One of the attractions of paying for a premium web host is the availability of cron jobs. Now, most web hosting today comes with some sort of cron job features attached to them, but they may limit their functionality somewhat unless you upgrade to the next highest hosting plan. But who wants to pay for a bunch of features they don’t need in order to get one single add-on?
In this case, there are many 3rd party cron job services out there that can help you out. The price at which these services charge are pretty fair; about $10-$20 per year. That’s a heck of a lot better than paying an extra $5-$10 monthly in order to upgrade your hosting plan. What we’ll do is take a look at the three most used 3rd party cron job services, and compare them feature by feature.
The first thing that makes a good cron job service is to be able to run cron job programs very frequently. If you’re a webmaster that uses server-side scripts written in PHP or Perl, then chances are you’ll find a situation where something has to be done in very short intervals of time. Most premium quality cron job services run at least once per minute, which should be suitable for almost any situation.
The other thing you’re going to have to pay a close eye on is the length of time in which a cron job can be run, before the program “times out”. Now, this isn’t only limited by the cron job service itself, but also to the preferences that your web host has set. However, if you’ve got a web host that doesn’t give you a strict timeout limit, then these cron job services are ready to accommodate you and run some reasonably long tasks.
SetCronJob.com: 30 Seconds
EasyCron.com: 5 Minutes
Cronless.com: 5 Minutes
GetCron.com: 5 Minutes
The last obvious feature you’re going to want is to not be limited by the amount of cron jobs your service can provide you. If you happen to run a lot of web pages, or even a single web page with a lot of scripts, you want this extra service you signed up for to pay off don’t you? Beware of services that only let you set up a few cron jobs with their paid services.
Cronless.com: 5 (Power Plan, Pro Plan includes Unlimited Cron Jobs)
To avoid the need for a 3rd party cron job service make sure that your web hosting plan supports the level of cron jobs that you require.