Monitor Websites for Updates with Firefox - gHacks Tech News

Monitor Websites for Updates with Firefox

If you want to make sure that you never miss a change on your favorite website and stay ahead of the crowd by always knowing when the website has been updated, you do need the Update Scanner Firefox extension. It basically monitors any website that you have added to it and informs you whenever a change has been made on the website.

This can be useful if you are monitoring an auction on eBay, the price of an item on Amazon, posts on your favorite sports forum, or the profile of a friend on a social networking site. While you may sometimes use first party notifications options for that, many sites do not make available those features to you.

After installing the Update Checker extension to Firefox you will see a new icon in your status bar. This icon will be gray if there are no updates and change its color if there are updates. A small balloon text will also be displayed right above the arrow when you hover the mouse over it.

There are two ways to add new sites that you want to monitor for changes. Right-click a website and select Scan Page for Update to add it to the list of monitored sites.

update checker firefox

The second option is to click on the icon in the status bar which opens a sidebar with all the sites that are currently monitored. If you click on New Entry in that menu you are taken to the same menu.

The url and the title of the web page are filled out automatically and you only need to decide about the Change Threshold and the time between Autoscans.

The Change Threshold can be set to recognize any changes on the website as an update or only recognize them if a certain character limit has been reached. (10,50,100,500 and 1000) It is usually a good idea to set it to a larger value, especially on sites with dynamic contents as the update checker may pick up updates then that you are not really interested in.

Think of a blog that is posting new articles in its sidebar. If you want to monitor a post on the blog, you may want to set the threshold high to avoid being informed when the recent posts in the sidebar get updated.

The Autoscan option defines the interval in which each website is checked for updates. The lowest value is 15 minutes while the highest is once per day / manual scan.

Verdict

I personally like this extension. I use it to monitor websites that I visit often to see if they have updated their pages if they do not offer an RSS feed option.

Update:

The most recent version of the extension adds several new options to the configuration menu. You can now select a character encoding or keep the auto-detect option enabled. The second new feature highlights changes on the web page in a color of your choosing. That's great to quickly find out what has changed. You can furthermore enable or disable JavaScript, Flash and other plugins.

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Comments

  1. destinyking said on May 9, 2007 at 9:17 am
    Reply

    The following site lists all the web based page monitoring sites.If u want you can check them
    http://www.rba.co.uk/sources/monitor.htm

  2. Vijeesh said on May 9, 2007 at 11:43 am
    Reply

    There’s another Firefox addon called LiveClick which can be used to monitor your Live Bookmarks for changes..

  3. kit said on January 21, 2010 at 2:52 am
    Reply

    This add-on monitors a webpage not a website for changes

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