John Stevens  — 22 Comments

monitoring website performanceYou want to keep an eye on your site performance?

Maybe you want to see if you’re truly getting that 99.99% uptime as your web hosting provider promised?

Or perhaps you’re worried that your site isn’t fast enough?

Well, hold up – we’ve got a solution for you. That’s where website monitoring services can come in handy. With these tools, you can see where your website strong and weak points are, which helps you improve your site and boost conversion rates. Awesome, huh?

Below, we take a look at some of the best FREE and PAID website monitoring services that you can start using right away. We took a day off and decided the test all of them. Let’s start with FREE ones:

 

7 Best Website Monitoring Services

1. Uptime Robot (free)

uptime_robot
*Uptime Robot user interface
  • Cost: $0 (including 50 monitors, 2 months of log, 5 minute monitoring intervals)
  • Premium: $48/mo (including 1000 monitors, 12 months of logs, 1 minute monitoring intervals and 80 SMS credits)

If you’re looking for a completely free solution, Uptime Robot is a good place to start. It was launched in 2010 when its developers set out to create a free tool for everyone. They promise that it will continue to be free, with prices only added for any premium features they develop in the future.

This tool will check in with your site every five minutes and alert you if there’s any downtime. Although it works well, it lacks the larger operations you’ll see with premium options. For example, Uptime Robot has a main monitoring in Dallas, USA, with a few others scattered throughout the world, but premium monitoring tools typically have 40-50 server locations to monitor and verify your site’s downtime.

When you sign up for a free account, you’ll also get two months of logs so you can keep an eye on how your site has changed over time. You can also monitor up to 50 websites for free.

Uptime Robot is a good tool available at no cost to you, though some users complain about the limited features, such as no manual alert testing. You also won’t get page speed insights like with some paid website monitoring tools.

 

2. Monitor.us (free)

Monitor.us user interface

  • Cost: $0 (24 hours of log, 2 monitoring locations, 30 minute monitoring intervals)
  • Premium: $130/mo (including 100 monitors, 3 monitoring locations, 1 minute monitoring intervals)

Monitor.us is a free all-in-one IT solution based on the cloud that will check in on your site every five minutes. It boasts the best user experience for your visitors and offers a range of website monitoring tools all available in one dashboard. This tool is packed with features you may not expect to get for free, making it easy to predict issues before they happen and easily solve them if they do. With it, you can monitor:

  • Website uptime: Track uptime, response time, and performance from multiple locations world-wide.
  • Server health: Detect bottlenecks before they arise.
  • Network performance: Monitor multi-site networks, and receive notifications of any failures.
  • Custom metrics: Customize to your unique monitoring needs.

Since the tool is based on the cloud, there’s no software to download and no hardware to buy.

Monitor.us advertises that by using its service, you can improve uptime, eliminate hassles, optimize user experience, and grow your client base. Plus, it’s available in English and German.

Overall, it’s a great tool packed with numerous features.

 

3. Montastic (free)

  • Cost: $0 (including 3 monitors, 30 minute monitoring intervals)
  • Premium: $29/mo (including 200 monitors, 5 minute monitoring intervals)

Montastic is another tool popular among webmasters seeking a free solution. Though it’s pretty basic, it is helpful for individuals and smaller businesses who are simply looking to be alerted when their site goes down.

Montastic will check in on your site every 30 minutes, which isn’t necessarily great compared to the five-minute intervals offered by other free services, but you can upgrade to get more frequent intervals and URLs to monitor.

Montastic will email you both when your site goes down and when it comes back up. You’ll also be able to see keyword presence or absence verification on a web page; it gives support for any port number; and it features widgets for Mac, Windows, and Android.

Although Montastic isn’t as powerful as some other website monitoring tools out there, it does deliver enough features to make the free service worth it for small sites that may not need extra options.

