What is Cron Job service and why websites are using it?

By Faruque Ahamed Mollick

Today in this post, I am going to tell you about Cron. Cron Job is used by applications and on web-based application too.

A Cron is a job scheduler that does a particular task with a certain time interval. In many time it is needed to perform a specific task in our application. The Cron enable our application to perform a job repeatedly by scheduling the time.

In case of web technology, it is needed to run a particular task again and again within a short time interval. Using the Cron Job technique we can enable to run specific code by scheduling the time. For example, you can run certain code every 15 minutes or every one hour.

Why websites use Cron Job service?

Many times a website needs to perform a specific task. For example, sending email to users from the website. You can not always browse your webpage every 15 minutes or every hour. This task needs to be done automatically. Cron Job is a service that does it nicely. The Cron run the specific URL of your website that holds the required code that you want to run by scheduling a time.

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Sell your product on your own website or the third party?

By using the Cron Job service you can send email, notifications, send update even when you are not online on your website. Now let’s see some nice examples of tasks that Cron Job do nicely:

  • You can send daily newsletter emails from your website automatically using a Cron Job service. You just need to schedule you Cron on a daily basis or set a time for every day when you would like to send the email.
  • If there is a membership site where member will be deactivated after certain time than Cron service will help in this task. The Cron can check the members with expired time limits every specific time.
  • If you are selling services that will be activated for a certain time and after that, it will expire, then you can use Cron Job service to regularly check which service has been expired.
  • You can send browser push notification about weather forecast report, live score of sport or anything.
  • You can automatically expire or remove all the cached data using a Cron service.
  • You can save the disk space of your server by checking and deleting the temporary and unused file using Cron service.
  • You can crawl your website by using Cron. Also, you can collect information from other types of websites by crawling it using Cron.
  • You can check the broken links of a site by using Cron Job service.

Well, starting your own Cron Job is not an easy task. So, there are some Cron Job services available. For example, cron-job.org is one of the popular Cron services for websites. You just need to submit the URL and chose if it will run by GET or POST method. After that, you just need to schedule the time interval which will run your code, for example, every n minutes or n hours. There are some other Cron Job service providers also available.

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A third party Cron Jon service provider like cron-job.org take all the technical task and you don’t have to write code and command for Cron. You just need to code on your own website and let it run again and again by the Cron.


I hope you have got some ideas about what is Cron and why Cron Job service used by websites.