If you didn’t hear it from your grandmother you’ve likely heard it somewhere else. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The question you must ask yourself is, if a company has something of value that they could sell at a profit, why would they just give it away for free? A lot of time, work, and investment go into quality website monitoring services and the free ones being offered aren’t listed as nonprofit organizations, so how are they making their money? When you realize how these companies make their money, you realize free isn’t free after all.
Oftentimes a “free” website monitoring service is a bare bones package that a service will offer you to get you hooked. The idea is that once you see how vital the service is, but how much the “free” service is lacking, you’ll upgrade to a paid service – usually at a higher price than had you started by looking for a paid service all along.
Now, let’s say that you do find a website monitoring service that doesn’t up-sell and the service is really free. The real deal. A free service with no strings attached. What you need to ask yourself again is, why is the service free? What is it lacking? Or what is it adding? Will you or your website be bombarded with advertisements to support the funding of the service? Or perhaps the service is lacking in the features it offers, such as methods of communication. For example, a website monitoring service that only notifies you of website downtime via email isn’t going to do you much good if your email is down along with your site. You need a website monitoring service that will alert you via not only email, but text message and phone calls to appropriate personnel as well.
You also need to know how often your site will be checked for downtime whenever considering any website monitoring service. Ideally you want your site checked every 60 seconds or less to ensure continuity of your site’s up-time. If your site is only checked for downtime every hour, then your site could potentially be down a full 59 minutes before you are even made aware of a downtime issue.
In addition, you want to ensure that the website monitoring service you utilize has more than one server monitoring your site. If there is a power failure at one server location, there should be other server locations spread out to ensure that your site’s monitoring will not be interrupted.
When you are looking at free website monitoring solutions, the chances that a free service will provide your site with the comprehensive monitoring and level of technology needed to truly protect your site from downtime are slim to none. Since website monitoring services are one of the few services that actually pay for themselves over time, shopping for such a service based on price alone is never a good idea. Rather than looking for something free, look for a service that will actually meet your site’s needs and will monitor your site adequately.