PostPoints tip: Know where to check a site's status
If having a site you use all the time become mysteriously unavailable would leave you miserable and confused, the least you can do is give yourself a way to see if it's having a serious problem or just a momentary hiccup. First, look around its help section to see if it lists any way to check on the site's status. If you're lucky, its status page will be at an easily-memorized address like status.example.com, but many of them confine this information to more complex addresses that you won't remember; you'll need to bookmark those pages. In some cases, a third-party site can help; downrightnow synthesizes a variety of sources to track the performance of such name-brand sites as Facebook and Yahoo Mail.
What if you can't get to any site at all? Then your Internet provider may be having issues of its own. And in that case, you'll wish you'd bookmarked its status site on a smartphone or some other device that can get online independently of your usual access. But not all ISPs offer this data; for example, although Comcast has a useful Network Health page, Verizon let its equivalent page lapse.
(What's this "PostPoints tip" business about? Since July, I've been archiving each tip-of-the-week e-mail we send to PostPoints members under this blog's "Tips" category. Today's item went out on Oct. 26.)
| November 1, 2010; 6:15 AM ET
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