Do you really know what is going on with your blog?
The fact of the matter is that sometimes things just go wrong and that is just part of the digital life. But the important thing that every blogger needs to know is if their site is up and running and if not what is wrong.
This is where Uptime Monitoring or Website Monitoring comes into play.
In 2014, we were a sponsor for a WordCamp in Austin. We were also going to the Authority Conference and I had an interview on a major podcast. All of these events were happening right around the same time.
It was critical that my blog looked good and ran smoothly. This was a terrible time for my blog to crash. So can you guess what happened?
Yep, my blog started randomly crashing.
The stress was high and frankly, I couldn't figure out what was happening. The blog had recently switched to one of the highest rated hosting companies, Media Temple and it had a major redesign. All of the plugins were updated.
I was using the best that the digital world had to offer.
People were emailing me and telling me that the site was down. I would go to update a blog post and it would just crash.
Media Temple is an amazing hosting company and I highly highly recommend them. They provide such terrific customer service. At one point, they had a team of their engineers in a conference room brainstorming and working on my site.
In the end, we couldn't figure it out and I changed hosting companies. It was a difficult decision but one that we all agreed on.
As a note of confidence in Media Temple, we are still running several important blogs on Media Temple. This was a weird random incident and I still have complete faith in them as a hosting company.
Fluke, if you ask me.
How do you know if your website is up or not?
This taught me the importance of knowing if your most important digital properties are up and running or not.
Uptime Reboot has a free service that will check your site every 5 minutes. If it is down, it will email you and alert you. It will also email you when your site is back up and tell you how long it was down for and give you a code to help identify the problem.
That is an amazing free service right there.
Here is some of their technical notes on how it works:
How It Works? The Details:
Here are the step-by-step actions of Uptime Robot to understand it better:
- it asks for your websites headers and gets status codes like "200-ok", "404-not found", etc. every 5 minutes (or more depending on the monitor's settings),
- if the status code doesn't indicate a problem, we are good
- if the status code is~400+ and 500+, then the site is not loading
- in order to make sure the site is down, Uptime Robot makes several more checks in the next 30 seconds,
- if the site is still down, it sends an alert.
An example of an email from Uptime Monitor
The monitor ITB (http://iteachblogging.com) is currently DOWN (HTTP 503 - Service Unavailable).
Uptime Robot will alert you when it is back up.
The monitor ITB (http://iteachblogging.com) is back UP (HTTP 200 - OK) (It was down for 9 minutes and 22 seconds).
Have a great day,
Is my site down or is it just me?
Believe it or not, the problem could just be you. There are times when your internet may be acting up or there could even be issues with your IP. So if your blog is not running for you, go check and see if it is down for everyone.
Thankfully, there is a free website that will tell you if your blog is down just for you or if it is down for everyone.
I highly recommend that you sign up for an uptime monitor and then you will know if your blog is up or if it is down. Thankfully, the tools are free to use and easy to use.
If you notice that your blog is going up and down often, make sure and reach out to your hosting company. They should offer tips and advice.
“And please do me a little favor and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their blogs.”