

That's down to lifestyle!

During working hours I'm at my desk most of the time so I'll usually see emails and Slack alerts as they come through. I set these alerts on a short delay so I'll get notified quickly if a site goes down.

However, if I'm in a meeting or at evenings/weekends I'll have emails turned off but I will get text messages. I don't want to be interrupted unless it's really important, hence the longer delay on SMS alerts.

Why do you duplicate email and Slack alerts if you set them to the same schedule?

There are a couple of reasons for this...

First, Slack alerts go to our team channel so if I miss an alert for some reason, say I'm completely off-grid, Jayne should have it covered.

Second, it is a good idea to have duplication when it comes to alerts. Email clients occasionally have problems and the Slack servers have, on rare occasions, gone down. However, the chances of both these things happening at the same time is incredibly low.

What other features do you use in your alert setup?

Rate limiting of alerts is useful for us...

We monitor websites for 30-40 clients and if a server goes down we could have 20 sites go down at once.

For email alerts this isn't a problem but I don't want 20 text messages to come through at the same time!

So I set the SMS rate limit to 3 alerts per hour - if I get 3 messages with sites on the same server going down I can be pretty confident that the server is down. To confirm this I'll log into Downtime Monkey and check the real-time display. Once the problem is fixed I'll usually keep one eye on the real-time display for the rest of the hour.

I also rate limit Slack alerts but not so harshly - the Slack limit is set at 20 alerts per hour.

Anything else alert related?

We use content (keyword) monitoring across the board too. If the content of a site changes unexpectedly I want to know!

The most common cause of this is a database problem. Then the page just shows errors on a white screen.

Another cause of content change is that the site has been hacked and the attacker has replaced the content with their own.

Thankfully, both of these problems are rare but if they do happen, we want to know immediately so all content monitoring alerts are sent instantly.

If you want to try Downtime Monkey for yourself sign up here... you'll be set up in under 2 minutes!

 

07 Jun 2019

We have compared every available website monitoring service by price. A comparison of each service was made by:

1) the price of the cheapest Pro plan

2) the price to monitor 10 websites

3) the price to monitor 100 websites

You can skip straight to the results or read on to see how we ranked the sites...

cheap cherries comparison


Ranking by Cheapest Pro Plan

Sites were ranked according to their cheapest available Pro plan. We haven't included Free plans in the comparison, however here is a feature comparison of Free vs Pro plans which shows the kind of features to expect from a decent Pro plan.

US dollars were used for the comparison. For sites that only accept other currencies, prices were converted by the exchange rate on Google Finance on 5th June 2019.

Where a cheaper price was available by paying yearly, the annual cost divided by 12 was used for comparison.

Price, Features & Quality

This is a price comparison article.

However... it is worth remembering that price is not the only factor to take into account when choosing a website monitoring service (or any service).

Features and quality are also important. We haven't reviewed these here because feature reviews can be very subjective. Since we provide one of the website monitoring services in the comparison it is vital that the results are unbiased. Therefore we chose a measure that was hard to argue with - price.

That being said we did notice that the price of the service seems to be totally uncorrelated to the quality and features provided. Some of the cheapest services provide higher quality than other more expensive competitors. On the flip side, some of the cheap options are very poor indeed!

But we'll let you decide on quality yourselves... here are our website monitoring plans including the full list of features.

Below are the top 10 sites or skip straight to the full list...

cheap website monitoring comparison


Which Monitoring Sites Were Included?

Initially we viewed every website monitoring service available online - there were 158 at the time of writing!

We excluded very expensive services, sites that clearly had problems and any monitoring software that needed installation on your server. This reduced the number of sites considerably - 55 monitoring services made it through to the final results.

Cheap Monitoring Only

Sites with a cheapest plan costing $10/month or more were excluded since they can't be considered low-price.

Free plans were not included because we wanted to compare applications with Pro features. We'll be providing another comparison of free website monitoring very soon.

Also excluded were "Pro" plans that don't provide anything more than the average Free plan. For example, "Pro" plans with monitoring intervals of 5 minutes or alerts only available via email were not included. We've previously written a blog post that shows the kind of features you can expect from a Micro Pro monitoring service.

Sites which don't provide prices on their website or which require the customer to contact them to receive a price weren't included either.

