Distill Web Monitor: A Free Tool for Tracking Web Page Updates
Keeping track of changes and updates on web pages can be a tedious task, especially when users are interested in monitoring specific details like product prices, stock replenishments, or new announcements. While constantly refreshing browser pages is one way to stay updated, it requires users to keep an eye glued to their screens, resulting in a waste of time. Fortunately, there are numerous web page monitoring services available, such as Visualping and Wachete, which can monitor web page changes based on user-defined conditions and notify them accordingly. However, these services often come with costs and resource requirements, leaving users searching for free alternatives.
Introducing Distill Web Monitor, a free web monitoring tool that eliminates the need for additional fees. As a browser extension, it offers direct monitoring capabilities, making it a convenient choice for users. It supports three major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. With Distill Web Monitor, users can monitor specific sections of a web page or the entire page. They can also customize the time intervals for automatic monitoring and choose sound notifications, browser pop-up alerts, or email notifications for when page changes occur.
Though similar to the previously recommended “Web page update reminder: monitor website content changes, send notification sound reminder” extension, Distill Web Monitor comes with its own limitations. Users must keep their browsers open to operate the tool, making it slightly less convenient compared to remote monitoring services. Nevertheless, the advantage lies in the fact that it can be used on personal computers without additional fees, providing greater flexibility. Distill Web Monitor is highly suitable for users monitoring a limited number of pages. Whenever the monitored pages undergo changes, the extension detects the differences and instantly notifies users based on their set conditions.
To access the Distill Web Monitor, users can visit their official website at [https://distill.io/](https://distill.io/). The tool is available for free download from the Chrome Web Store, Firefox Add-ons Site, and Opera Add-ons.
Tutorial: How to Use Distill Web Monitor
STEP 1: Visit the Distill Web Monitor extension page and click “Get” to download and install it in your browser. Versions for Firefox and Opera are also available.
STEP 2: On the monitoring page, click the Distill Web Monitor button located in the upper right corner of the toolbar. Choose between monitoring a specific part of the page or monitoring the entire page. Additionally, the tool supports RSS Feed function, enabling users to add RSS feeds for monitoring if the webpage offers this feature.
STEP 3: If you want to monitor specific ranges on a page, such as prices, discounts, or quantity changes, visually select the desired content and click “Save Selection” at the bottom. The selected ranges will be added to the monitoring traces automatically converted into XPath expressions. Manage, edit, or query monitoring tasks from the Distill Web Monitor’s watch list and compare data captured at different monitoring times.
STEP 4: When adding a monitoring task, set the source, device, name, and time interval. For notifying users about detected changes, it is recommended to enable sound notifications and pop-up windows. (Email sending function is available by default but requires separate setup, while other advanced features require premium membership.)
It is advisable to adjust the time axis to control the monitoring frequency. Setting very short intervals may strain both the browser and the monitored page. Moreover, excessively short intervals might trigger the webpage to interpret the activity as malicious, leading to blocks on the user’s end.
STEP 5: After adding a monitoring task, users can inspect ongoing tasks in the Distill Web Monitor watch list. This list displays titles, last monitoring times, and switches. Users can easily delete any task they no longer wish to monitor or pause/continue specific tasks.
STEP 6: When a monitored page changes, a browser desktop notification pops up to remind the user. Clicking on the notification takes users back to the monitoring task, allowing them to view the webpage changes. Users can compare content variations recorded at different time points and check the difference in characters before and after the change.
Three Compelling Reasons to Give Distill Web Monitor a Try:
1. Free web monitoring tool that enables users to track web page changes without any additional payment.
2. Customizable time intervals for automatic monitoring, allowing users to monitor specific page sections or entire pages.
3. Available in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera versions, with partial Chinese interface support.
For more information, visit the official Distill Web Monitor website and explore their free download options for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Further Reading: The browser extension “Sider” integrates the ChatGPT function and offers more flexible customization of pricing strategies.
[This article is reproduced with the authorization of “Free Resource Network Community”.]