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.