Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If you need cron jobs every X seconds

At the moment, there's no cron job service supports cron jobs with interval less than 1 minute. If you're really in need of cron jobs every X seconds and your hosting supports PHP, you can use my cron.php (

First, edit the $cron_url, $time_interval, $real_time_interval. Then upload cron.php to your web root, i.e. can be accessed at

Set cron job with URL to call to run every minute.

Hope it helps :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

If your URL redirects to somewhere

If your URL redirects to somewhere, SetCronJob won't accept that URL to be set cron job.
You will receive message like This URL is redirected to DESTINATION URL Try setting cron with this URL.

Here are some common cases of cron URL redirection:

1. If it's a redirection from non-www to www (or vice versa), i.e. from to, then set up cron with the DESTINATION URL.

2. If it's a redirection to an error page (e.g. some shared hosting do this for 404 Not Found error), then you should check your cron URL (see below).

3. If it's a properly redirection, i.e. after your cron works, you make it redirect to homepage or somewhere, then you can use the cron.php (, change the $cron_url, upload it to your web root (i.e. can be accessed at, then set cron job with URL to call is
Of course, your web hosting must enable PHP.

How to check a URL for redirection?
To check a URL, simply enter it to your browser. If it redirects, you will see the new URL at address bar.

Another useful tool is enter your URL then click Submit. You will see the HTTP status and other headers as well as the HTML output. If it redirects, you will see the new URL at Location:

If you have any question, feel free to email me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What is Resource Points at SetCronJob?

Hello all,

I've just added the Resource Points system recently. This system is mainly to stop abusers from using too much resources, which caused some (free) hosting provider blocked SetCronJob's IP.

What's the Resource Points?
Resource Points (RP) is an indicator for resource usage of each cron job. For example, a cron job every minute needs to be executed 5 times more than a cron job every 5 minutes, therefore a cron every minute will take a number of RP 5 times bigger than cron every 5 minutes'.

RP is also equivalent to price of cron too, e.g a cron job every 1 minute with no log requires 200 RP, so it cost $2 / year for one cron every minute (see How to get more Resource Points below).

How Resource Points are used?
Each active cron requires (occupy) a number of Resource Points, e.g cron every 5 minutes requires 40 RP. If there's not enough RP in your account, you will not be able to add more cron.

Existing Active cron will be executed without costing any point, regardless how many Resource Points are used or remaining. So, the total Resource Points is constant.

How many Resource Points will I get?
As stated at Prices page, FREE users will get 100 RP; Bronze, Silver and Gold will get 500, 1000 and 2000 RP respectively. It's enough to for most needs, but if you need more cron, see below.

How to get more Resource Points?
Premium users are able to add more Resource Points. Simply go to Control Panel and click Add more.

The price is $5 / 500 RP / year. The number of RP added will be scaled to fit your account lifetime, e.g if your account will expire next 6 months, you'll get 500 RP / 0.5 year = 1,000 RP.

Bronze accounts are recommended to upgrade to Silver instead of adding RP, as upgrading brings you best value :)

Some small changes
As well as adding Resource Points system, I've made some changes:
- All users can use Notification feature, but notification on execution are limited to 12 emails / day. Users are recommended to set Notify to Failure to get notified about failed execution(s).
- Log cron job output is now available for all account. Free users may enable Log cron job output with max timeout 3 seconds, ideal for most quick script, e.g my backing up script takes about 2.1 seconds :)
- Free users can set up cron with minimum interval is 10 minutes (instead of 5 minutes). This is to stop abusers too ;)

Most users are happy with my quick response, so if you have any question, feel free to email me :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to prevent cron from being DISABLED

Hello all,

Sometimes you may see your cron failed more than 9 consecutive times, and were disabled. You can see why here.

To prevent your script from being disabled, follow these suggestions:

- Set cron jobs running at a big interval, e.g once a hour (hourly) or once a day (daily).
If you are on a shared hosting, it is recommended to set cron jobs once a hour or more, as your hosting provider is happy to ban any IP making a lot of HTTP requests :D

- Set cron jobs running at "leisure" minutes.
"Remember that when you schedule your job to run at midnight every night, there may be a couple hundred other people thinking the same thing. If the exact time is not critical, consider scheduling your job for 11:56 PM or 12:03 AM.