Working Sites Only

We excluded a few sites that clearly have problems: if the site didn't load, the SSL certificate was invalid or Google warned us that it contained malware then we didn't include it.

Also, we didn't include sites that are in Beta testing.

External Monitoring Services Only

This comparison is for external monitoring services, so we didn't include software that requires installation on the customer's server.

Results

The results, with prices shown in US dollars per month and sorted by price, lowest first...

Monitoring Service

 

Cheapest Plan

10 Monitors

100 Monitors

Currencies

1) Downtime Monkey

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.48

10 Monitors: $1.51

100 Monitors: $6.08

Currencies: $, €, £ +120

2) Agent Slug

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.50

10 Monitors: $5.03

100 Monitors: $50.27

Currencies:

3) Monitoring Me

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.54

10 Monitors: $5.40

100 Monitors: $54.00

Currencies: £

4) Updown

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.66

10 Monitors: $6.59

100 Monitors: $65.93

Currencies: €, Ƀ

5) Admin Labs

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.89

10 Monitors: $8.92

100 Monitors: $89.28

Currencies: $

6) Ping My Site

 

Cheapest Plan: $0.99

10 Monitors: $9.90

100 Monitors: $99.00

Currencies: $

7) Monitor2

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.00

10 Monitors: $5.00

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

8) Upmon

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.00

10 Monitors: $10.00

100 Monitors: $100.00

Currencies: $

9) Uptime Pal

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.00

10 Monitors: $10.00

100 Monitors: $100.00

Currencies: $

10) Cloud Radar

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.20

10 Monitors: $12.00

100 Monitors: $120.00

Currencies: $, €

11) Down Notifier

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.25

10 Monitors: $1.25

100 Monitors: $28.05

Currencies: $

12) MonTools

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.25

10 Monitors: $10.71

100 Monitors: $107.00

Currencies: $

13) Server Check

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.25

10 Monitors: $4.00

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

14) Vigil

 

Cheapest Plan: $1.99

10 Monitors: $19.90

100 Monitors: $199.00

Currencies: $

15) Statusoid

 

Cheapest Plan: $2.75

10 Monitors: $14.90

100 Monitors: $136.40

Currencies: $

16) Noty

 

Cheapest Plan: $3.00

10 Monitors: $10.00

100 Monitors: $10.00

Currencies: $

17) Do You Check

 

Cheapest Plan: $3.00

10 Monitors: $20.00

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $, €, £

18) Upski

 

Cheapest Plan: $3.99

10 Monitors: $3.99

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

19) Ping Monit

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.16

10 Monitors: $4.16

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

20) Uptime Robot

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.50

10 Monitors: $4.50

100 Monitors: $7.40

Currencies: $

21) Port Monitor

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.54

10 Monitors: $4.54

100 Monitors: $33.29

Currencies: $

22) API Checker

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.58

10 Monitors: $4.58

100 Monitors: $44.92

Currencies: $

23) Super Monitoring

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.59

10 Monitors: $24.28

100 Monitors: contact

Currencies:

24) Pingoscope

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.95

10 Monitors: $9.95

100 Monitors: $9.95

Currencies: $

25) Got Site Monitor

 

Cheapest Plan: $4.95

10 Monitors: $9.95

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

26) Binary Canary

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.00

10 Monitors: $5.00

100 Monitors: $20.00

Currencies: $

27) R-U-ON

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.00

10 Monitors: $9.99

100 Monitors: $25.00

Currencies: $

28) OpsDash

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.00

10 Monitors: $10.00

100 Monitors: $100.00

Currencies: $

29) WebGazer

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.00

10 Monitors: $15.00

100 Monitors: contact

Currencies: $

30) Oh Dear

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.17

10 Monitors: $20.68

100 Monitors: $103.36

Currencies:

31) AppBeat

 

Cheapest Plan: $5.62

10 Monitors: $5.62

100 Monitors: $56.29

Currencies:

32) Uptime Checker

 

Cheapest Plan: $6.00

10 Monitors: $15.00

100 Monitors: $50.00

Currencies: $

33) Turbo Monitoring

 

Cheapest Plan: $6.69

10 Monitors: $66.38

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies:

34) Server Guard 24

 

Cheapest Plan: $6.90

10 Monitors: $23.90

100 Monitors: $129.90

Currencies: $

35) Observu

 

Cheapest Plan: $6.95

10 Monitors: $14.99

100 Monitors: $169.00

Currencies: $

36) WatchSumo

 