 

Pingdom monitoring service4. Pingdom

  • Cost: $13.95/mo (including 10 monitors, 1 minute monitoring intervals, public status page)
  • Premium: $229/mo (including 250 monitors, unlimited months of logs, 1 minute monitoring intervals, multi-user access and public status page)

If people can’t access your website at certain points throughout the day, then you’re losing sales and search engine rankings. Unfortunately, you can’t manually monitor your site’s uptime at all hours, and that’s where Pingdom’s tools come in handy.

Although Pingdom offers some free tools, such as a website speed test, where it really shines is in its premium features. Pingdom can help you analyze your website’s uptime and performance by testing your site from servers across the world and alerting you if there’s an issue.

Pingdom also helps you improve user experience by delivering feedback from real users and analyzing performance factors such as website speed. They’ll also help you pinpoint any causes of problems to help you resolve them quickly.

Overall, it’s a powerful, reliable tool for smaller businesses on a budget, but some users complain that it puts little emphasis on mobile traffic, has unreliable SMS capabilities, and lacks monitoring servers in Asia-Pacific. We also use Pingdom to monitor best hosting providers listed here.

 

Site 24x7 user interface5. Site24x7

  • Cost: $5/mo(including 5 monitors, 1 minute monitoring intervals, 20 SMS credits)
  • Premium: $89/mo (including 50 monitors, unlimited months of logs, 1 minute monitoring intervals, multi-user access and 350 SMS credits)

Site24x7 is a powerful tool that provides website, network, server, and application monitoring. Like with Pingdom, Site 24×7 uses real user monitoring to deliver user feedback.

With it, you can:

  • Analyze individual load times of various components on your site
  • Monitor web applications using a real browser
  • Monitor Internet services
  • Test resources behind your firewall
  • Analyze CPU usage, memory, disc processes
  • Receive instant alerts during downtime
  • Download reports you can share with your service provider

Site24x7 also provides mobile access so that you can monitor your site or application from anywhere. One benefit Site24x7 has over Pingdom is that it’s available in a variety of languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, and Swedish, making it ideal for users across the globe.

Overall, users have stated that they enjoy the range of features, but some have received false alerts on occasion.

Another benefit Site24x7 has going for them is their affordable prices:

 

6. Host-Tracker.com

host-tracker.com interface

  • Cost: 30 day free trial and permanent Free package.
  • Premium: $5 (5 sites, 10 min interval) to $99 (150 sites, 1 min interval) per month and include cost for SMS notifications.

HostTracker is a website monitoring service which offers wide choice of testing instruments. The possible applications are various. Simple multi-protocol monitoring can help to keep an eye on a personal site, local network or file server. It could also warn the client if his domain or SSL certificate is about to expire, or if the site has been listed in DNS blacklists for some reason. Business clients and web developers might be interesting in instant alerts with basic error diagnostic, statistics collection and reporting, response time monitoring, content check, monitoring of server parameters, database monitoring and many others features, which are designed to monitor and improve performance of the sites, by helping to detect and fix the problems rapidly. Advanced features include API, bulk operations with hundreds of monitored sites, maintenance scheduling, etc.

HostTracker also owns a huge distributed monitoring network – more than 60 locations on all the continents will show how the site performs from a specific country or region of the world.

No software installation is required (only for some specific features), the collected statistics could be protected or easily shared in various ways in the web. Notification methods available: email, SMS, Skype, Hangouts, voice call, http post request.

In addition, they are flexible and could be extended for an additional cost.


Smartbear/AlertSite interface
7. SmartBear

  • Cost: $199/mo (features not available at their website, but they’re recommending it for bloggers and individuals)
  • Premium: $1999/mo (features not available at their website, but they’re recommending it for large enterprises)

In 2015, PCMag named SmartBear Software among their list of top five website monitoring services. SmartBear calls itself the “best in class synthetic monitoring for APIs, mobile and web applications,” and they boast the “fastest alerting on the planet.”

Use it for API, web app, mobile, and SaaS monitoring. There’s no coding required, and you can monitor from where your readers are—including over 340 monitoring nodes across the world. You can also enjoy customizable reporting capabilities.

Though this is a strong choice for small to large businesses, it doesn’t come without limitations. Perhaps the biggest downside of this service is that they don’t feature real user monitoring like many other premium options do.

