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?"
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.
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.
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.