Cheapest Plan: $7.00

10 Monitors: $21.00

100 Monitors: contact

Currencies: $

37) Pingrely

 

Cheapest Plan: $7.08

10 Monitors: $7.08

100 Monitors: $47.92

Currencies: $

38) Pingdom

 

Cheapest Plan: $7.95

10 Monitors: $7.95

100 Monitors: $131.00

Currencies: $ + contact

39) Uptime Doctor

 

Cheapest Plan: $7.95

10 Monitors: $7.95

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies: $

40) Uptime

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.00

10 Monitors: $8.00

100 Monitors: $64.00

Currencies: $

40) Pinometer

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.00

10 Monitors: $8.00

100 Monitors: $64.00

Currencies: $

42) Anturis

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.00

10 Monitors: $8.00

100 Monitors: $76.00

Currencies: $

43) NodePing

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.00

10 Monitors: $15.00

100 Monitors: $15.00

Currencies: $

44) Are My Sites Up

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.00

10 Monitors: $32.00

100 Monitors: $192.00

Currencies: $

45) WebMon

 

Cheapest Plan: $8.33

10 Monitors: $33.33

100 Monitors: $79.17

Currencies: $

46) Ping Stack

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.00

10 Monitors: $9.00

100 Monitors: $49.00

Currencies: $

47) Uptimia

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.00

10 Monitors: $9.00

100 Monitors: $79.00

Currencies: $

48) Site 24x7

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.00

10 Monitors: $9.00

100 Monitors: $89.00

Currencies: $

49) Macro Wave

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.40

10 Monitors: $9.40

100 Monitors: n/a

Currencies:

50) Host Tracker

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.92

10 Monitors: $9.92

100 Monitors: $74.92

Currencies: $

51) Alertra

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.95

10 Monitors: $9.95

100 Monitors: $20.00

Currencies: $

52) Monitor Fox

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.95

10 Monitors: $9.95

100 Monitors: $59.95

Currencies: $

53) Happy Apps

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.95

10 Monitors: $9.95

100 Monitors: $199.95

Currencies: $

54) Let’s Monitor

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.99

10 Monitors: $9.99

100 Monitors: $9.99

Currencies: $

55) Candum

 

Cheapest Plan: $9.99

10 Monitors: $9.99

100 Monitors: $89.99

Currencies: $

 

06 Jun 2019

Update 18 June 2019:

The server upgrade took place today and was successful. There was no downtime throughout the migration which took place between 9am and 2pm UTC and monitoring was unaffected.

For a short period around 1.30pm UTC some functionality of the website (e.g. the ability to set up a new account or new monitors) was disabled.

Everything is now running on the shiny new server which is more secure and faster than ever!

The Downtime Monkey server is due to be upgraded - amongst other things this upgrade will bring the server onto the latest operating system. This update is essential for keeping the Downtime Monkey server secure and reliable in the long-term, and there should be performance improvements too.

The upgrade will take place at approximately 9am (UTC) on Tuesday 18th June. We're aiming for a seamless migration without any interruption to service.

scheduled server maintenance

The IP address of Downtime Monkey will change after the upgrade - the new IP address will be 217.146.95.83

For most users the IP address change won't effect you - no action is required and Downtime Monkey will continue to work as it always has.

However, if you whitelist our IP address on your server it is recommended to add the new IP address to your whitelist before the migration on Tuesday 18th. Once the migration has taken place you can safely remove the old IP address (94.76.195.166) from your whitelist if you wish to do so.

 

22 May 2019

Our Free Plan allows monitoring of up to 60 websites. So why would you want to pay for a Pro Plan if you only need to monitor a few websites?

1) The kick-ass features available only to Pro users - full details in this in-depth feature comparison article.

2) These Micro Pro Plans are so cheap they are almost free! Don't believe us? Check out the prices here or view this in-depth price comparison article.

cheap vs free

Content Monitoring (Pro Only)

If the content (text) of your website changes Downtime Monkey will send you an alert.

Content monitoring helps protect against hacked websites where the website content is replaced but the site technically stays up.

It also catches on-page errors that would otherwise be missed by uptime monitoring. For example, a database error that outputs a blank page with an error message would be missed by uptime monitoring but will be caught by content monitoring.

