Website Watcher (webpage change tracker)


Automated Website Watcher tool tracks changes to website pages. It detects any updates of page titles (title tag), page descriptions (description meta-tag), document first-level headings (h1 tag), page content and HTTP codes on auto-pilot.

To access Watcher, complete as follows:

  1. Sign in to Topvisor.
  2. Create a project or pick one from the list.
  3. Press to move to Watcher.

Watcher

Watcher schedule


To schedule content tracking, pick one of the options: tags or regular expressions. HTML code can be skipped and ignored when needed. The option comes in hand when you don't want to track all webpage code changes (including the HTML and js code).

Tags to track content

How do I tell Watcher to scan particular parts of the website?


Watcher tracks changes to title tags, description meta-tags, h1 tags and webpage content on auto-pilot.

In order to scan specific content fragments (only textual content, one or several text blocks or certain parts of HTML code), add the tags to the webpage source code:

<!--start_content--> - in the beginning of the content fragment.
<!--end_content--> - in the end of the content fragment.

Tags to track content
Regular expressions (not recommended)
You may use regular expressions to select content fragments to scan.

For example:

<div id="content">(.*?)<\/div>

Please note that Watcher can scan your content only when "class", "id", or other attributes are added to the tag. This way Watcher is able to pick and scan only selected parts.

Regular expression
You may use regular expressions to pick specific content fragments, to be scanned only. You cannot use regular expressions to tell which content fragments to skip.

If you don't have enough expertise to use regular expressions to tell Watcher which content fragments to track, use Custom tags to mark the content.


How do I tell Watcher to skip particular parts of the website?


Today most CMS support dynamic content that can change in response to different conditions: page views, ratings, votes, search history, product order, filters, status (online/offline) etc. In most cases, there's no need to track these changes.

To prevent Watcher from tracking dynamic content or any other content fragments, add custom stop tags to the page source code.

<!--start_content_off--> - in the beginning of the content fragment.
<!--end_content_off--> - in the end of the content fragment.

Stop tags
You can place several custom tags on the same page: <!--start_content-->, <!--end_content--> and <!--start_content_off-->, <!--end_content_off-->. We recommend applying to a webmaster or other tech guy, to make sure you added tags in the correct way.

Pages for scanning


To get started with Watcher, complete as follows:

  1. Create a project or pick one from the list.
  2. Move to Watcher page and switch to the Settings.
  3. Add one or several pages to scan or import pages from the sitemap. Use * or / to import all pages from the sitemap.
  4. Press OK.

How do I add pages to scan (type or copy)?
Webpages to track changes
How do I remove or import pages from sitemap (wildcard)?
Import images from sitemap with wildcard
How do I import all pages from sitemap?
Import images from sitemap with wildcard

Running the first check


After you set up a list of pages, press Scan, to run the first check and record primary raw data in the database.

Run watcher
Wait until the tool scans your pages, and make sure the check has completed successfully. Please note, that during the first check, Watcher updates details for all pages you added. In the example below, Watcher updated all existing pages.

First check raw data
The next time you run a check (on demand or scheduled), the tool will compare original and current data, find all webpage changes and send you alerts if any.

Detected changes
Please note, that the Value column contains current data, and the deleted strings in the Changes column are red. So, you'll always be aware when someone deletes any data by mistake or on purpose.

How do I schedule automated Watcher reports?


To schedule automated Watcher reports, complete as follows:

  1. Move to the Settings.
  2. Schedule reports. Watcher schedule

How do I manage Watcher alerts?


To manage Watcher alerts, follow the below instruction:

  1. Move to the Settings.
  2. Pick an option: send alerts to the Notification center and/or to Email. Watcher notifications

You account Email address will be added to the report automatically. If necessary, you may add Email addresses of other Topvisor users to send them the copies of the reports.

Watcher in server logs


Each time Watcher visits a website, it sends its details to a web server. This data is a part of an
HTTP query, that looks as a text string with the User-agent: or User-Agent: in the beginning.

Watcher string looks as User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; TopvisorBot/1.0)