Monitoring your server uptime and performance

Most of us are afraid of experiencing server downtime or loss of performance as this might result in loss of rankings, removal from the SERPs and loss in conversions.

This post aims at providing some insights tools that are available (either paid or free) to monitor your server performance and uptime. Some of them are paid, some of them are open-source and self-hosted. Each of the tools has its own characteristics and it really depends on what your needs are or what your technical experience level is to find a solution suitable for you or your company.

One of the most commonly heard of tools for monitoring your server is probably Pingdom.

  • type: external
  • pricing: 30-day free trial, basic ($9,95), business ($39,95)
  • API: REST API (SOAP being deprecated)
  • mobile: iphone app, SMS,
  • USP: more than just websites, also: mail servers, DNS servers, FTP servers, networks, and much more.



  • type: external
  • pricing: 30-day free trial, prices ranging from € 29,95 to € 1,500 (enterprise). Also limited Lite version which requires banner onsite.
  • API: Yes, available
  • IPv6: supported



  • type: self-hosted, locally
  • pricing: free, opensource
  • in development: yes
  • API: yes
  • USP: opensource, plug and play, plugins, community

If you want actions taken on your server  (f.e. reboot apache, mysql, FTP, postfix,  etc ), or to send alerts,  we would recommend using Monit


Nagios (industry standard, geekyness ++ ,  )

  • type: hosted
  • pricing:  free, for core,  Nagios XI with support and maintenance $ 1,295.-
  • API: yes
  • USP: opensource, plugins, community


  • type:  hosted
  • pricing: free
  • in development: “constant work in progress”
  • API: yes
  • USP: opensource, community, mobile apps, distributed monitoring

So what to choose?

Personally, I’d like to have two systems in place, one that is self-hosted, often providing many details about the server you are running the software on and an extra tool that monitors externally. It is a pity not to receive alerts from your self-hosted tool when your server is ‘orphaned’ – resulting in alert mails piling up, unable to find its way to your inbox. Whichever tool suits you best is up to you but considering the fact that many of them provide free trials I would recommend you test those that appeal to you.

Any tools you know that are not in this list – but you would really recommend? Tell us in the comments – and please tell your fellow readers why!

About Martijn Beijk

Martijn Beijk is an SEO & Web Analytics consultant, international speaker and lecturer. He is one of the participants of the Local Search Ranking Factors.

3 thoughts on “Monitoring your server uptime and performance

  1. Hi Martijn,

    I’m the founder over at; we do uptime monitoring but the focus is more broad – we want to monitor anything that can go wrong on your site on it’s own. Right now we have uptime monitoring and automatic link checking for entire sites. We’re also especially suited to SEO’s as you can monitor multiple sites & share the reports / settings with clients. Let me know if you’d like to try us out. Thanks, Jon.

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