OnlineOrNot updates from September

Max Rozen

Max Rozen / October 02, 2023

Coming back from August holidays, I felt the need to take a hard look at what OnlineOrNot does, and keep improving it.

Table of contents

What's new

Cron job monitoring

I mainly spent September refining cron job monitoring functionality - the system handles millions of cron job checks per day, and is now production-ready.

Cron job monitoring flips how OnlineOrNot works in reverse: instead of checking your website to see if it's online, with cron job monitoring you tell OnlineOrNot if your cron job/scheduled task/IoT device/internet connection is still online via HTTP request, and if the time between requests is too long, you'll get an alert.

After a bit of feedback (particular thanks to Jens!) from OnlineOrNot's customers, quite a few things got built and fixed for cron job monitoring:

  • You can now display the status of your cron job on our status pages, and have OnlineOrNot automatically open and close incidents based on your cron job monitoring
  • You can now send alerts about your cron jobs to the following places:
    • SMS
    • Email
    • Discord/Slack
    • Webhooks
    • On-call integrations: PagerDuty/Opsgenie/Grafana OnCall/
  • Cron job monitoring now lives on its own dedicated infrastructure, redundantly across several AWS regions
  • Fixed several bugs in the heartbeat monitoring graphs

On-call integrations

On-call integrations aren't just for cron job monitoring by the way!

Back in late July I added support for uptime checks to alert based on your team's existing on-call roster for:

Automated free tier

OnlineOrNot has offered a free trial of its best features at the start for every new account for well over a year now, but what happens at the end of that free trial hasn't been particularly clear.

I used to think I was being clever by sending an email letting folks know they can pick between upgrading to a paid plan, or using the hobby plan for non-commercial projects. If they did nothing, OnlineOrNot would stop monitoring. In reality, many folks would miss that email, and not realize that OnlineOrNot stopped monitoring.

This goes against what I built OnlineOrNot for, so in September I automatically converted thousands of accounts with expired free trials to use the free tier. Going forward, folks that don't decide will automatically have their accounts converted to the free tier.

Thank you

OnlineOrNot only exists because of folks like you. I don't have a massive marketing budget, OnlineOrNot gets its users from folks like you, enjoying it enough to tell their friends about it.

So here's an ask: I work on the things that people care enough about to tell me about them. If you think there's something missing, or something that needs improving, reply to this email/email me at - I'd like to know more!

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