Changedetection.com: monitors websites for changes and notifies you via email

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Changedetection.com is a free web service that monitors website(s) you want for changes and sends you email notifications when they occur.

Changes are highlighted on the page and a history of changes is kept and is accessible for future reference.

Why you need this app: although many sites have RSS feeds or email subscription options that can notify you when there’s new content, many sites do not and may require constant follow up in order to keep up with changes.

And even if a site supports RSS some types of content may not be supported, such as comments or discussions on forums and the like.

I’ve been looking at desktop-based apps that monitor websites for changes when I found this site. Changedetection.com will monitor a list of websites you specify for changes and send you email notifications whenever it detects them.

More notes below:

  • Highlighting changes: once it detects a change, Changedetection.com will render a version of the web page that displays new text on the page highlighted in a yellow marker style. Text that is no longer on the page is also displayed in a strike-through style.
  • Changes it detects: text changes anywhere at all (including in the sidebar). Images, videos, or other elements such as HTML tags are not detected.
  • History: what is truly amazing is that once you create an account, a history of the website(s) you are tracking is kept and can be accessed for later reference (see the screenshot to the right above).
  • Schedule: Changedetection.com will check a website for changes once per day.

The verdict: this is a truly great service. I prefer this to local apps that track site changes because the monitoring and detection is performed remotely on their servers, so you do not have to worry about your PC being online, and your computer’s resources are not being used at all times.

I’m also blown away by the fact that changes are tracked and saved, such that you could access older versions of the sites you are interested in.

Compatibility: Browser based. You will need to provide an email address where your notifications will be sent.

Go to the changedetection.com page.