Free & Easy To Setup Server Uptime Monitoring Via Text Message Alert

Here I am going to take you through how you can automatically get a text (sms) message if/when your website goes down (but hopefully never happens). For free and takes less than 5 min to setup!

What downtime is and what causes it

Before we jump into the fine details and tell you how to setup this free server monitoring via a text/sms alert, we should quickly go through and explain what downtime is and what causes it.

Downtime is when applications on the internet, like a website or a blog, cannot be accessed by its users.

Causes of downtime can be component failure (like hardware failure, software defects, file corruption, virus etc), disasters affecting the data-center where the server is physically located (fire, flooding, earthquakes etc) and user-input or hackers (accidental file deletion, malicious hacking).

Website downtime is bad, it costs money and it annoys your customers. If your website is down for a long period of time (more than 24 hours) then the outage can negatively impact your search engine rankings.

To get a bit of perspective of just how costly downtime can be is when Amazon.com went down in August last year, it was reported they lost nearly $5 million in revenue caused by that short 30 to 40 minutes outage.

Here is a free and easy to setup way to get notified via a text/sms message if/when your site goes down. Meaning you will, almost immediately after it happens, be able to address the issue, contact your web host support and see to it that your website goes up.

It should be mentioned that there are website monitoring services that already offer text/sms alerts, but it comes at a cost, i.e. it’s not free.

Learn how you can automatically monitor your server and get an SMS when is down! Just follow these three simple steps:

1. Sign up with UptimeRobot.com (free service)

UptimeRobot.com is a free service which monitors the server your website is hosted on. You simply sign up, you verify your email address and you add your website to create an email alert.

uptimerobot

Now, if you are an observant reader you might say “hey, the UptimeRobot website says free sms/txt alert already, then what’s the point doing what you say?”

That’s true, UptimeRobot already offers free text message alerts, but here’s the drawback. The number of carriers you can select is very limited (especially if you are outside the US).

2. Sign up with IFTTT (free service)

ifttt

IFTTT, short for “If This Then That”, is a really awesome service that lets you automate different web services (called “channels”) and connecting these services together (called “recipes”). It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

For example you can “If HP stock falls then get an SMS reminder to be nice to my dad”. This “recipe” is using Yahoo Finance and SMS message as “channels”.

There are loads of recipes, e.g. “if a new blog post is published, then send out a tweet to my followers”, “if I get a new email, then save it to dropbox”,”if the weather forecast says rain tomorrow, then send me an email” and the list of recipes goes on.

Okay, we’re almost there. Now we just have to connect the dots and make the magic happen.

3. Setup the text message alert

Now you just have connect UptimeRobot and IFTTT and you do this by using this IFTTT recipe

ifttt server uptime monitoring

Simply verify the Gmail and SMS channel and your server monitoring alert via text message is activated.

That’s it! You are done. Now if your website goes down you will get an alert via text message.

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5 comments on “Free & Easy To Setup Server Uptime Monitoring Via Text Message Alert”

  1. Melissa

    What are the options of UptimeRobot? Is it only website monitoring or all in one monitoring which can be so important for small businesses? What is the difference between this tool and other monitoring solutions like Anturis, for example?

    Reply
    • Matt @ HostingKingdom

      Hi Melissa, to be honest I haven’t tried Anturis. What I like about UptimeRobot is that it’s free, it comes with free text message/sms alert, however US centric – limited international coverage (hence my IFTTT tip). It monitors http(s), ping, port and keyword. Anturis seems to come with more monitors, but again I’m not sure which monitoring is included with their your free plan.

      Reply
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  3. Testomato

    Thanks for the info, we do automated testing and uptime monitoring with Testomato from http://www.testomato.com

    Reply

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