Recently at work I’ve been involved with the sales team to find a new CRM tool. While looking at various tools I stumbled on freshping with is the free to paid website monitoring tool by freshworks.
Freshworks makes a popular sales CRM tool freshsales and Customer Service Management called freshdesk. They make a bunch of other tools for marketing, internal IT service management, call center, and others. Obviously freshping is a free product to get new customers for their paid for products, but what do you get for free? Will it stand on its own or does need a paid for product to actually work?
First lets see what you actually get access to for free.
Before we sign up lets check the Pricing page to see a little more indepth information. We got 3 pricing models that build on each other
Sprout – Free
- 50 Checks (urls) @ 1 minute intervals
- 10 Global locations to perform the checks
- 5 Public Status pages
- 10 Users
- 6 Month Data Retention
- 5 Integrations
- Advanced Monitoring
- HTTP Monitoring
- ICMP Ping Monitoring
- TCP/UDP Monitoring
- DNS Monitoring
- Slack, Twilio, Webhook
- FreshDesk, FreshService
- Freshstatus (basic) #
- Response Time Graphs
- Average Response time metrics
- Apdex Metrics.
Blossom – $11 per month
- Everything in Sprout and
- 60 Checks and the ability to add more
- 12 users
- 10 integrations
- 12 Months Data, reports & Logs
- Advanced Monitoring
- Check response string every min
- Check response code every min
- Advanced Settings
- Set Customer HTTP Headers
- Set Request Timeout
- Set Basic Authentication
- Advanced alerting
- Alert only when down for “X”mins
Garden – $36 per month
- 80 Checks and can add more
- 20 Users
- 15 Integrations
- 24 Months Data, Reports & Logs
- Advanced Monitoring
- SSL Monitoring
- SSL Expiration Warnings
- Advanced Reporting
- Downloadable Incident Logs
- Public Status Page
- SSL for Custom Domains.
At first glance it looks like for free you have a solid start and then as you grow you get a longer data retention, increased users, increased checks, and SSL monitoring at the top end. Overall, on paper this looks like a reasonable pricing model for a corporate use. Also, this is priced well for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to resell it as well. For example, if you as an MSP sign up for the Garden package. The cost works out to be $2.23 per website per month assuming you can use all 80 checks. If the MSP sells website monitoring at $5 or $10 per month per site then your margins are at 55.4%-77.7% after you set up the system and link it to their ticketing system.
Sorry side thought aside lets sign up and see how it works.
After typing in this website and my email address I get brought to a company profile set up page and an email to set up my password.
After completing the setup you get brought to the Dashboard for your organization.
At this point we’re off to a good start. We see the usage of 1 out 50 sites used. For the site it’s self it’s reporting as up, completely accessible, no downtime over the last 5-10 minutes, APDex .5, and an average response time of 1.4 seconds.
Lets dive into the buttons on the side
- The 1st Icon (Lines with Up Down Arrows) is the Dashboard
- The 2nd icon (Pie Chart) is the Reporting section
- The 3rd icon (Page with Up Down Arrows) is for Status Pages
- The 4th icon (Page with Bookmark) is for Website Badges
- The 5th icon (Gear) is the Account Settings
- The 6th icon (Rocket Ship) is Explore – the portfolio of other freshworks products.
Since we’ve already covered the dashboard lets start with Reporting
In this case it displays the only site that’s attached to freshping. If I had other website they are available in the drop down menu in the upper left corner. If we want to edit the website Check we can select “Edit Check” in the upper right corner.
Most of the options are unavailable on the free edition but you can set the interval, update the friendly name, and alert destinations.
When we scroll down we also can see the historical information once it’s built up
Next lets go to the status pages sections
When we click on Create New lets see what happens.
The Status page allows you to create custom one page status pages. My example is a little bare because I only have 1 site. But if you’re an MSP or a large company with multiple business segment website you could create a 1 pager with multiple sites that are logically grouped together with the high level metrics. On top of that, you can create a custom DNS record to go to it and specify your google analytics to track web site usage.
After you save the page the status page shows the status of all your status pages. It displays the name, licensing usage, and the URL to access the page(s).
Next is the badges page. I’ll do a separate post on the badge process but this is the section where you can get the freshping badge to show your uptime to website visitors on your web site.
The Settings sections all has to do with account management. At first you’re presented with user management. On the free version you can have up to 10 users on the account. This is where you can invite more users to the account
Under the Integrations page to set up where you want the alerts to go. Obivously freshping is going to place their other products first in the list but other options are available. On the free version you’re limited to 5 integration which would cover a lot of options like chat tool, ticketing system, phone calling systems etc.
Account Settings is basic Account settings, transfer the ownership of the account and the option to delete the account.
Don’t worry I reset my API Key after taking the screenshot.
Last part in Setting section is Pricing and Billing so you can upgrade the account when needed.
Moving on the last icon on the left. This is the explore section which holds the other freshworks products to review for expanding your product usage.
Now that this is set up I’m going to let it run for a little bit to get some historical data built up and create a follow up post about it. In terms of the setup, this was incredible simple to set up. To be honest, it longer to take the screenshots for this post then it did to set up the account. The time suck could be if you link this to a 3rd party ticketing system, but I have no way to being able to estimate that. On the plus side a 3rd party ticketing system integration would have to run through zapier or through a webhook configuration so that deployment would have to pretty straight forward.
My last initial thoughts are. I took a look at the documentation for this product and its nicely managed and easily searchable. It looks like documentation and community sections fully covers the product. Granted it’s a relatively simple product but nothing annoys me more when you pay for a product and the documentation is missing or the documentation is hard to use. This is not the case here. Also, I’m glad to see that there is 2FA options of user accounts. In 2020 any product that doesn’t have 2FA (in a business use) is a non-starter for me.
As I said I’ll let this run for a week or so and post a follow up post on Freshping.