Grow your CSS skills. Land your dream job.

Launch: Are My Sites Up?

Published by Chris Coyier

Hey folks! Me and Richard have just launched a new site I think many of you will find useful. It's called Are My Sites Up? - I bet you can guess what it does =)

Monitor ALL your sites

The idea is that many of us are responsible for maintaining a number of websites. Business, personal, or otherwise. We simply don't have the time to go visiting every one of them every day, let alone every few minutes. So what if one of them goes down? There are all kinds of reasons it could happen, and you'd never know! That is, until you get a phone call from an angry customer or client. Wouldn't you rather say "Yep! I saw that, I'm working to resolve the issue now" rather than "Oh, really?"

It's FREE

There are a couple of other services out there that do website monitoring. In my experience they are either complicated, cost money, or both. In one other case, it is simple and free, but it is too simple, and would make managing a number of sites kind of a pain. Are My Sites Up? is totally free and easy to use.

It WORKS

We've been using the system for a little while now and it's been working like a charm. We let in some early testers (thanks guys!) earlier this week and it's been working well for them too. There is an about page with some information as to how it works.

There are three ways you can keep tabs on your site. First of all you can log in and check. The home screen shows all of your sites and an obvious green or red icon to show if they are up or down. Next, you will be notified by email immediately if one of your sites goes down (you can turn this off if you want). Lastly, you can opt to receive SMS text messages to your cell phone if one of your sites goes down.

If any of you are Twitter folks, Twitter integration is also coming VERY soon =)

I think you owe it to your websites to keep and eye on them with this. For freelancers and agencies, this is a value-add to your services. You can confidently tell customers that you will watch their websites for them so you can react quickly to any downtime. Makes everyone just feel a little safer.

 

Sign Up!

 

If anyone wants to be awesome and help support this, you could pick up an advertising spot on the cheap. Both Richard and me spent a lot of our own time building this and I even had to buy some new special hosting just for it that wasn't exactly cheap.

Comments

  1. V1
    Permalink to comment#

    Congrats on launch. 15 min check interval is a bit to long for my liking. (pingdom allows me to have 1 min check ups) But good luck with the project, seems interesting.

  2. This is a cool idea, will your server be able to handle all of those pings?

  3. Brilliant!

  4. Very cool thank you.

  5. Permalink to comment#

    wow, this is great. 15 minutes is a little long, but ok for the beginning. would it be possible to make sms notifications possible for swiss cell providers? and from what ip are the sites being pinged?

    ps: the site is a little slow… but maybe it’s just because everyone’s looking at it right now ;)

  6. Permalink to comment#

    Looks like a good app, ill be sure to sign up

  7. Permalink to comment#

    Great idea, will come very handy.
    Thanks Chris

  8. Rob
    Permalink to comment#

    “Me and Richard…”? Butchering the grammar some more, eh?

  9. Daniel Howells
    Permalink to comment#

    Nice site. My phone number in the format 07xxxxxxxxx (UK Orange) doesn’t seem to be accepted though when the settings are saved; it trims the last digit off.

  10. work on the usability (mouse focusing on adding new sites, see basecamp) and add something like “we let you know if they fall” near the title because i was a little confused of what it does (i didn’t think it would notify me until i signed up and had a look around)

  11. Permalink to comment#

    Nice app! I would love a way to be able to add more than one site at a time though.

  12. Nice idea, I think I will use it when i have important sites.

  13. Great idea! Will use this for work!

  14. Very simple — I like it.

    I have an important feature request. I think it would be critical to add a “mass domain addition” functionality that would take a tab-delimited or CSV file containing a huge list of names and domains so that a person doesn’t need to go through adding a bunch of sites individually. The file would look like:

    “David Walsh Blog”,”http://davidwalsh.name”
    “Script & Style”,”http://scriptandstyle.com”

  15. Permalink to comment#

    Haha http://aremysitesup.com/ is… down

  16. ravensjeff
    Permalink to comment#

    Nicely done…this is great! I signed up and added my first site. I’ll my others when the traffic dies down a bit. Very much appreciate your efforts!!!

  17. Thanks Chris!

    I love the simplicity of it.

  18. mila_frerichs
    Permalink to comment#

    sounds great the new site…signed up and will wait till tomorrow for testing…way to much traffic..

  19. Permalink to comment#

    Looks like a great idea. I am sure it will be expanded to be even greater in the future!

