You're definitely on the right track. A couple of suggestions:
" would be a great way to periodically run your scripts
2. "ps ax|grep httpd" will work if your Apache daemon is named "httpd"; otherwise "ps ax|grep apache" will work if it's named "apache2". It could be either one, depending on your Linux distro and version.
This syntax, however, will give you an EXTRA line: you'll also see an entry for the command itself. You can eliminate the extra line with the syntax "ps ax|grep httpd|grep -v grep".
Another way to check the status, without using "ps", is:
... or, equivalently,
3. If you need to (re)start it from your script, the syntax is:
'Hope that helps .. PSM