THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Kolide

The fleet visibility solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux that can help you securely scale your business


Simple Website Monitoring with Vigil

Vigil

Vigil

For the past four years, I have tried a number of different solutions to monitor my website. Some of them used email as a delivery service, others a Mac app, and none of them looked as polished and simple as I’d like them to be. Especially after our move to a dedicated Mac mini, I wanted a reliable, intuitive, nice-looking solution to always be up to date in regards to my server’s status.

Just after our move to a new host, I found Vigil thanks to a recommendation by John Gruber. Developed by Heirloom, Vigil is an iPhone app that does two things: it monitors websites and it sends you push notifications if something’s wrong with them. There’s a free 30-day trial, after which you’ll have to sign up for a $9.99 yearly subscription to continue using Vigil with an unlimited number of websites. I signed up immediately after a week of testing and I have been using Vigil since.

There was one time when our server went down for a minute, and Vigil promptly sent me a push notification. As you can guess, I’m also using Vigil to monitor Apple’s WWDC website, and I’ve already received two false positives when Apple made minor tweaks to the Developer page: in Vigil, you can choose between three levels of sensitivity for push notifications, my favorite one being “Vigilant” so that a site is considered down after one failed connection attempt.

The main page of the app, called Websites, lists all the websites that you’ve manually added to Vigil. Alongside names, the app will also display domain names, HTTP status codes, and ping time in milliseconds. Tap on a website, and the app will open a side panel with the same data, plus download speeds and a graph showing ping times. In the bottom toolbar, there’s a large Ping button to manually start a new ping request.

Today, the Vigil developers also launched a dedicated page to add your Vigil websites to Panic’s Status Board (my review). To configure the custom board, go to the Vigil website, enter your Vigil account credentials, and tap the link to send the board automatically to Status Board.

Vigil Status Board

Vigil Status Board

Vigil Status Board

Vigil Status Board

In Panic’s app, you’ll be prompted to add the board, which will display status codes, website names, ping times, and download speeds.

I like Vigil. It’s easy to use, it has a distinctive look, and it worked well when I needed it. I trust Vigil for my website monitoring needs, and I highly recommend it.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.