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Show HN: Server Check.in, one year later
8 points by geerlingguy on Dec 10, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments
It's been a year since my original Show HN post [1] announcing Server Check.in [2], so I thought I'd post a reflection after my first year running the service.

Server Check.in is an inexpensive website uptime monitoring service that I started out of my own need—if I had no users, I'd still keep it going. Fortunately, there are enough paid customers to keep me interested, and I've learned a lot from their feedback.

I had a good initial batch of signups after the announcement post on HN. These early customers gave me a <i>lot</i> of feedback, and some suggested fairly major revisions to the service. It took a lot of discipline to make sure I only worked on the most valuable features first.

I decided early on to focus on stability, scalability, and performance before working on some requested features, which was a great decision. The distributed Node.js-based server checking is working very well, and my master server running Drupal/PHP/MySQL still has plenty of capacity.

Below are some of the major lessons I've learned in the past year; I wrote a blog post [3] explaining the points below with more detail, and I hope you can learn something from my experience.

  1. Your priorities are not your customer's priorities.

  2. Sales is an uphill battle (for a developer).

  3. Contributing back to OSS improves you and your code.

  4. Keeping a good work-life balance prevents burnout.

  5. Experimenting makes you a better developer. 

  6. It's harder than you think to build a simple tool like Server Check.in.
(Note: For HN readers, use coupon code SHOWHNAGAIN for 25% off a year of service.)

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4901350

[2] https://servercheck.in/

[3] https://servercheck.in/blog/server-checkin-one-year-later

Nice. I was looking for something like this for a while. I finally settled on http://www.logicmonitor.com/ but this is a cool alternative

Thanks! I don't think Server Check.in will ever get all the same features as something like Logic Monitor or Pingdom, but my goal is to help smaller businesses and developers who simply need monitoring (and might not need to monitor many kinds of services/ports at once).

I agree. I wish I woulda been able to start with something like this. Some of the LM features are overkill & clunky.

Great info! Thanks! Are you a solo? Are you able to make enough to pay your own?

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