Website Monitoring Software SiteMonitor

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 17, 2009
Updated • Jun 4, 2017

It is essential for webmasters and system administrators to monitor websites and networks they manage or own. The core reason for that is that monitoring tools provide administrators with information when a site goes down, or when part of a site stops to work properly.

That's especially true for professionals who earn their livelihood with websites they operate. A possibility are commercial services that notify the webmaster as soon as a website becomes unreachable. Ghacks is monitored round the clock by Livewatch which will automatically send an SMS or email when a server or website goes down (may also call, but I did not enable the option).

Not everyone wants to pay to monitor websites though. The free portable software program SiteMonitor provides a local solution for the Windows operating system.


sitemonitor lite

Note: SiteMonitor Free is still available. You do need to register an account though on the Sitemonitor website to use all of the program's functionality.

SiteMonitor Free requires the Microsoft .net Framework 2.0 and can be configured to monitor up to eight websites, and notify the user if they become unreachable. It is a good alternative as long as it is run on a computer system that is online 24/7.

New urls can be added easily to SiteMonitor. All that it takes is to add a descriptive name, an url and HTML to match which is simply content that is displayed on the website when it loads.

HTML to Match requires that you copy and paste HTML code that is always on the site in question. All modern web browser support viewing the source, but you may also copy the HTML from the source files instead directly if you have access to those.

The website monitoring software checks the selected pages every 30 minutes by default; Too high of an interval for important websites. The interval can be changed in the options. The options are also the place where the notification preferences can be edited. The website monitor provides two different types of notificatios when website issues are noticed (the HTML is not there, for instance when the site does not load at all).

  • Run a script or executable, e.g. a script that will restart a server or service
  • Send email to notify a user about the connection problem
  • Update: SMS functionality added to the program in recent versions (requires donation of $5 or more)

The number of failures before either one of the notifications or actions will be initiated can be configured in the same menu as well.

Below is the small php script that we use to check if the MySQL database is up and running on Ghacks:

$dbhost = 'localhost';
$dbuser = 'username';
$dbpass = 'password';

$conn = mysql_connect($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass) or die ('Error');

$dbname = 'databasename';

if ($conn) {echo "ok";}
else {echo "error";}


Replace username with the database username, password with the password of the username and databasename with the name of the database. Save it as database.php, upload it to your website and load the new file. It should display ok if the database is up and error if it is down. The url that points to the script can then be added to the website monitoring software to check if it returns ok. If it does the website is up, if it does not it is down.

Alternatives are the Website Monitor and Downloader Wysigot, Montastic or the Server Monitor Observu.

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  1. James said on September 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    we prefer to use Work Examiner software ( for website monitoring, no special admin experience was required to deploy it

  2. Mathew Goutremout said on November 1, 2010 at 2:00 am

    I have been disappointed by no charge website monitoring program.

  3. Altax said on October 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the useful and informative post.

  4. Andy said on May 15, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Found this directory the other day. It has plenty of website monitoring tools. Here’s the link:

  5. 5pm said on May 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Just to add another to the realm, I recently heard about AlertFox. What makes them interesting is their powerful transaction monitoring support. I currently run a 30-day trial with them and plan to switch over if it works out well.

  6. Mezanul said on April 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for this information!

    Very helpful for me :-)

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