Monitor your website availability with Google Docs

I read an interesting post recently on the different uses of Google Apps Scripts ranging from Twitter out-of-offices to self-destructing messages. One of the uses I found particularly interesting is the ability to track your web site's uptime and get alerts when there's a problem, all completely free!

There's various tools available for monitoring a web site's uptime, Pingdom and Uptime Robot to name a couple, but few that are free and as quick to implement without any upselling for premium services. The script developed by Digital Inspiration uses embedded code in a Google Docs Sheet to monitor your web site at 5 minute intervals and then log it in the same sheet for analysing.

Why use Google docs?

While this solution may have limited features, to easily get a notification when you're server is having issues this is a nice freebie... The alerts are unlimited, it's easy to implement and can be setup for multiple domains.  

How to setup Google Docs to monitor your site

  1. Sign in to your Google Account.

  2. Copy this Google sheet provided by Digital Inspiration into your Google Drive to use as a template

  3. Replace the dummy domains in the 'Website URLS' field with your web site addresses comma separated.

  4. Enter your email address in the cell below that you would like to recieve alerts to, to also receive SMS notifications set the field below to 'Yes'. 

  5. Go to the web site monitor menu and click initialize.

  6. Go back to the same menu and click start, you should see a notification in the bottom right corner to let you know that tracking has started. 

I tested this myself by adding two domains, www.codesynthesis.co.uk and www.codesynthesis2.co.uk (which doesn't exist), sure enough after 5 minutes I got an email notification to let me know my non-existent site was down. Not bad for a google docs sheet!

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