Monitor webpages for changes with VisualPing

Posted January 31st, 2018 in Website Monitoring. Tagged: , , .

If there’s one thing that binds people across geographies, cultures, and preferences, it is the Internet. Regardless of their age, sex, or color, people all over the world spend an average of 2 – 3 hours on the Internet every day, and that makes for quite a big window of business opportunity. In such a setting, every business wants their website to be the one that a user visits when first looking out to buy stuff. That’s why they spend an awful lot of money, time, and effort into creating the perfect website that showcases their products and services to the world. But simply building the perfect website isn’t enough to ensure business continuity. Vendors need to keep making changes to them frequently to keep things interesting, even if the changes are as minute as a theme switch.

While that is true, sometimes, changes in the information displayed on websites are significant to users. Like the addition of new products to existing display, an update in the prices of things on sale, breaking news flash, information regarding examinations and admission dates, etc. Frequent online shoppers, travel enthusiasts, parents seeking admissions for their wards, or the average online newsreader are all constantly plugged on to the Internet hoping to see the information they want updated on the respective websites. The only thing they can do is keep refreshing webpages and waiting for a change.

Don’t you think that’s a waste of time and energy? You could instead be doing something more productive. But then, you’d have to miss out on changes as and when they happened. Right? Actually, no! With VisualPing, you can keep one of your eyes on changing webpages and one on your work. Wanna know how?

VisualPing – Automated real-time monitoring for webpages

VisualPing is an online monitoring service that lets you keep a real-time eye on changes in particular webpages and get instant email alerts when they happen. The tool lets you mark what you wish to track on a webpage (updated price of your favorite bag, launch date announcement of a new gadget, availability of a flight, new job announcement, etc.) and check after every lapse of a designated time interval whether that information has changed or not. Getting the drift? So instead of sitting around refreshing webpages to see if things have changed, you can use VisualPing to monitor those webpages and send you email notifications if something has indeed changed. And the tool does that along with sending you before and after screenshots of the webpages. Neat eh?

Here’s a look at some of the simple yet attractive features of VisualPing:

  • It can send you notifications about changes every hour, day, week, or month to an email address or a Slack channel
  • It lets you monitor webpages using visual-mode (images) or web-mode (text)
  • The tool can detect visual changes, content changes, layout changes, etc.
  • It lets you automate repetitive tasks like monitoring of search rankings, competitive monitoring, etc.
  • With it you can use a proxy for monitoring the page
  • You can even use its blocker feature to block any obstructive ads
  • It sends you notifications with screenshots of the change you are tracking

With hundreds of the biggest corporate houses worldwide like Google, Adobe, BBC, 3M, etc. using VisualPing to automated website checks, the tool is a great way to stay on top of changing web-trends as and when they happen.

How it works

This is as simple as it gets:

  1. Visit visualping.io and you’ll see a textbox saying ‘Enter Website’
  2. Enter the name of webpage you wish to monitor here and click on ‘Go’
  3. You’ll see the tool working on capturing the initial screenshot of the website whose URL you just entered and after a couple of seconds, you’ll see it displayed within a compact box beneath the URL box
  4. On the screenshot you’ll see a select box (like the one in Windows paint) which you can click and drag to mark the areas on the website you wish to monitor for changes
  5. Scroll down to see another textbox where you’ll need to enter the email address on which you wish to receive the change notification. Also pick how frequently you want VisualPing to check for changes to the website by clicking on the light-yellow button that says ‘Every day’
  6. For making changes to advanced settings, click on the ‘Advanced’ label. This will open a small panel containing some more customization options:
    1. A toggle button using which you can specify if you want to monitor changes to images (visual) or text (web)
    2. A wait time after which a screenshot of the loaded page should be taken
    3. Option to display the webpage as it would when connecting from a specific location
    4. Option to pick what level of change you should be informed about
    5. Option to give the current job a name
  7. Once you’ve filled up everything, click on “Start Monitoring” to let VisualPing begin its work

If you’re simply using the tool to check for major changes on a webpage once or twice a day, all you need is the free account which entitles you for 2 checks per day for lifetime. If however, you need more checks, more frequently, with more snapshots, advanced settings, and support, you’ll need to sign up for one of the membership plans of the tool which are all quite affordable.

  • Monitor your favorite webpages for changes with @visualping visualping.io via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

The reason we didn’t include a pros and cons section in this review is that we could see some obvious pros in VisualPing but no cons. There’s a little addition that we would like to see however, and that is a small tutorial kind of thing (even a small video would do) explaining how an everyday user can use this tool and what benefit it will give it to them. It is quite obvious, yes, but sometimes, naïve users get lost while trying to understand the purpose behind the simplest of tools. Other than that, double thumbs-up to VisualPing from our end.

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