Start with a free trial, and if you like what you see, continue your service. Overall, this is a great service that can meet the demands of small to mid-sized businesses.

 

What’s the Verdict? Which one should I pick?

There’s really no saying which website monitoring service is better than the others because it all depends on what your goals are with your website.

From our experience, the best free option would probably be Uptime Robot. It has enough flexibility/features and can monitor up to 50 websites with 5 minute intervall. We couldn’t find any better free website monitoring service. So if you’re just testing the waters and aren’t sure if you really need one, go and try them out.

The most bang for the buck you’d probably get from Site24x7, but we love Pingdom user interface more, so it’s completely up to you. Luckily, they both have a free trial option which you can check out.

One thing is for sure, however: Premium website monitoring tools will offer more features and reliable data to help you improve your site. If you’re serious about website monitoring, establish a budget so you can take advantage of these tools.

That’s not to say the free tools are bad, though. In fact, they’re great if you don’t need all the bells and whistles. You can start with one of the free tools mentioned here, and if you feel you need a look at the “bigger picture,” consider a premium plan for monitoring your site performance.

Have you used any of the tools above? Let us know by leaving a comment 🙂

22 Comments

  1. Hi John, great article. I just wanted to also flag RapidSpike for future reference. RapidSpike’s uptime monitoring is free and unlimited.

    All the best.

  2. Thanks for this, John.
    Completely agree about the best free options. Uptime Robot is the best one to keep your websites in check for free.
    And after reading your findings, I’m on my way to start accounts at Pingdom and Site24x7.
    Thanks again! 🙂

  3. A very useful article. I was looking for a free tool to monitor 10-20 websites, i have decided to use uptime robot.

    Thank you for this useful information.

    • Good luck with it. Hope you come back later and describe your experiences with it – would be much appreciated, ha! 🙂

  4. John,

    Thanks for this article. Can you please also share an update on which sites are available to be installed within the premise rather than cloud based?

  5. I agree with Ranjit. Like him/her, I’d like to see an installed version, as well. We have some sites that we want to monitor that are not publicly accessible.

  6. Thanks for this information, John! I’m researching some monitoring options for one of our websites. I’m hearing good things about Apica as well. Anyone tried them?

  7. One option, not very well-known, is Cloudstats.

    Good service, I’ve been using for about 4 months now – and it’s replaced my expensive Site24x7 bill.

  8. Really, nice list, I have used most of them such as Pingdom, and Uptimerobot. They provide you with some great features. One I didnt see what http://www.focusmouse.com/ I just started using them, and they provide a free service that is great for monitoring my websites. I did like their extra tools they provide as well.

  9. Thank you for this research!

    However, I was wondering how SmartBear/AlertSite come up with their claim that they’re the “fastest alerting on the planet” though. How fast are they?

  10. Hi John,

    Great article and thank you for the tip. I’m surprised you didn’t add several of the other players in the market. We have a had great success with Uptime.com and Pingometer.com. Both of them are free and offer transaction monitoring, API monitoring, and SMS alerts for free accounts.

    I’d recommend reviewing these and adding to your list.

  11. We’ve been using Pingdom for about a year, and all our user find the User Interface confusing. Trying to navigate the site is a chore and the configuration is very confusing. It is due to this that we’re looking to switch to another service. We require 1 minute checks, so we’ll probably pay for the service. Thanks for the article, it will help narrow down our choices.

  12. Hi John,

    Great research

    I was wondering if you would consider including my company on the list; Uptime.com. We have a great free plan and provide a superior product to Uptime Robot.

    We would be happy to give upgraded accounts to try our product for your readers

    Thank you 🙂

  13. Hi John, a good summary of what’s out there if you need to monitor your site. I know I’m a bit late to the party 🙂 but I’d like to let you know about something we created this year. CULA is an active monitoring companion, completely for free. It’s a new project of ours and we’d appreciate feedback from experts like you. Please drop us a line about your impressions. Best regards from Poland!

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