Do you ever wonder if your site is down? Alternately, have you ever wondered if another site you're trying to access is down?
Monitoring your site(s)
You can monitor your site on an ongoing basis by using a service like http://uptimerobot.com which allows you to keep tabs on as many as 50 sites for free. It monitors the sites' status, alerting you by email when one of the sites goes down and when it comes back online.
Uptimerobot also keeps track of your sites' response times. This is not the load time for your site - you'll need to use http://gtmetrix.com or some similar free tool to track load time. Uptimerobot keeps track of how long it takes for your site simply to respond when it's pinged.
The site monitor above shows response times that vary from nearly instantaneous to a spike which reached almost six-tenths of a second. You won't get fast site load times if your sites' server doesn't respond quickly.
Can I find if other sites are down?
There's another free resource you can use to determine if your computer or internet connection is having problems accessing a web site, or if the web site itself is down. Just visit http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ - or a shorter URL http://www.isup.me/ which gets you the same service.
Mystery solved - on with your day!