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Sometimes when browsing I see that a particular site is down (this is especially discouraging when the site happens to be my own.) My first question is always the same: Is it just me or is everyone seeing this?
The site is as dead-simple as it gets: it makes an HTTP HEAD request to the root (“/”) of the user-provided domain. If I get a response code in the 200/300 series, I assume the site is up. If I get a 500 or a timeout, I assume the site is down.
Obviously this is good for the quick check when you see that something is down. For a more proactive approach to website monitoring you’ll want to look at another solution. There are a ton of hosted website monitoring apps, or if you have several thousand bucks that you don’t know what to do with you can always check out HP SiteScope(formerly Mercury).
But for a quick little tool that can keep you from calling your IT guy or your friends, downforeveryone… is just what you need.