How Often Do You Monitor Your Website?

When adding a website or server to be monitored, what monitoring interval will you use?

We were recently asked by a client:

Which monitoring interval should I use? 5-min or 1-min?

Our Recommendation

We recommend using the shortest monitoring interval available. All of our plans, including Free plan, support 1-min. So, use it.

The benefits of using a short monitoring interval are:

  • Your monitoring can detect short outages which may otherwise be missed if you used a longer monitoring interval (see example below).
  • You will receive alerts faster when your website goes DOWN and when it comes back UP.

Setting a Notification Threshold for Phones

If you do not want to be notified of very short outages, you can configure to only receive alert for outages longer than X minutes. Usually, people want to know all outages by email, but only real, sustained outages (eg. longer than 10 minutes) by phone. When you add or edit a contact, try as depicted below:

notify-after-X-minutes

  1. login to your Uptime Doctor account
  2. go to “Contacts”
  3. add a new contact or edit an existing one
  4. set “Notify after X consecutive errors”

Misconception

Some people worry that using a short monitoring interval may increase bandwidth usage or system load, but this is an unfounded concern. If you monitor your website with HTTP HEAD (the default), the size being transferred is negligible as we only fetch HTTP headers. See estimated bandwidth usage. System load will not be affected noticeably as a modern server (even in a shared hosting account) is usually capable of handling much higher traffic than 1 request per minute.

Conclusion

Use 1-min monitoring interval unless you have a good reason not to do so.

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