Is that site even up?
The last time your Internet connection went down, you may have checked all sorts of settings, rebooted the cable modem; restarted the server, and then practiced your command of colorful language. Finally, you decided to call your ISP to report the outage only to hear a recorded message informing you that service was out in your neighborhood.
Oh. If only you had thought to check uptime first, you could have saved yourself a lot of frustration—or had the opportunity to redirect it more accurately.
Fortunately, you have lots of ways to find out if a website or online service is having problems. I’m surprised at how many there are, in fact, because many offer essentially the same service. Techies’ preference for one over another seems to come down to “I can remember its name.”
Most of these uptime checkers permit you to add the site name to the URL, saving a step, such as http://isup.me/tildes.net—and when a site is problematical, you appreciate any time-savers you can find.
Ordinarily, I would compare the features among these uptime-monitoring sites, but to tell the truth, they all do pretty much the same thing. Perhaps, as you review the options, you’ll find one that matches your needs—or at least you’ll find one whose URL is memorable.
Start by just asking
Plenty of system administrators eschew dedicated resources. If they have a problem with an online resource like Slack, for instance, they type into Google, “Is Slack down?” The web search would bring you to Slack's status page. If it’s a major site, tech news publications often post alerts, and the provider itself may offer a contact page.
Social media generally is helpful, too. The first stop, however, is the vendor’s own site, though sometimes others chime in (on Twitter, for example, there's an account dedicated to Slack's current status). When you search Twitter for the name of the site, you see hundreds of people complaining. Doing so may help you expand your own colorful vocabulary.
If you prefer functional simplicity, isdown.me is an easy choice. Its user interface couldn’t be more straightforward: a clear message of uptime. There’s no history, no pretty graphs—but you do get a binary answer.
Down for Everyone or Just Me
Down for Everyone Or Just Me—which has two short URLs, isup.me and downfor.io—has a minimal website UI, which is a boon for the purpose. If you get an emergency phone call while you’re hiking in Sedona, you don’t want to wait for a “pretty” website to load.
One advantage to isup.me is that it’s so quick to type. That matters particularly when you’re checking site status on a smartphone and you don’t want to type long URLs into that tiny screen. As one system administrator told me, “It's short enough to fit between the cracks of everything else in my brain.”
Downdetector offers more than a binary answer (“Yes, it’s up!” or “Sorry, it’s down”), including a graph showing reports in the past 24 hours and past resolved issues. You can click into a map showing where reports originated, such as my ISP’s outage appearing as a big red splat.
Is It Down Right Now?
The information on Is It Down Right Now? is similar to the aforementioned Downdetector, including a graphical status history and the last time the site was checked. I don’t like it as much purely on aesthetic grounds, but I leave design sensibility up to you.
I intentionally kept this listicle simple because the need is simple: You just want to know, “Is it just me?” But in other circumstances, you need a more robust answer. For example, one system admin recommended StatusGator to automatically track the status of SaaS dependencies. It presents an overall dashboard; sends alerts for the applications you use if something goes pear-shaped, integrates with common IT tools (such as Slack), and is free to use for tracking up to three services before you commit to a larger scale paid plan.
This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.