You'll find there are much fewer jobs scheduled at this time and your job will often run faster and smoother than when you are wrestling for that coveted midnight position. You may want to avoid using minutes that are multiples of five (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25)."

- Combine similar cron
If you have some cron running at a same interval, e.g every 30 minutes, you can combine them into one using some code.

I've made one in PHP:
+ Edit file, insert your cron URLs before "SETCRONJOB;", one URL per line.
+ Upload that file into your web root (i.e can be access at
+ Set cron jobs with the URL
+ Disable the old cron.

Hope it helps :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to register a free account

With free account, you can create unlimited number of cron jobs with minimum interval 5 minutes. To get a free account, follow this:

- Go to Register page.

- Enter a username, password (twice), email, and 6 letters in image (CAPTCHA), then click Register now!
If there is something wrong, read the error message and correct your info. If you think there's some bug or have no idea what to do, contact me.

- Activation mail will be sent to your email within 5 minutes.
If you didn't receive any emails, contact me or register another account using recommended web mail i.e. GMail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.

- Click on the link in activation mail, and you are done.

Now, you can log in and start setting up your cron jobs for FREE!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

SetCronJob moved to new server

Hello all,

There was some problem with old server, and it made a lot of cron jobs failed. I'm working a lot on it, but cannot solve the problem. My hosting provider had no idea, too.

So, I decided to move to new server on Mar 04, 2010. New server is hosted at KnownHost, California data center. It has two IPs: (primary IP) and (secondary IP).

New server had been set up completely, and you will see a nice improvement on cron jobs executions.

If you have any question, feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to group cron jobs

With SetCronJob, you can group your cron jobs easily with Grouping feature. It's very useful when you need to create a lot of cron jobs.

- How to create a new group.
Click on Add a group, enter group name and press enter. Your group will be created.

- How to create new cron jobs under a group.
Click on Create new cron jobs, choose group name in list Group of new cron job, then click Save.

- How to move existing cron jobs to a group.
Click on Edit icon, choose group name in list Group of this cron job, then click Save.

- How to ungroup a cron job.
Click on Edit icon, choose None in Group of this cron job, then click Save.

- How to rename a group.
Click on Edit icon of the group name, enter new group name and press enter.

- How to delete a group.
Click on Delete icon. This will delete the group only, and will NOT delete cron jobs under that group.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Server status - Feb 9, 2010

According to the logs, SetCronJob didn't run cron jobs from 2:10 AM to 2:46 AM, and from 2:51 AM to 8:58 AM, Feb 9, 2010.

SetCronJob didn't run cron jobs even when main server was up because of database corruption.

Secondary server didn't run cron jobs when main server was down, and I had solved its problem: the HP denied access through IP/~username.

From 8:59 AM, Feb 9, 2010, SetCronJob is ok and start running all cron jobs.

Please accept my apologize for the convenience this caused.

Nguyen An Thuan.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to SetCronJob! has been registered on Jan 31st, 2009, and after some hardworking days, it can say first "Hello world!" greeting.

One year elapsed, SetCronJob now become one of the most reliable and popular Online Cron Job (Web Cron) services. It has:

- About 4,000 satisfied users,
- About 6,200 cron jobs created,
- About 27,000,000 URL processed since created.

It achieved:
- The Google PageRank of 3 / 10,
- The Alexa Traffic Rank about 160,000 (and goes down every day),
- Top 10 of a lot of competitive keywords in Google, Yahoo!, Bing search engine.

Happy birthday to you, SetCronJob!

I would like to express my thanks to a lot of users have been using SetCronJob for a long time.
The service is very good at this time, and I'll try my best to keep it good and make it better :)

Thanks a lot :)
Nguyen An Thuan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SetCronJob: FREE vs Premium account

SetCronJob offers two types of account: FREE and Premium Account.

