Have you ever started your computer, fired up your Internet Browswer, typed in an address and received a generic “Can’t find that page” error?  After double checking your typing and hitting refresh five times you begin to wonder if the website you’re trying to reach is offline or is the error caused by something you’ve done?

The other day we were browsing Facebook and received such an error.  I found it hard to believe that Facebook (now the most popular website in the US) was offline so I tried a few different options to see what was going on.

1. www.downrightnow.com – This website monitors 9 frequently visited sites and updates their status by combining user reports and official announcements.  While covering 9 popular sites this service won’t cover all of your favorite websites.

2. www.siteuptime.com – We’ve actually covered this service before but this website will check any domain from servers located in San Fransico, Chicago, New York, London or Hong Kong.  They will even monitor and email you whenever a specific site goes done.  Once you go to their site you want to look for the “Quick Check” link on the left.

3. www.pdfmyurl.com – This website is thinking outside the box.  When you visit this site you enter the domain name / url of the website you’re interested in.  The service then goes out and saves a picture of the site to PDF which is then saved to your local computer.  If the site you are interested in is down your PDF won’t show you anything useful.  This service is also great at “visiting” unknown sites without fear of downloading something from the unknown site or even leaving logs that you were there!

4. www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com – This one is pretty striaght forward.  Type in the domain you are having problems accessing and this page will report if they are having problems as well.  The main purpose of this service is an advertisement for a web hosting company but the initial service is quick and easy (and free).

5. www.browsershots.org – This website is thinking outside the box similar to pdfmyurl.com.  When you visit this site your are given the option to enter a domain name / URL and select from one of almost 60 different browsers.  The service will then go out to the entered URL and “view” the website with the selected browser returning a screen shot for you.  As before i if the site you’re trying to view is down your browser screenshot will probably confirm you aren’t the only one having problems accessing the site.  We’ve actually covered this site before but didn’t mention this option previously.

Of course by the time I hit the 2nd option Facebook was back online but I was happy to receive some confirmation the site was down and not just an error on my end.