IT for Donuts: get alerted when any web page changes

By: John McGarvey

Date: 17 October 2014

IT for Donuts is our regular weekly feature where we explain a tech term or answer a question about business IT.

Sometimes, you want to know when a web page has changed. Maybe you're keeping close eyes on a competitor's products and prices. Or perhaps you're waiting for an item to come back into stock at an online supplier.

This week, we show you how to set up email alerts when web pages change, so you don't have to check them manually.

Get started with ChangeDetection.com

Ok, let's imagine you want to receive an email whenever the Tesco special offers web page is changed. (Don't we all love a bargain?).

To get started, visit this page. Then select the web page address in your web browser and tap CTRL+C to copy it. It should look something like this:

Tesco URL

Then, go to ChangeDetection.com. In the monitor a page section, click the Page Address box, then press CTRL+V to paste in the page URL.

Enter your email address into the Send alert to box, then choose Next:

Change detection

On the next screen, you can enter an Alert name (choose something you'll recognise) and select various options for your alert. In general, you can stick with the standard settings here.

If you're waiting for a specific change, you can enter keywords into the only send alert if box.

For instance, if you want to know when a Blu-ray appears on the Tesco offers page, you could tick added and enter Blu-ray into the box. Then select Create.

Change detection

At this point, the ChangeDetection.com website will send a confirmation email to your address. Click the link in it and you'll be prompted to create a password.

Once you've done this, your alert is set up. You should receive an email when the page changes.

To change the alert settings or cancel it altogether, just use the password you entered to sign in at ChangeDetection.com.

If you'd prefer not to be bombarded by messages about every small change to a web page, we've previously explained some other ways to monitor websites regularly

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