FREE Account.

FREE Account is free to sign up, and you don't need to do anything to renew your account.

With FREE Account, you can create unlimited number of cron jobs with minimum interval 5 minutes.

There's only one limit: the expiry date. It's 1 month (nice, right?) for cron jobs every hour or more (hourly, daily, etc), and 2 weeks (not bad) for cron jobs every 5 minutes or more (cron every 5, 6, 12, 15, 20, 30 minutes).

After expiry date, your cron jobs will be deleted from my database, and obviously not work any more.

To renew cron jobs, simply edit and save it. In fact, when you edit and save your cron jobs, the expiry date will be recalculated according to current time; so when your cron are going to expire, edit and save cron will renew them, too.

Your cron jobs will start working right after created, and you are not required to do anything to make it work.

Premium Account.

You must pay to upgrade from FREE Account to a Premium Account. Starting price is only $5 / year for Bronze Account, and maximum price is only $20 / year. Very nice price :)

If you would like to create cron jobs every minute or more, you must upgrade your account to Silver or Gold account.

The expiry date is still there. Although I said your cron will expire after 1 year, the expiry date of cron will be same with expiry date of your premium account.

When your account expires, your cron will expire after next 1 month.

You can renew your account any time you want by making another payment.

You can also change your account type, e.g. from Bronze to Silver, any time you want by choosing desired premium account when renewing. The remaining time will be converted according to the rate between old and new price, e.g. 6 months of Bronze account will be converted to 3 months Silver account.

With Premium account, you can create cron jobs with all features (a few now, but I'll add more), and never care about the expiry date :)


Choose which account is up to you :) If you are online too often like me, free account is ok.

Or just spend a little amount on SetCronJob, and save your valuable time. I'm sure you will be satisfied with my service :)


Monday, January 18, 2010

Why your cron job doesn't execute

If you set up your cron, and it looks like the cron doesn't execute, here are some reason and how to solve:

- You set wrong time setting

Sometimes people asked me why their cron jobs don’t execute, or execute only one time. When I checked the cron setting, I saw that they set Hour or Day field to "1", and expect it to run every "1" hour/day. The correct time setting to make it run hourly or daily is set the Hour or Day field to "All", and set a specific value for the smaller field: Minute and/or Hour.

You are recommended to create cron job at a predefined interval. Just click on "Create new cron jobs" and see the instructions.

- It's not time to execute.

The value "Every X" means that your cron will be executed when the field is divisible by X. For example, if you set the hour to Every 6, your cron job will be executed at 0, 6, 12, 18 o'clock.

And the time zone of SetCronJob is GMT/UTC, so don't look at your clock or watch, look at the bottom of Control Panel and see what time it is in GMT/UTC.

- The connection/request failed.

You can set the Notify value to Failure, so that you will receive notification when SetCronJob is unable to make a connection and request.

-Your script is deleted / redirected.

If it used to work before, but suddenly stopped work, you should check your script. Try entering the URL into your favorite browser (FireFox, IE, Opera, etc). If it has been deleted, you may see the error HTTP 404 Not Found. If it's redirected to somewhere, e.g. to www or non-www version, try setting cron with destination URL.

- Your cron job is disabled.

Check the Status field of your cron whether it's "Active" or not. If it's disabled, try enabling it by click on Edit icon, then Save icon.

- Your script is executed, but not works.

If your script is executed by my bot (see the logs, or set Notify to Always, or add some sending mail snippet to your script, etc), but it doesn't work and does its jobs, you'd better have a look at your script.

If it's a URL to some cron file created by another script, e.g. CMS (Drupal, Joomla, etc), forums, blog (WP-o-Matic of WordPress, etc), you should re-check its settings, or ask your friends who have experience on that software.

If it's your own script, you can check whether it works correctly when being called from a browser. Try checking whether there's some syntax or logic error.

