Follow redirects for HTTP checks

We’re happy to announce a new optional feature for our HTTP checks – follow redirects.

Until today, NodePing website monitoring only supported the single HTTP request/response.  An often requested feature was the ability to follow HTTP redirect codes in the 300s and evaluate the check on the final page of the redirects.


We believe you should monitor everything, including your redirect pages. We recommend you create a separate check for the redirect and ensure the 301 or 302 status code and the header ‘Location’ is to the destination URL you expect and then create another check to monitor that destination URL. We still think this is a best practice for website monitoring and will help you pinpoint a failure more quickly should something happen to your redirect or destination URL.

We realize there’s a use case for monitoring HTTP responses that includes following redirects and we’re happy to include that option in our HTTP checks. The default behavior remains the same – that is we do not follow redirects but rather evaluate an HTTP status code in the 300 range as a successful response.

To activate this option in your HTTP check, set the “Redirects:” drop down to “Follow redirects” or, if you’re using the API, set a ‘follow’ parameter to true. Our probes will follow up to 4 redirects and per the RFC, will only redirect on HTTP GET requests.

For more information, please see our documentation on the supported HTTP checks:
HTTP – Simple website monitoring for 200-399 HTTP status codes
HTTP Content – Verify content exists (or doesn’t exist) in the returned HTML
HTTP Advanced – The swiss-army-knife of HTTP checks. Set request headers, verify response headers, send JSON, XML, or form data, use GET/POST/PUT/HEAD/DELETE/TRACE/CONNECT methods, verify content, and expected returned HTTP status codes. You can even monitor a 404 page.


HTTP Advanced Check

Our HTTP checks for website monitoring at NodePing already include our standard HTTP Check, the HTTP Content Check that lets you verify that specific content is present or is not present in the page, and the HTTP Parse Check that allows you to track and alert on arbitrary data points in the response. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re adding the HTTP Advanced Check to our HTTP line up.

The new HTTP Advanced Check adds the following capabilities:

  • simulate a form POST to your web site and verify the expected response
  • check for arbitrary HTTP response status codes for custom API servers
  • send HTTP headers
  • verify specific HTTP headers are being received
  • send PUT, DELETE, HEAD, TRACE, or CONNECT methods

This will allow you to do more in-depth monitoring of your HTTP services. Use cases may include:

  • POST incorrect credentials to log in pages and verify the HTTP status code of 403 is returned.
  • Send mobile browser User-Agent headers and use the content checking to verify the mobile version of your site is being shown
  • Verify a PDF link is returning a PDF file by checking the return header for the correct ‘Content-Type’:’application/pdf’
  • Verify your redirect script is returning a 302 status code and not an error.

Additional information about this new check type can be found in our documentation.

The HTTP Advanced check is now available on all NodePing accounts. All accounts also include unlimited notifications, including international SMS. If you don’t have a NodePing account yet, please sign up for our free 15-day free trial.