The online world moves swiftly – at a crazy pace, in fact. Content is updated constantly, and if you want to stay on top of all these changes, some good software can surely help.
Online content or web page monitoring solutions are useful to a wide variety of businesses, politicians, and even ordinary people trying to find the best deal on those Supreme shoes. They can be used to keep an eye on your rivals, so that you can make sure you’re offering competitive pricing all the time, and if you’re a politician, you can catch your political opponents when they change their platform.
There are dozens of uses for these services. But, no matter what you’re looking for, we have you covered – we’ve highlighted some of the best online monitoring services right here. So read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
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Content monitoring for the modern age
One of our pet peeves with these sort of monitoring solutions is that a lot of them look like they were designed 10 years ago. What we love about Wachete is that it is able to pack in all the functionality from its competition and implement it in a user-friendly package.
Wachete can be used for all manner of purposes, from tracking the prices of rival stores, to receiving notifications about job openings. And what really sets Wachete apart is that in addition to daily or weekly email reports, it also offers mobile apps and browser extensions so that you can keep an eye on everything in a dynamic way while on the go.
While this is definitely useful for professionals who can’t afford to be tied to a desk all day, it’s especially important for consumers who just want to buy a concert ticket before they sell out.
Watchete is free for monitoring up to 5 static pages and checking once every 24 hours, with paid-for pricing starting at $4.90 (£4.40) per month to monitor 50 pages, including one dynamic page, with checks occuring every hour. If you want to increase the frequency of checks, pricing is $9.90 per month to check every 10 minutes, and that's for 100 pages including 2 dynamic pages.
A fully-featured content monitoring service
If you run a retail business, or if you’re a consumer looking to, well, support a retail business, it may be useful to check out ChangeTower. Now, while the free version will only check websites once every 12 hours – which isn’t very useful in the fast-paced world we’re living in – once you start paying even $9 (£6.70) a month you’ll be able to keep up-to-date with any changes to whatever online content you’re watching.
This is particularly useful to retail businesses, as it allows them to monitor competitors and adjust pricing on-the-fly in order to stay competitive. Plus, Changetower will supply reports that show, in detail, any changes that were made. And, if you don’t need every change documented in your email, you can set custom alert criteria, so that you can make sure that all the information that makes its way to you (and your IT team) is relevant.
Powerful content monitoring for the advanced user
Sometimes you just need raw power to get the job done – sometimes you need Distill.io. Distill is one of the most flexible content monitoring services available right now because it allows users to do anything they need to do – even run monitors locally.
Now, while the functionality that Distill offers isn’t dramatically different from the competition, the difference that it does offer is pretty major. By allowing any user to employ a browser extension to monitor web content for free, without placing any kind of limit on it, this may just be the most affordable and sensible way to keep a watchful eye on online content. In fact, if we were going to recommend a service to a consumer who just wants to watch a few online retailers – we’d recommend Distill.
Distill.io does offer a free service, allowing up to 25 monitors a month (with 5 in the cloud), with checks up to 6 hours for a total number of 1,000 checks for month.
For more frequent checks and bigger volume paid-for plans are available, starting from $9 (£8) per month, which allows up to 40 monitors, with checks every 10 minutes, for a total of up to 10,000 checks per month.
A Pro plan for $24 per month allows even more volume, while the Flexi plan from $49 per month allows even greater volume plus checks every 2 minutes.
Content monitoring for politicians and more
These days, the political landscape is a little bit crazy, and a ton of information is flying around at all times. Luckily, one of the best content monitoring services is targeted directly at politicians. And it’s actually pretty useful to anyone running a campaign – it allows the user to crawl for any information relevant to their campaign(s).
Versionista will then produce a color-coded report showing any changes made to, say, a political rival’s website – highlighting anything that has been deleted, and anything added.
However, the Achilles heel of this software is its pricing. Now, we understand that since this is aimed at political campaigns, the firm can charge a bit more than the competition – but a starting price of $99 (£77) a month is a bit steep for smaller campaigns. Especially when the same functionality can be had from some of the other products on this list. But, if you can afford it, specialized tools are generally the best way to go.
The malware monitoring solution
Sucuri offers website monitoring along with malware detection and removal services, specifically with the aim of identifying if malicious code has been inserted into any of your webpages.
This can be very important, because any changes that occur on your website without you being aware of it could be due to hacking activity. If that happens, you need to be able to react quickly and remove it, because otherwise your website could either be dropped outright by search enignes such as Google, or otherwise flagged as unsafe preventing web users visiting it, let along read or buy products/services from it.
Luckily the Securi service is very good at its job and can detect and identify a wide range of attempts to hijack pages, which could otherwise result in your website users being vulnerable to attack, and your website being penalized for being unsafe.
As well as website monitoring, Sucuri also provides online firewall and online backup services, in order to help prevent malicious attacks and provide continuity services in the event of any other serious disruption to your website(s).
Securi also provides a free website security check and malware scanner so that if you suspect your website may have an infection or otherwise have malicious code injected into it, Securi can identify it and help you remove it.
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