If your script partially executed, consider tips at Set up cron jobs with PHP script. I'm sure it will help you :)


If you are sure your cron script, time setting are ok, but SetCronJob doesn't execute your cron, don't hesitate to contact me.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sorry Japanese users :)

UPDATED on Feb 3rd, 2010: I found a solution to this, and now SetCronJob works fine with all *.jp URL. Your cron jobs were enabled. You will no longer get error message "Error: Connection timed out" (if your site is online/up).

Hello all,

One week ago, I found that my service became too bad, and cron were not executed on time. It often took around 30 sec to even 150 seconds :(

I had to order new cron server, remove the logging feature, but the problem still exist. Before I had the third cron server set up, I had a carefully check at cron jobs.

Finally, I found that the problem came from URLs of Japan: They took around 5 - 15 seconds to establish a connection to, and around 0.5 - 2 seconds to make a request. Although I had set the timeout value 2 seconds, but they didn't timed out :(

So, I made a change to determine the failure: If it does successfully make a connection and request, but time elapsed in more than 2 seconds, it will be considered as failed.

This disabled around 300 URLs from Japan :(
(Most of these URLs are from

As I already had some premium users from Japan, I had mail to them to provide a solution: use PHProxy, and give them my private site with PHProxy installed.

This already solved the problem of my premium users, but free users feel confused (and angry, I guess).

After a lot of time translating Japanese to English (using Google translate, of course :D), I found a lot of my users complain at Twitter.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this is causing.

Here are some explanations:

- "SetCronJob is unable to reach this URL now. Error: Connection timed out"

This means that your cron job takes more than 2 seconds to make a connection and request. As stated above, this will be considered as failure, and you can not create / enable your cron.

Good solution is use a PHProxy, as said in who disabled your cron jobs.

- Received "Cron Job disabled" mail from SetCronJob?

After your cron job failed 5 times, it will be disabled, and you'll receive this notification. Your cron job will be rechecked for 3 times before giving up. See who enabled your cron jobs.

-"Job runs once but then they say your site is too slow buy our hosting if you want it to work." (From Twitter)

The "Your website is too slow, ..." is just an advertising (not a message) for my new plan: If users are interested in HostGator hosting, and would like to get a SetCronJob premium account, they can sign up for HostGator using my affiliate link, and I'm happy to give them a Diamond account.

However, this hasn't been set up yet (that's why I don't publish it on this blog).

So, "buy our hosting..." is misunderstood. It's HostGator hosting :D

- "...promoting a free service that doesn't exist." (From comment on SetCronJob's blog)

The free cron jobs service is at SetCronJob. That's true. SetCronJob offers free cron jobs every 5 minutes, and you are not required to pay any cent or do anything to make your cronjob work.

If it doesn't work, let me know, I'll have a look at your cron setting and URL.

Again, I'm really sorry for that.
If you are still confused about anything, let me know :)

To users not from Japan: Everything is ok, and you can see the service is very on time now :)

Get Bronze Account For FREE! Limited offer!

Hello all,

In order to promote SetCronJob and reward active users, I’ll give away 20 Bronze Accounts!

If you already have a premium account, your premium account will be renewed, Bronze account will be renewed for 1 year, while Silver account will be renewed for 6 months, and so on.

To get this gift, you must prove that you are an active user :D

So, complete at least 03 of these tasks and get enough 10 points, which will take you around 30 minutes to do. Most of these tasks can be done easily with a FaceBook account.

- Follow @setcronjob AND tweet at Twitter (2 points for each account)

- Vote (Bookmark) SetCronJob at Digg, Yahoo! Buzz,, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Mixx (1 point each)

- Rate SetCronJob 5 stars AND write a review at Alexa (2 points)

- Become a fan of SetCronJob, AND write on its wall at FaceBook (2 points)

- Make a blog post about SetCronJob at your blog (or a note at FaceBook), around 2 – 4 paragraphs, 50 - 100 words, can copy from my homepage (3 points)

- Make a posts about SetCronJob in your favorite forums (please follow forums rule) (1 point for each forums)

After done, contact me and list your works :)

Happy setting up your cron!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Who enabled my cron jobs?

Who enabled my cron jobs?

It's me :D

I've set up a cron jobs to automatically check cron jobs disabled by my bots.