    -Brenelz

  20. crypta
    Permalink to comment#

    Great site, but there is no unicode on a list of sites, I know that the site is still new.. but to let you know

  21. Matthew Levis
    Permalink to comment#

    The URL you have given seems broken, I added the ‘www.’ and all works now. Although I cannot log in once I’ve signed up! Looks good, though.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Matthew, there is an email confirmation step required before you can log into the site.

      Check your spam/junk folders; that’s where mine went during the initial beta testing.

  22. Blue
    Permalink to comment#

    I keep getting a login box popup, asking my HTTP username and password.

    Then I am brought to a page that says, HTTP Basic: Access Denied.

  23. Permalink to comment#

    Everyone re-tweet the news!

  24. shin okada
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks. I signed up. But I will wait to use it until filter function is coming.

  25. Permalink to comment#

    Absolute GENIUS! I love it! Signing up right now, will also forward to colleagues and friends. I hate that “why didn’t I think of that” moment!

  26. Great concept and site! I like how inspired it is by Tumblr.

    One question though… what’s the point of the border around the site? It seems as though you’re adding markup for the sake of styling and I can’t quite see the point of… all you’re doing is styling the browser (rather than the website itself).

    I’m just interested in understanding what you’re trying to do… because websites aren’t quite like books/magazines. As designers we don’t own the browser. Yet! ;)

  27. I’ve learned that nothing is free…..whats the catch? ;)

    • There are ads in the sidebar, see? No catch. No idea what the future holds, maybe some kind of premium version, but what you sign up for today will always be free.

  28. Permalink to comment#

    Feature request: RSS Feed?

  29. Nice work, Chris! Thank you for this helpful tool.

  30. nice work chris! you have a lot of fantastic ideas for sites :-)

  31. Permalink to comment#

    Sounds very handy, maybe a “quick tour” would be nice, via video or slide images, to get an overview of the app. Or even sreenshots just like in your article here.

  32. Steven Gardner
    Permalink to comment#

    great job Chris and richard,

    how about a widget for future releases.
    Well done on the product so far. signed up and have my sites listed.

    brilliant.

  33. I like it. It’s sort of “Pingdom Light” :)

  34. Ivan
    Permalink to comment#

    No IDN support even in punycode version. Still a good service.

  35. This is a fantastic idea! Thanks for implementing and sharing such a useful tool.

  36. very useful app!

    waiting for buysellads.com to grant me access to my credentials and you can add me to list of users who will support this!

    keep the good stuff coming!

    great work!

    mb

  37. Permalink to comment#

    I signed up about an hour ago but never got the activation email. I checked my spam folder and it wasn’t there. Tried to sign up a second time and was told my email address was already taken.

    • Some people are reporting just not getting that email. It should have the subject line [Are My Sites Up?] Please activate your new account – if you can’t find it, email me at chriscoyier@gmail.com and we can manually activate you.

  38. Excellent Job Chris, i used to have a Pingdom account to monitor my sites, but i guess no need to use it anymore.
    My question is will you still be able to send SMS to different providers outside of your current list?

    Thanks for creating such a useful idea.

    • Sure, just save your full phone number in there and email me with the name of your provider and we’ll see if we can get it working.

  39. Permalink to comment#

    Just signed up. Thanks Chris and Richard for such a brilliant app. Keep up the good work.

  40. Japh
    Permalink to comment#

    This is a great project, and kudos to you for pulling it off so well. I’ve signed up for my personal projects, and will sign up at work on Monday too :)

    I agree with John, looking forward to RSS feeds ;)

  41. Wow, great service. Signed up and tracking my sites now! Thanks for this. From a fellow Baton Rouge, LA native, tell Richard thanks for me!

  42. Michael
    Permalink to comment#
  43. mangesh
    Permalink to comment#

    simplicity and yet good but one question is there sms thing for us only of any country

  44. I’ve been looking for an app that does this (for free) for a long time. Congratulations on such an easy to use interface. It’s pure simplicity, and I love it. Twitter integration would be cool.

  45. Hey Chris,

    Just signed up and added two of my sites, seems to be working like a charm! (even though the design isn’t the most appealing =) )

    Great work and thanks!

  46. Permalink to comment#

    Just signed up, really easy to use. Keep up the good work.

  47. Permalink to comment#

    Nice work. This looks like a good example of “underdoing your competition.” I have a few thoughts about your signup process. I think it can be improved to polish the user experience.

  48. This sounds like a good idea. The space is pretty crowded with really, really poor implementations of this idea. I’m amazed and what is out there and how bad it is. Everything from the GUI to the notification is just crap.