Custom Alert Times (Pro Only)

Custom alert times allow you to decide when alerts are sent.

For example, you can set alerts to be sent only if a site remains down for 5 minutes.

Options are: instant, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

Records Of Individual Downtimes (Pro Only)

Every downtime that occurs, whether an alert is sent or not, is logged and the record can be viewed.

The downtime record includes: the exact time and date the downtime began and ended, the duration of the downtime, the http response and a brief description of the cause of the downtime.

These details can really help you to find and fix website problems.

Advanced Uptime Stats (Pro Only)

Pro users can view uptime stats with an accuracy of 3 decimal places (e.g. 99.999% uptime) for each monitor for up to 2 years.

Uptime stats are available for 24hrs, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, 1 year and 2 years.

Advanced Response Time Graphs (Pro Only)

Pro users have access to in-depth response time graphs. Graphs are available for:

Individual response times (every minute) for 24 hours.

Hourly average response times for 7 days.

Daily average response times for 2 years.

1 Minute Checks (Pro Only)

Websites are monitored every minute for Pro users, as opposed to every 3 minutes for Free users.

All of the above features are as useful for monitoring 1 website as for monitoring 1000. So if you want premium website monitoring at an astonishingly low price our micro Pro Plans are for you. However, if saving pennies is most important to you then the Free Plan is the best option.

 

09 May 2019

Since the new year we've released a bunch of new features and plans. The total number of Downtime Monkey users has increased by over 50% and the number of websites being monitored has more than doubled.

So we've taken the last few weeks to relax, kick-back and take it easy catch up with some maintenance.

We've reduced memory use of clean-up scripts, automated the addition of free SMS credits upon sign-up and applied a bugfix to our Slack App.

Read on to see the details...

hard hats for work

Automation of Free SMS Credits On Sign-up

All Pro Plans that are purchased yearly come with free SMS credits (e.g. Pro1000 users get 200 free credits and Pro1 users get 5 free credits).

In the spirit of moving fast we sometimes do things that don't scale... and applying free credits was a case in point.

In order to ship our payment system quickly we used to add free SMS credits to a customer's account manually.

We would get notified of a new sign-up and within a few minutes we could add the credits to the account.

However, as things are now scaling-up it makes sense to automate this kind of thing... so we did. People now receive their free SMS credits instantly upon sign-up.

Improvements to Clean-Up Scripts

Downtime Monkey records the response times of monitors every minute. This means that we add a lot of rows to the database - 1440 rows per website per day to be precise!

To stop the database growing to the size of a small galaxy we regularly need to delete the old response times from the database.

This is done by a clean-up script which automatically runs once a day.

However, a few weeks ago the amount of data to delete became too much which meant the script hit its memory limit and stopped running. This wasn't a major problem (memory limits are in place for a reason) and Downtime Monkey continued to function just fine. However, it meant that the database grew to a gazillion rows in a few days.

This was easily fixed - we manually deleted the old response times and re-wrote the clean-up script to be much more efficient with memory.

Slack App Bugfix

One of our new(ish) features is the ability to receive downtime alerts in Slack.

To make the user experience as easy as possible we developed our Slack App so that everything can be managed in Downtime Monkey. You can connect to your Slack account, manage your alert settings and disconnect from your Slack... all on the Downtime Monkey website.

We missed something though: the possibility that someone might delete the Downtime Monkey Slack App directly in Slack while leaving alerts turned on in Downtime Monkey.

Needless to say, this did happen...

The result was that when the user's website went down the Slack alert was prepared as usual but failed to send. No problem so far...

However, the alert remained in a queue and repeat attempts to send it were made every minute.

This wasn't ideal. Lots of errors were logged and the server was loaded unnecessarily.

So we fixed it - now if a Slack alert fails for this reason the alert is deleted from the queue and Slack alerts are turned off for the user.

 

30 Apr 2019

...now live!

UPDATE - 30 April 2019 - Beta testing has been successfully completed and content monitoring is now fully live :)

We've just rolled out another major new feature - website content monitoring. If the content of your website changes unexpectedly, Downtime Monkey will alert you.

website content monitoring - hacked websites


How Content Monitoring Works

A request is sent to the webpage and the source code of the webpage is checked to make sure that it contains a keyword phrase that you have supplied. If the phrase isn't found then the site will be recorded as "down: keywords not found" and alerts will be sent.