If your cron is ok, it will be enabled. It will try 3 times before giving up, and you will see the Failed column "8 times".

This cron will be launched every 3 hours, at 51st minute.

Hope it helps :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who disabled my cron jobs?

Some of you may receive "Cron job disabled" message, and your cron jobs have been disabled due to 5 consecutive times.

Your cron job may fail because:
- Your web site is down.
Please check whether your site is still online or not.

- Your hosting's firewall had blocked SetCronJob.
Please contact your hosting provider and ask them whether their
firewall had blocked SetCronJob.
If your cron job doesn't need to be executed too frequently,
choose a smaller interval, e.g. every 30 minutes or every hour. This will prevent firewall from misunderstanding SetCronJob as a bad bot. 

- The outgoing connection is too bad.
SetCronJob is hosted in UK, if your web hosting located
too far from SetCronJob or network connection is bad, the connection may time out.
You can try enabling it, or set cron jobs with PHProxy URL:
+ Find a web proxy site installed PHProxy or similar proxy script.
+ Enter your cron jobs URL into its URL field, and press Enter.
+ Copy the URL displayed on address bar, and set cron job with that URL.

If you are not able to find a proxy, contact me :)

Hope it helps :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are you satisfied with SetCronJob?

Hello all,

Happy new year to you :)

In 2009 and some first days of 2010, SetCronJob had a lot of changes. Most of these changes are to make SetCronJob better, but some of them may be not :D

So, I would like to listen to you.

Are you satisfied with SetCronJob's service?
Which feature are you like/dislike the most?

Click here to fill out my survey!

If there is something you want me to change, let me know :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to set up cron jobs

With SetCronJob, set up cron jobs is very easy.

After activating your account, you will have two example cron jobs: cron job every day (named "once a day") and cron job every hour (named "every hour").

If you would like to set up your cron jobs to run every day or hour, simply click on its URL, then paste your URL into "URL to call" field, then click on Save button.

If you want to set up cron jobs to run periodically, click on "Create new cron jobs'" link, select an interval at the second rows, enter your URL, then click on Add button.

If you would like to create cron jobs with crontab syntax, click on CRONTAB link at bottom of Control Panel, then edit time fields as desired.

Hope it helps :)


Friday, January 8, 2010

SetCronJob come back :D

Hello all,

After some hours stop receiving new users, SetCronJob come back :) Luckily, I can complete my jobs faster than expected.

To warrant the quality of service, I had to change somethings:

- Logging feature has been removed.

- Cron jobs will be disabled after 5 consecutive times.

- Connection time out is 2 seconds.

Hope it helps :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stop receiving new users

Hello all,

Although I ordered a new cron server, but it seems unable to handle such a big number of cron jobs.

To warrant quality of SetCronJob's service, I had to stop receiving new users from Friday, Jan 08, 2010. SetCronJob will comeback after 5 days. I'll try to improve the cron processors, which don't work as expected now.

All existing users are not affected. You can still log in, create, edit your cron jobs.

I'm really sorry for this inconvenience. Hope to see you later :)

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New cron server added

Hello all,

I've ordered a new server yesterday, and I'm setting it up now.

This server will be used to host database, mailer, crontab and cron processor which will process around 1/2 of the cron jobs. The current server will be used to host web server, mailer, and cron processor.

Its IP is, and it's identified as

Best regards,
Nguyen An Thuan.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hello all,

On behalf of, I wish you a happy, healthy and successful year ahead :)

I hope you are satisfied with SetCronJob's service.
If there is anything that I can help, let me know :)

I have a special offer for you: From 8:00 AM, Jan 1st, 2010 to 8:00 AM, Jan 2nd, 2010 (time in GMT), when you upgrade your account to Bronze, Silver or Gold account, you will get a Silver, Gold or Diamond account respectively; when you upgrade your account to Diamond account, your account lifetime will be x2 :)

Happy setting up your cron jobs :)

UPDATED at Sun, 03 Jan 2010 11:00  - This offer ended :)

Best regards,

Nguyen An Thuan.