Monitoring Website Downtime With Google Docs


October 3, 2013 | Posted in Web

Do you have a website? Would you like to receive alerts on your email address as soon as your site goes down or becomes inaccessible to users?

You can either subscribe to one of these website monitoring services to track your site’s uptime (and downtime) or you can build your own site monitor with the help of Google Docs. The one big advantage with Google Docs is that it can be configured to check your website status every minute and thus you’ll instantly know if your site is down. And it’s free.

Website Monitor - Logs

Website Monitoring with Google Docs

It will take a minute to configure Google Docs as an uptime monitor for your website.

  1. Assuming that you are signed-in to your Google Account, click here to make a copy of the Google Docs sheet.
  2. Put your website’s URL in cell E3 and your email address in cell E5. This is the address where you wish to receive notifications for downtime and uptime.
  3. Go to Tools – > Script Editor – > Resources – > Current Script’s Triggers and set a Time-Driven trigger for every minute (or 5 minutes).
  4. Save the Trigger and Google Docs will show a big red warning asking for authorization. Just accept it and Save the trigger again.

That’s it. The Google Docs sheet will monitor your website in the background at all times and will send an email alert whenever it has trouble accessing the website. If the issue is resolved, you’ll get another notification saying “all’s well.”

Also, the downtime details (including the server responses) are logged in the Google Docs sheet itself so you can later analyze the downtime in greater detail. You can browse the source code to understand how monitoring works behind the scenes.

One more thing. If you know a bit of programming, create a new Twitter app specifically for tracking your site’s uptime and Google Docs can then alert you through tweets and SMS text messages if your site is having problems.



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