    The one thing I would like to have is a simple history of the site’s up-time. I know you are trying to keep it quick and easy, but a stupid little chart would go a long way toward getting me to use AreMySitesUp.

  49. Permalink to comment#

    It’s a great idea. I just signed up and tested it, found out that one of my sites has been inactive and I wasn’t even aware of that.

  50. vasu
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris,

    Awesome site.

    Can you share with us what technology/framework/platform is this built on ? any insight into that would be helpful…

    Keep up the good work !

    Thanks,
    VASU.

  51. Brainfestation
    Permalink to comment#

    Brilliant!!! I’ve needed something like this for a long time! Great job!

  52. Permalink to comment#

    Thank you for this mates!

    until you get a phone call from an
    angry customer or client. Wouldn’t you
    rather say “Yep! I saw that, I’m
    working to resolve the issue now”
    rather than “Oh, really?”

    Totally! It happened to me a few times this year… And I hated this! Now my servers can hardly try to screw me, they won’t.

    I’m wondering which technology did you use to create this app. RoR (seems like it), Php? How much time did it take to “get it real”?

    Anyways, great job, I hope you’ll get your money back ;°)

    • It’s Ruby on Rails. We spend a few weeks building and a few weeks user testing and simplifying.

    • Permalink to comment#

      I guessed right!

      I use AMSU since four days, and I admit I have better sleep now. Today I know exactly when my server is down and, even if it is down for a few minutes only, that’s always good to know – I mean, in reply to ikthius (even if his suggestions are interesting) I prefer to receive 5-6 mails a day than never. By the way, the fact I receive such an amount of emails is it normal? (Should I change my hosting plan??)

  53. skusza
    Permalink to comment#

    GREAT !

  54. what sms gateway did you use to send out the text messages? is it free or a service you pay for?

  55. Permalink to comment#

    Excellent! Nice simple app, and works really well. Signed up here.
    Be neat to have a mobile/iPhone version though for when you’re out and about. Many times have I had clients complaining that their site is down when it’s an issue on their end.

  56. This is a great app, I have signed up, and it has let me know when my blog was down and back up again, I am likeing it so far, congratulations :)

  57. shin okada
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank. I tried it and added some websites. But I have click refresh a couple of times in order to show a page after clicking any button. I tried IE and FF, but the results are the same. Is it only me or a bug?

  58. Oxide
    Permalink to comment#

    Looks very good, just tested it out a bit.

    It doesn’t seem to like google.com though? (Think’s it is down)

  59. Congratulations Chris.

  60. Edis
    Permalink to comment#

    Great idea, very simple, also usefull, i tried it out and it went well.Very glad i did.
    Will be using it in future for sure.ž
    Keep it up with the great stuff.

    Need i say, Chris, that i like the site design, especially the sidebar.
    I just have to design myself a sidebar like that these days, maybe bothsided.

    Again,congratulations Chris and Team.

  61. Permalink to comment#

    not sure if this is working correctly……

    I have had a few emails about sites being down, even if I get the email and I check immediately, the site is fine.

    why is this?

    if you are checking every 15 mins, could you not store then chack again before email?
    e.g. check A: site down – no email
    check B: site down – email.
    check C: site down – email already sent, no need for another one.
    check D: site up – email congrats

    checking then sending an email immediately is going to cause lots of mail on your part, and when people check and its up, people may get disheartened with the service.

    currently one of my sites are down according to the system, but when I check it is absolutely fine.

    • Léo Renaud-Allaire
      Permalink to comment#

      Same here, site down according to the system, but works perfectly when I check.

  62. And I just saved an hour or so of my life. Thanks! Would love you guys forever if this was made into a Google Gadget for iGoogle.

  63. This is great! I love the SMS feature as well! Great Work!

  64. Jillian
    Permalink to comment#

    Oh wow! I just got a nice little email telling me that one of my sites is down. I manage a sorority website which is hosted on the college’s server, and it is ALWAYS going down… their server admin is going to love me and my nagging emails :)

  65. Thanks to this handy little tool, I was notified when my site went down. Thank you.

  66. Permalink to comment#

    Great idea, this is going to be very useful.

  67. Permalink to comment#

    Gotta love this freebie you’re giving out to your readers. And I really appreciate the fast turnaround on getting my cell provider in the mix! Under an hour and Cricket was working, woot!

This comment thread is closed. If you have important information to share, you can always contact me.

*May or may not contain any actual "CSS" or "Tricks".