SiteLog: Monitor Your Sites, Easily

Allow me to open this article with a quote from the 2010 movie The Social Network that still sticks quite vividly in my mind:

“If those servers are down for even a day, our entire reputation is irreversibly destroyed! Users are fickle, Friendster has proved that. Even a few people leaving would reverberate through the entire userbase.”

If you operate a web service, uptime is vital. Even more vital, however, is knowing when your services go down so you can take action.

SiteLog is a web app designed to help you monitor the uptime of your websites and/or servers, very simply. By just typing in an address and choosing which service you want to monitor, you can easily checkup on the website’s current status, as well as that of it’s HTTP, FTP, IMAP, and more, no installation required.

Getting Started

Once you’ve signed up and are registered with SiteLog, you’ll want to hook up your first server to the app’s system, ready for monitoring.

This is done quite easily, thanks to the “go and add a new server” server link on your empty homepage. Here, you’ll add a new server by pointing SiteLog to a specific IP or domain, and choosing a name to refer to the connection by. There’s nothing to install server-side, and you need do nothing more than simply name what you wish to monitor to get setup. It really is that simple. Interesting, you could use it to monitor any site you wanted, not just your own, if you were for some reason interested in that.

Adding a new server is a painless experience, requiring you to only name the server and address it's IP address or domain.

Once a server’s connected, you’ll want you to select some services for SiteLog to keep an eye on. By heading to the “Manage Services” panel, you’ll be able to create a new point to monitor. SiteLog supports monitoring HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, IMAP, IMAPs, POP3, POP3s, SMTP, SMTPs and SSH, as well as the site’s ping.

You’ll also be able to enable email alerts to be sent out when an issue occurs with the service. You can even add a custom email address, so the email doesn’t necessarily need to be sent to you. This way, you can setup email alerts to be sent to the people responsible, so your IT guy can get the site running again instead of the intern you could have setup the service.

The status page is your dashboard in SiteLog. Each coloured shape represents one of the service you have linked up, where green is good and red is bad (and a call to action).

You’ll also be able to access the history of each service, to monitor uptime over time, which is a useful addition so you’re able to identify when and why the services go down, and take action if needed. If you live on the free plan, you’ll get access to the past seven days of history. If you have a basic plan, you’ll be awarded 90 days of history, those on the plus plan will get 180 days of history and those on the premium plan will get access to the last 365 days of recordings.

You’ll also be able to set automatic scrolling and refreshing of the services using the buttons that adorn the top-right corner of your dashboard.

Interface and Design

SiteLog’s interface is fine, and, on the dashboard at least, it’s a very simple app that gives you the information you want pretty fast. The use of the red and green colours gives you an instant visual representation of the current state of your services, and isn’t crowded in a load of extra information that you’re not interested in. Plus, of course, this is the type of app you want to be able to setup and forget about, and it serves that purpose perfectly.

The interface for SiteLog is pretty simple, and offers a convenient visual look at the state of your services.

Pricing and Availability

As mentioned previously, SiteLog is available on a number of pricing plans.

  • The free plan gives you a maximum of two services, 15 emails and an MMI of 30 minutes.
  • The Basic plan at $1.95/month gets you a maximum of 20 services, 150 emails and an MMI of 15 minutes.
  • The Plus plan at $4.95/month gets you the ability to monitor 100 services at a time, receive 500 emails and get a 10 minute MMI.
  • The top-of-the-range Premium plan at $14.95/month gets you the ability to monitor 300 services, receive 1500 emails and a 5 minute MMI.

By offering four plans, SiteLog’s pretty versatile when it comes to cost, allowing you pay for just what you really need and are going to use. A 30-day free trial is available for all paid plans, too!

The various pricing tiers of SiteLog.

Final Thoughts

SiteLog’s a very simple, minimalist service that does just what it says on the tin. You add a service, set it to refresh and you’ll be alerted when it goes down, allowing for fast recovery and minimal impact on your users. The free package is great if you only have a couple of things to monitor, but with the 20-service Basic package coming in at $1.95/month, it’s definitely worth the small fee.


Summary

A simple, web-based service to help you monitor your servers and alert you when they go down.

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  • Nice article!

    Please note SiteLog also supports custom services (you just choose a name and port for it). You can add these when adding a service to monitor.

  • I can get the same stuff for free.. Why pay $1.95 when I can pay… nothing?

  • I recommend Uptime Robot. I haven’t had to pay a dime.