This works well as a complement to standard downtime monitoring, catching some website problems that would otherwise be missed...



Catch On-Page Errors

Most of the time when a website goes down the result is an http error. For example, "404 Page Not Found" or "503 Service Unavailable". These errors are caught by Downtime Monkey's downtime monitoring - no problem!

However, sometimes when a site goes down an http error is not produced. Instead the webpage is served with a normal response of "200 OK" and the error is printed on the otherwise blank page.

Database Problems

When a database problem occurs this usually produces an on-page error - an example is when a database is overloaded and the error is shown: "SQL Error: Too many connections[1040]". This is common on busy forums:

website content monitoring - database errors


Memory Limits Exceeded

When a script's memory limits are exceeded this also produces an error on-page - this is common in heavy content management systems such as WordPress: "Fatal error: Allowed memory size of xxxxx bytes exhausted":

website content monitoring - memory limits


These are just a couple of examples from a multitude of possible on-page errors - content monitoring will catch them all!

Catch Hacked Websites

It's a sad state of affairs but attacks on websites are now an everyday occurrence. Attackers regularly take over sites and replace the page content with their own, often malicious, content.

Content monitoring can catch this and send you an alert, so you'll get notified and can restore your website right away.

website content monitoring - hacked


Getting Started With Content Monitoring

It's really easy to set up content monitoring for your site - get started in less than a minute:

1) Login to your Downtime Monkey account (content monitoring is a Pro feature so you'll need to be on a Pro Plan).

2) Add a new monitor (skip this step if you want to add content monitoring to an existing monitor).

3) Go to your monitors, scroll to the monitor of your choice and click the monitor settings icon.

4) Select "On" from the "Keyword monitoring on/off" dropdown menu.

5) In the "Keywords" field, input an exact match phrase from your webpage.

5) Click update monitor - that's all!

Minimising Load To Your Server

One of the aspects that we spent a lot of time on when developing the feature was minimising the load to your server.

Unlike downtime monitoring, content monitoring requires that the webpage content is downloaded each time a check is made. This uses bandwidth and when considering the frequency of the checks it was important to take some steps to minimise this load:

1) Websites are monitored every 3 minutes (as opposed to every minute for downtime monitoring). This reduction in monitoring frequency reduces bandwidth by 1/3.

2) Only the source code (i.e. the text) of the website is downloaded. Images, video and other heavy content is ignored.

3) Where the website server permits, only the first 5KB of the page is accessed. However, not all servers are configured to allow partial page loads but where they do we take advantage of the savings in bandwidth.

4) When the website server doesn't permit partial page loads the page size is limited to a maximum of 50KB. This was a big decision for us as it means that some very heavy webpages won't be able to use this feature. However, we were also aware that we needed to place a limit as some sites have huge pages (over a MB of code) and owners of these sites probably won't want the load on their server to go through the roof. The limit of 50KB corresponds to roughly 50,000 characters of source code and when we surveyed a bunch of websites we found that 96% of sites either used less than this or allowed partial page loads.

Alerts

Alert settings for content monitoring are the same as the settings that are in place for downtime monitoring. If you already have alerts set to email, SMS or Slack then no need to change anything - you'll receive these alerts for both downtime and content monitoring.

Alerts are of the form: "URL is down: keywords don't match" or "URL is up: keywords match" so that you can tell right away that the alert is for content monitoring.

Rate limits that you have set for SMS and Slack alerts also apply to content monitoring - if you have a rate limit set the total number of alerts per hour won't exceed this.

Custom alert delays (e.g. only send alerts if a site is down for 2 minutes) don't apply to content monitoring. Alerts are sent instantly when a content mismatch is found - this is because content mismatches are an indication of a serious problem that usually doesn't self heal, so you'll get notified ASAP.

Content Monitoring Logs

All content monitoring records are logged and can be viewed on a monitor's stats page, along with the start time, end time, duration and explanation for the event.

Content monitoring events aren't included in the overall uptime stats for the site as content monitoring is treated separately from downtime monitoring.

A Short Period Of Beta

This feature is now live and will undergo a short period of Beta testing over the next few weeks.

Beta testing has now been completed successfully - this feature is live in full production.

If you have any questions check out the Content Monitoring FAQ.

Finally, a big thank you to all the people who submitted feature requests for this - you have really helped us to improve Downtime Monkey!