Posts Tagged ‘screenshots’

Monitor webpages for changes with VisualPing

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. Want to 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.

Usersnap – A Platform for Bug-free Online Projects

Are you employed online? Do you have your business online? Is your computer your God father? If so then all your web projects need Usersnap. A visual bug tracker for all your web projects.
Most of us don’t know, don’t realize that there might be glitches in the regular online methods we use and the glitches are nothing but software bugs. Usersnap is an excellent solution for a problem like this.

usersnap

How does it work?

Usersnap.com enables you to create bug reports and collect website feedback without complex feedback forms and endless emails. The Usersnap feedback widget adds in-page reporting to your web site and web project meaning you can co-relate the problems your users are facing and find the exact problem running through your page. The process not only gets simpler but gets smarter and efficient too. The only step you have to take is click on the button to send a bug report or give website feedback with an attached screenshot. No plugins required. It’s not only a generic approach to problem solving but it also allows you the functionality on every browser, even on mobile covering all interfaces.

The Usersnap dashboard is a unique feature that collects all bug reports and helps you to fix them faster whilst organizing your feedback & bug reports, easily. The dashboard has prominently three major features –The Viewer, Search and Team collaboration.

The Viewer

The viewer allows you to see the browser screenshot and every information you need to represent the issue: Meta Data, Comments, JS errors and more. You can access bug reports and browser screenshots with the Viewer with an exact visual glimpse of different issues and front-end bugs immediately. The Additional meta-information feature allows you to create website screenshots directly in your browser with the bug tracking and feedback widget. It also lets you assign bugs to your web developers in charge and discuss change requests in the Usersnap dashboard.

It is a wonder how a single feature in the dashboard provides you an easy-to-use toolkit for working on bug reports. With the zooming feature you can zoom in and out on every created browser screenshot. You can give feedback, or make a comment in whatever language you choose. The platform realizes that designers and developers or project managers are people with very different approaches; but still manages to put it all on one page. It also offers a great tool for customer support and helps you to understand your clients better creating clear communication.

No one can know your browser better, Viewer gets quicker access to the needed information to reproduce bugs faster while providing information about installed browser plugins and browser versions. It also helps you to view and solve browser-specific issues inside.

usersnap1

The Search

Search – as the name suggests – helps you find and track for a certain prioritized information on immediate basis. Search makes it all simple by exactly giving you the required information, screenshot or any bug report in an instant. You can look up by name, date or issue definitely upgrading your web experience.

The Usersnap Search is more than just searching. It literally gives your memory a break by offering you different options – such as Labels, Assignees and Reporters – in order to access the needed information faster. The Meta information or certain filters – can be easily accessed. It’s a productive feature as it can look up info with the user’s name or members name who have created or tested those files. Just type in the tester’s name or scroll down to “reporter” and you can select one of your bug reporters and see all the files in similar concern. You can also type full text versions for example just type “Chrome” in the search and all screens will appear. You can even add labels to your full text search (label: bug) which have been reported with Chrome and they will all magically appear. Making hours of work done in seconds.

Team work is the spirit of every task, working with a team gives you more options suggestions and faster solutions, considering the same Usersnap allows you to invite your team members and co-workers to start working together on issues and front-end bugs. You can also assign bugs to your web developers in charge and discuss change requests directly in the Usersnap dashboard.

With the bug tracking management tool provided by Usersnap you can manage your bug tracking team and work together on solving bugs. You can give feedback, create browser screenshots or make a comment in whatever language you choose. The Usersnap dashboard is available 24/7 and functionality works for every team member, in every location; even the Moon. It’s user-friendly and gives your website testing team all the quality assurance it needs.

Super power for Web developers

Usersnap has a beautiful beneficial edge for web developers. It allows them to get visual bug reports with advanced client-side JavaScript error recording making their work extremely simple and reducing thousands of possible scenarios to one.

usersnap2

XMLHttpRequest logging comes with every report, allowing your development team to know what actually happens when a user clicks on a button and it doesn’t work. It’s like giving your developers direct access to the Matrix. The feature also records JavaScript errors as they happen, along with a host of other information needed for super-faster bug reproduction and debugging. It is great to provide data as to which file and on which line the problem is along with even more information.
It also helps in recording user actions to submit with the bug report. In some cases the local time of the user is incorrect, so it’s harmonized with server time as well.

Website Interface

The interface is well laid out, visually attractive and very user friendly. There are familiar tools like highlight, pen, note etc. to help you to express yourself & provide feedback. The speed and function are not affected by the websites loading time. You can choose your look and themes as per your corporate identity. Custom made forms for easy information exchange.

  • Never ask for a screenshot again. Get it from the visual bug tracker @usersnap usersnap.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Pricing

Usersnap gives you 15 days free unlimited access, so you can take some time to find the best plan for you. There are three major plans starting at a minimum of $19, $49 and $99. The plans are focused on the no. of projects you are associated with for starters 1 Project with Dashboard and e-mail integration is available at $19 only. There are team and agency packages as well as per your use. Easy and affordable so start now.

