In today’s post we continue our series about tools and services that we use to operate the OpenCage geocoder. Today we look at website monitoring service StatusCake.
StatusCake does a few things for us. Firstly it monitors our website and API so that we have impartial third party data about how we are doing. Secondly it lets us display that data publicly via a configurable dashboard, so that people don’t just have to take our word for it that we are a reliable service provider. Finally it alerts us whenever there is a problem.
Here’s a screenshot of the OpenCage Status page - (Note the shiny 100% uptime across all services!)
What we like about StatusCake:
- It does its job well
- The pricing is fair.
- We benefit from features like SSL monitoring
That list seems short, but frankly the first two points are the ones that matter, which is why we are happy customers for the past few years now.
As is the tradition in our product reviews, we try to help our partners by offering them suggestions for improvement. There are a few areas StatusCake could also improve:
- One weakness of the status page is that the content is loaded dynamically. We have seen cases where ad blockers prevent the content from loading, thus giving the appearance that the page is empty. That's confusing. Better would be if there were some sort of notification on the page if the content fails to load.
- StatusCake has a lot of features, this can make the internal dashboard for manipulating configuration complicated and hard to understand at a glance. I rarely log into our StatusCake account, which is a good thing, but when I do I always need a bit of time to first get oriented and re-familiarise myself with the terminology and layout. In fairness, building a tool with many options and simultaneously keeping it simple to use is a complex usability challenge.
- It's not a major thing, but it would be great if our status page could be https, as is increasingly becoming the norm on the web.
In closing, StatusCake has been a useful service for us. It’s one of several tools we use to help give customers confidence that they can rely on our geocoder as part of their infrastructure. We have no reservations in recommending StatusCake if you need independen, third party speed and uptime monitoring.