Track Website Changes with Page Monitor for Chrome

Simon Slangen 14-03-2010

Track Website Changes with Page Monitor for Chrome Heart RateThe price of a Kindle might dive in these next few days. Heck, for all you know, Torrentleech might open subscriptions again. There’s a lot of stuff that you should keep an eye on. It certainly pays off.


Weeks, or even months later, you stumble about that same page again. The old Kindle is no longer available, and subscriptions have closed again. Oh, right. You forgot. Whether your habit of procrastinating, bad memory, or family-man attitude is to blame, the results are the same. The window of opportunity has closed.

There’s no reason to rely solely on your own time and memory. Technology gives you the means to tame this online flux. You used to need a scripted macro for stuff like this. Right now, keeping track of website changes is as simple as a Google Chrome extension. Remember, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.

Page Monitor

Page Monitor is the Chrome equivalent of Firefox’s Update Scanner Add-On How to Monitor Websites that don't have RSS Feeds Read More . You can use it to track website changes. The learning curve for setting up a standard monitor is next to nothing, but the opportunities are endless.

track website changes


You can use it to keep track of prices on Amazon or eBay, monitor Wikipedia page contributions, or watch private torrent trackers and Beta programs for that fleeting door of opportunity. If you’re up to the advanced tweaking, you can even track certain elements within a page, like the first result in a Bing or Google search.

Configuring The Page Monitor Watchdog

Navigate to the page you’re interested in and hit the top-right icon, next to your address bar. Start tracking website for changes with Monitor This Page. You can disable these monitored pages in the Options, or when a notification pops up, as well as specify the refresh timeframe.

track website changes

Once something changes on the webpage, the icon will light up green. Page Monitor tries to ignore some ever-changing and superfluous page elements, like advertisements.


Track Website Changes with Page Monitor for Chrome Screen shot 2010 03 13 at 17____Track Website Changes with Page Monitor for Chrome pagemonitor notify

The previously empty menu will now show a list of websites that require your attention – visit, mark as read, or call up a detailed overview of the changes.

Advanced Monitoring Options

At the bottom of the page, you can specify how long goes between every check-ups. By default, it’s set to 180 minutes, or 3 hours. There’s no real need to change this. Remember that more refreshes will require a bigger part of your computer memory. Checking for updates every minute can be tempting, but will noticeably impact your browsing. By expanding the advanced options, you can override the timeframe for each individual entry.

The other advanced monitoring options are a bit more complicated, and not all of them accessible for your average internet user, even with an explanation.


track website changes

You can choose to monitor only a specific part of the page by using Regex (Regular Expressions) and Selector expressions. Both allow you to script certain elements to Page Monitor’s attention.

Regex allow you to pick out different elements and words, depending on the context. For example, you can look for a price that’s preceded by a specific set of words, or when it ends a sentence. Suffice it to say that Regex, although not ridiculously complicated, can not be taught in a single paragraph. If you want to take a closer look, you can read up via Wikipedia, where there’s a concise introduction and guide to Regex. In the screenshot above, <b class=”priceLarge”>(.*?)<.b> has isolated the ‘price’ expression on Amazon and will track every future change.

One can also use the Regex input to search for a simple string of text and/or numbers. For example, in the screenshot above, I’m subsequently tracking two Amazon objects by respectively a ‘real’ Regex expression, and the absolute price. The latter, although easy to use, is limited by the two bolean values: true or false. It can only track the transition from presence to absence, and reversed. In the above example, it will note the price change from 55.49 to 50.49 (true to false) and back to 55.49 (false to true), but not from 50.49 to 60.49 (false to false), and any other creative transitions that don’t feature the original Regex value. As such, you’ll constantly need to revise said value. In other situations, e.g. the Torrent Tracker, using improvised Regex is a lot simpler. You’ll only ever need to keep track of one sentence: Signups are closed.


Know any tips or alternatives to track website changes? Let us know your thoughts on Page Monitor in the comments section below!

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  1. Kiri
    November 14, 2017 at 2:42 am

    You are my savior! I've been looking for the instruction for using Page Monitor in my own language but those I have found are so incomplete. I almost gave up using it...but your article changed the situation! Thank you!

  2. Arya
    December 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Distill works great for me: They send email alerts on web page change.

  3. Viru
    November 15, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Does the extension demands that browser should be running? Or it will work in background even after i close my Chrome browser?

    • Arya
      December 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Yes, it requires the browser to be running. It won't work if you close Chrome as the pages are opened in the background when browser is open.

  4. Anonymous
    November 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great post. I use NeoWatcher to track website changes. It's small pay and comfortable. Wish to try!

  5. Anonymous
    October 16, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    You can try chrome plugin Wachete

    They have also own page and mobile applications.
    Watching is happening on server side so you don't even need to have your PC running.

  6. Anonymous
    September 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    The best service for it is NeoWatcher! I receive website content changes reports right to my mailbox.

  7. Anonymous
    July 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Newbie here, but can someone explain what "Show Whole Diff in Selector Mode" is? I can't seem to figure it out... Thanks!

    In general though... This extension is AWESOME!! Love it!

  8. welp
    March 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    its also limited, and not even worth mentioning next to this behemoth in the monitoring game.