Uptime Robot And Cloudflare – Do You Need Both?

Uptime Robot and Cloudflare are used together on many websites. But Cloudflare provides some protection to downtime, so do you need the two services? This article discusses why it’s a good idea to use both.

Do you need to do anything special to make Uptime Robot work well with Cloudflare? Usually not, but we have some specific advice for special circumstances.

Uptime Robot Is About Availability, Cloudflare Gives You Speed

You probably first got interested in Cloudflare to boost your website’s speed. We all want our web pages to load quickly to give visitors a great user experience.

And if you’re interested in high rankings in search engines, then you’ll be aware that Google includes page speed as a ranking factor in the order of its search results.

Cloudflare is first and foremost a Content Delivery Network or CDN. The service places copies of your web pages in different locations across the world. When a visitor browses to your web page, Cloudflare can show them the version from the closest location.

But Cloudflare doesn’t just store copies in multiple places. It holds those copies in memory so the load time is far quicker than having to read the pages from the disks of your host server.

These two Cloudflare features are known as distribution and caching.

Uptime Robot doesn’t provide either of these features. That’s not what it’s for. This is why using Cloudflare is a good idea for your website.

Cloudflare Improves Availability, But Monitoring Is Still A Good Thing

Cloudflare also offers an “Always On” feature, which is aimed squarely at availability. If your hosting servers are down, Cloudflare will show the most recent version they have available.

That’s great. But does it mean that we don’t need website monitoring at all? No, because Cloudflare isn’t infallible. Adding an extra layer between your visitors and your servers also adds another point of failure. I’ll discuss some issues in a later section.

Using Uptime Robot With Cloudflare

I and many other website owners use Uptime Robot to monitor websites that also use Cloudflare.

Personally, I don’t do anything “special” in my Uptime Robot setup. I simply follow the steps laid out in our tutorial on how to use Uptime Robot to monitor your website.

Because I use the HTTP(s) type of monitor, Uptime Robot is performing the same web requests as my users. This is what I want to monitor.

Bypassing Cloudflare

Some website owners like having two layers of monitoring. They set up an Uptime Robot monitor as per the instructions linked above.

But they also want to monitor the underlying servers. So they configure a second monitor to bypass Cloudflare and ping the host servers directly.

If you’re interested in this belt-and-braces approach, you can use the “Ping” type monitor to specify an IP address or hostname.

Do You Need to Whitelist Uptime Robot In Cloudflare?

The Cloudflare control panel lets you add IP addresses to the whitelist of allowed sources.

I’ve never had to whitelist Uptime Robot IP addresses within Cloudflare. This is because the company works with Cloudflare to keep them up to date with their locations. Cloudflare has a global whitelist that includes many monitoring services, including Uptime Robot.

However, something may go wrong with this co-operation. Uptime Robot occasionally adds new source locations i.e. new IP addresses. You may be unfortunate to encounter a delay with Cloudflare recognizing that the source is legitimate.

If you’re using the free plan of 5-minute interval checks, then the monitors are still unlikely to flag as a problem within Cloudflare. However, I’ve seen a few people raise issues on tech forums so I’ll mention how to solve the problem here.

Solving False Positives Between Uptime Robot and Cloudflare

In this scenario, Uptime Robot is sending you alerts that your web page is down. But the page loads for you just fine!

We have a separate article on how to solve Uptime Robot false positives.

This will take you through investigating and identifying the problem. And more importantly, how to solve it by adding IP addresses to a whitelist. The article gives you the link to the list of Uptime Robot IP addresses.

In this case, you want to add them to the Cloudflare whitelist. This is available in the Cloudflare control panel. But before you go through this somewhat tedious task, you should check if the entire problem is about to be solved by more cooperation between Uptime Robot and Cloudflare.

Check with Uptime Robot and Cloudflare support

It’s worth checking the Uptime Robot blog to see if there is a recent post announcing new IP addresses. If you’re having a sudden problem, it’s also worth commenting on the blog post.

You can also check the Cloudflare community forums to see if anyone else is having similar issues. By the way, if nobody else is reporting a problem, then this may not be an issue around whitelisting. Read on for more potential problems.

Uptime Robot And Cloudflare Outages

Cloudflare provides an excellent service that I use for many of my websites. But they are not immune from outages.

Here’s a headline from a major tech journal in 2020:

Cloudflare DNS goes down, taking a large piece of the internet with it

Techcrunch 2020

Ouch! Yep, Uptime Robot and Pingdom and the other website monitoring services went crazy for a while.

This isn’t the first and only time a service interruption has occurred. However, one of the big advantages of Cloudflare is that because it is used by massive websites – the outages are quite public.

If you’ve rushed to your laptop in response to a downtime email, it’s worth taking a quick look at the latest tech news.