Server crash. White screen of death. 500 error. Defaced website. You know, just another day of WordPress website maintenance.
“Knowing is half the battle” is what G.I. Joe taught me when I was a kid. When your WordPress website is down, you’re losing visitors. Losing revenue. The worst thing that could happen is that you’re going about your day, blissfully unaware of it. You might notice after a few days, when you realize that the contact form emails aren’t coming through. Maybe you’ll notice it as a slump in the sales report.
Or, as some of you probably experienced, your client will call you at 3AM to scream at you because it’s Black Friday and you just cost him $2,000 in lost sales.
Websites go down, and in most cases you can’t do anything about it. What you can do is be prepared. Be the first to know when your website is down, have a plan, and fix the problem before anyone else notices. If it’s a client’s website and you can’t do anything about it (e.g. hosting infrastructure is down), notify them before they find out on their own. Remember – they pay you to be on top of these things.
To do this, you need the right set of tools. This is why we built the Uptime Monitor for Orion.
ManageWP Orion Uptime Monitor
Orion keeps an eye on your websites, so you won’t have to. The process is pretty straightforward:
- Add a website to the uptime monitor list.
- Choose how you want to be notified.
- Relax. Or chillax, if you’re Jeff Bridges.
The Dude abides.
Every minute the system will check your websites. If it doesn’t get the expected response, it’ll keep trying a couple more times to confirm that the site is down. At that moment a notification is sent to you, telling you which website is down, and the error response we’re getting. Another notification will be sent once the website comes back online, to confirm that the universe is once again in balance.
The notification part is handled in two ways:
- Email: Delivered to your virtual doorstep as soon as we notice something.
- SMS: If response time is important, go for this option.
Improvements Over the Classic ManageWP
We’ve given this tool a lot of love.
Improved Notification For Your Clients
In the Classic version you were able to choose the email notification destination for all websites on your account. A lot of you had multiple clients, and asked for a way to notify particular clients about particular websites. We listened.
Each website now has the option of adding an additional email. In case that website (and only that website) is down, you and that particular client will get an email notification.
We’re really big on logging everything in Orion, so why should Uptime Monitor be any different? Instead of simple up/down event log, we’re keeping track of the uptime percentage, response delay, even the individual checks.
All of this is important, of course, for one reason…
Client Report Integration
Clients love charts, and they love being dazzled. Add the Uptime section to the Client Report, and dazzle them.
Like other Client Report integrations, this feature is not available right away. As soon as we have extra time on our hands, we’ll get it implemented. Thanks for understanding!
A client of ours had 35 websites on the same server. The server went down at 2:30 AM. It came back up at 2:47 AM. She received 70 text messages. Understandably, she was not happy.
That’s why we created a system that detects multiple notifications in a short time span, and merges them into a single notification.
The Classic dashboard runs checks every 5 minutes. With smart notifications and improved logging, it made sense to bump up the uptime check interval to 60 seconds, and give your clients even more details about their websites.
Trying the Orion Uptime Monitor
All Trial, Standard, Professional and Business users are able to use this tool freely. Please note that the Orion monitor is separate from the Classic monitor – if you use both for your website, you’ll get two notifications.
This tool will remain free until the Classic dashboard gets phased out in 1-2 months.
If you have an idea how to further improve this tool, tell us about it in the comment section. Thanks for helping us make ManageWP better!
While I can’t say if I’ll keep Uptime monitoring for all or even any site on when Orion pricing is finally revealed, there’s one little option I think some might find useful: the ability to set minimal downtime to trigger a notification. I do seem to get quite a few warning mails for things like 1 minute downtime at 3 a.m., where truth be told neither I nor any of my current client really care much.
We already have you covered!
Go to your Uptime Monitor page, and click on Settings. You’ll see the monitoring interval slider with 1/5/10/15 minute intervals. I think that a 15-minute interval will work great for you.
We push a lot of small improvements all the time (the slider is live for over two weeks) – you can check them out on the Changelog page, on your Orion dashboard. Just hover over your account name and you’ll see it.
I’d love to see an uptime report in the customer reports. I have a customer that insists on using iPage, damn the downtime. I need to show her the 15+ hours of downtime I logged this past month.
We’re up to our necks in Clone tool optimization. As soon as we catch a breather, we’ll integrate Uptime Monitor into the Client Report. Thank you for your patience, Andrea!
It is a real shame that you cannot include uptime monitoring in the professional plan – the price jump up to Business plan (double) is too steep when the only extra service of interest to me is the uptime monitoring. I can get free uptime monitoring using Jetpack plugin or Uptime Robot, but it would be great to have in in one place on ManageWP. Please consider including – I think that would sell you a lot more Professional Plans.
I’ve got some great news for you: ManageWP Orion will feature custom plans.
You’ll be able to cherry pick the tools, and only pay for the ones you need. We’ll release more info about Orion pricing next week.
Hi Nemanja – that is good news, and a refreshing way to offer your services – I look forward to hearing more! Thanks.
Any news on the new pricing?
We’re running a final round of pricing surveys, we’ll go public with the new pricing in a week or so.
Thank you for this very useful feature. I understand the decision of keeping it simple, but I would like to request you add 1-2 confirmation servers. Most of the downtime reports I get from ManageWP does not correlate with my old uptime monitoring provider StatusCake. They have 2 confirmation servers so I think that helps to eliminate a lot of false positives. I hope you consider my request, thanks!
It makes sense, thanks for the suggestion.
We’re planning some major upgrades for the Uptime Monitor in the future, I’ll add the confirmation servers to the list for our Product team to consider.
Will there be an additional cost for the uptime monitor in Orion in the future? If so, how much? I currently have the “professional” plan.
Uptime Monitor will be a premium feature. How much will it cost exactly? We’re nearly done with the new pricing model, and should come out with the new prices in the next two weeks.
Very cool feature, thanks. Quick question – how does this determine if a site is up? There are a number of ways with pros and cons. For example a simple site ping will let you know if the server is up, but won’t answer the question as to whether or not the site has crashed but the server is fine.
One method we’ve used with tools like Pingdom is a transactional check, where the bot checking will look for specific text or attempt a specific task, and alert you if that fails. For example, “Go to the site, look for the text, ‘Copyright 2016 My Company’ in the footer.” This is a pretty accurate way to determine uptime, b/c if something breaks on the site but the server is fine this can detect it.
We send out an HTTP request, and if we get a 200 response, the website counts as being up.
We also played with the idea of adding an additional monitor method by searching for a specific string, but since we wanted to make the tool as much hassle-free as possible, we opted to go with just one method for now.
I strongly agree with Thomas. Last week one of our sites didn’t show any content after a bulk update in managewp. Another site didn’t display the css. If we could monitor those kind of issues this tool would be worth the money on all our sites (100+). For regular downtime notifications there are plenty of alternatives… Hope you guys give it some thought. 🙂
Love all the additions you guys have been adding!!!
Awesome … loving it already. Great job!
Awesome! Really like the bundling of notifications feature and the client reporting.
I’m enabling this now – is there anyway to enable this on all my websites quickly?
We’ll add the “Turn On All” button to the Uptime Monitor widget in the next 48h, just like the one in the Backup widget.
It appears the “turn on all” button doesn’t turn on SMS notifications for all sites. Do I need to go in and enable it for each individual site, or am I missing something?
For now, you need to do it individually. We’ll soon push an update that will add a default uptime setting, including the SMS number. That way, when you turn on a monitor, it pulls a default configuration that you can tweak on a per-site basis.
That will be great. The sooner the better! I only have 64 sites under management, but that is way too many to manually set up. I can’t imagine what others with more sites are thinking! Thanks!