Do you know if your website is down right now? I’ll wait while you open a new browser tab and go check. OK, you’re back. I don’t have to go check, and neither should you. When your website is a primary marketing vehicle for your business, you should have a warning system that checks your website every few minutes and tells you if it is down. The one I use is from Pingdom.

Go to to sign up for a free account that monitors one website. They offer paid accounts that have more features, but for most small business owners, the free account will work fine.

After you have signed in, set up a new Check, the activity that will regularly check your website. You can set how often they check your site (5 minutes is fine for most sites, 1 minute would be recommended for sites with heavy traffic). Set up how you want to be notified: email, text message, or others.

Set how long the site is down before you are notified. Don’t set this too low. There can be hiccups in service that can cause your site not to be accessible for a few seconds and you don’t want to get a notification unless there really is an issue. I set mine for 10 minutes, but you can choose a shorter time if you need to. This setting can be adjusted if you get too many notifications. Check the box to notify you when the site is back up so you know if the issue resolved itself.

Now you know you will be notified if your site goes down. You can then decide what action to take so that the problem is resolved quickly and visitors can again see your site content. In the Reports section of your Pingdom account, you can view reports on any downtime within a specified date range (the default is the last 30 days). This can be helpful in diagnosing a recurring issue.

Pingdom also tracks how fast your website loads, which is an important criteria measured by Google. In the Reports section you can also see a Response Time report, which shows how fast your site loads. You want to keep this under 2 seconds. If your site is loading slower on a regular basis, this is an area to investigate.

Use a free Pingdom account to assure you that your website is online helping attract visitors and convert them to prospects and customers.