Sticky notes, a pen, the pixel ruler will no longer be required as now everything is simple with Usersnap

Browserstack – cross browser testing tool

The availability of a wide range of browsers and devices for surfing the Internet makes it the responsibility of the designer to write and test the code for various browsers commonly used these days. We can check the compatibility of our website or application for different mobile devices, mobile browsers, operating systems and web browsers to ensure the website or the application is easily accessible to a wide range of audience.
Cross browser testing is the biggest challenge designers face these days as new technology and products may develop rapidly and clients would need you to make the website or application compatible with the new browsers to accommodate more viewers and would not like to lose viewers also.

There are many tools available for you to test your website which show the screenshots of the website in different browsers but a screenshot would lack typing, clicking and hovering features and won’t test JavaScript and other interactive elements as well. Opening the websites in different real live browsers is called real cross browser testing while many people may use virtual machines for this testing which may lead to intensive utilization of resources.

browserstack

Browserstack is a service that offers browser based virtualization. Many developers dislike using virtual machines as they require more disk space and resources to be useful. Browserstack on the other hand has a cloud of these virtual machines with almost every browser supposable. It allows you to select your Operating system, browser versions and screen resolutions and remote them into the flash plugin used by the browser.

To test a website you just need to enter the website URL and select the targeted browser as well as the Operating system for which it is being tested. Browserstack tests the website in real time using virtual network computing screen (VNC) screen share and each browser has pre-configured developer testing tools such as the Chrome testing tools, IE testing tools, Firebug and more. To test the html pages or local server Browserstack allows you to set up a tunnel and perform the compatibility check for you Website or App.

Browsers Supported and System requirements

Browserstack supports all the major web browsers – Internet Explorer 6 to 10, Firefox 3 to 20, Safari 4 and 5 , Google Chrome 14 to 27. Supported Operating systems include Mac OSX Lion, Windows XP,Windows 7 and 8, Mountain, and Snow and all major smartphones Google Android, Apple iOS and Opera.
Overall there are more than 200 desktop and mobile browsers available to test your website on.
Browserstack helps you to get rid of all Virtual Machines, Legacy PCs, browser screenshot service and device labs which may include a huge number of smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to test your website on.

  • Fast web-based access to real browsers for cross browser testing (incl. mobile). http://browserstack.com/ @browserstack via @supermonitoring

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Plans and Subscription

To access Browserstack one needs to get himself registered on the website. It allows you to have limited time free trial service and you can buy their services for 39$ per month for one session for 3 registered users. While they also offer subscriptions for teams at 99$ per month with 2 parallel users and unlimited registered users  and many other such plans are available for team having 4-12, 10-25, 25+ team members.

All live plans have Debugging tools, No time limits, local testing, Issue tracker, 200+ browsers and 40+ mobile devices and more than 7 Operating systems.They even offer a Lite Plan for 1 User to test websites on desktop browsers only at 19$.

Screenshot Service

One of the main services provided by browserstack is Screenshot. It is the first method for cross browser testing and Browserstack consumes a few minutes to generate these screenshots and are used only when you need to check the design only and not the functionality of any element on your website.
Registered users can select the time when the screenshots should be made. After subscription you can select the resolution of the platform and even the orientation of the mobile device that is, Portrait or Landscape. One can even get an email notification when all the screenshots are ready and the screenshots made on the paid account would be available for lifetime, while screenshots made on the free account are only available for a month.

brstack10

Testing responsiveness of websites

The Responsive screenshot testing service enables users to test the website using actual device sizes. This service allows one to see the screenshots exactly how they would appear on the selected browser devices in the desired orientation. One can only view the screenshot in the resolution of the device without the actual device skin.

brstack12

Testing JavaScript

For JavaScript testing Browserstack enables the user to merge framework of his choice like Jasmine or QUnit and other tools such as TestSwarm, Yeti or JS Test Drive to enable testing automation. It is possible to test your JavaScipt files on more than 200 files using Browserstack.
Browserstack allows free JavaScript script testing for open source projects but to avail this you’ll need to send them an email to get it approved.

Local Testing

You can create a tunnel to you own machine and test your local website using a Java applet which acts as a proxy between your machine your directory and Browserstack. You’ll need to install Java on your system though many devices already have it installed.
The left panel of the Dashboard has two options Web Tunnel and Command line. Web tunnel option will open a Dialog box to connect the directory and the Browserstack. While to use the command line option you need to download a .jar file to establish a connection.

I would recommend people to use Browserstack as it has many advantages over other cross browser testing services such as loads OS/Browser options quickly, No need to use Virtual machines, No need to purchase new OS licences, OS and Browser updates not required, Low cost and can run 200+ browsers 40+ mobile devices and 7+ Operating Systems.
No Linux Operating System or Browser options. Only one browser can be selected at a time and the refresh rate is less one cannot properly preview the animations, videos, and moving elements integrated into the design, These were a few functions which Browserstack lacks and these functions must be integrated into it to make cross browser testing smooth and hassle free.

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