How To Stay Up-To-Date About Your Favorite Websites

The best way to get updates about a website or a web service is using the email feature. If the website offers email updates, you will be able to get all the updates right inside your email. The next popular method is to subscribe to its RSS feed. Now, what if the website that you want to track does not offer an email newsletter or RSS feeds? In this case, you will need to visit the websites again and again in order to see if the site has been updated or not. Surely there is a better way than this.

Tab-notifier-notification

Tab Notifier is one of the solution to this problem. Tab Notifier is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers and it displays notifications on the desktop if the title of the tab being monitored changes. For example, If I have Facebook opened, Facebook displays the no. of notifications in the title of the page. So if you have Tab Notifier installer, you will get a desktop notification with each new update of Facebook. The same goes for the case with all other websites. Tab Notifier is a good solution but it has a few limitations. It can’t detect any changes in the website in question if the title doesn’t change and remains the same upon each update to the website. It also can not detect any changes while the browser is not open or even the website tab is not opened.

Download Tab Notifier add-on for Firefox

Download Tab Notifier extension for Google Chrome (Please note that this link is of the author’s website where you can download Tab Notifier for Google Chrome. I couldn’t find Tab Notifier in Google’s app store.)

If you don’t like Tab Notifier, there is another add-on – Update Scanner which can check for updates on selected sites after a specified interval of time. All the notifications will be given within Firefox so you will need to have Firefox opened although you don’t need to keep the website tab opened all the time. The changes to the pages will be highlighted automatically. Although Update Scanner is available on the latest version of Firefox i.e, Firefox 10, I wasn’t able to install it on Firefox 11 beta.

Update-Scanner

Download Update Scanner Firefox Add-on

After installing Update Scanner, press Alt-U and the update scanner sidebar will open. You can add sites to be monitored from there.

Update-Scanner-sidebar

If you still choose the email to be the best method of getting yourself notified, there is another solution that you can choose. You can use the services which let you send the feed updates to your email. I am listing a few RSS feed to email services:

FeedMyInbox ( I personally use this)

Feed2Mail

RSS Fwd

Blog Alert

All these services require RSS feeds to be enabled on the sites to be monitored. If you want to follow a site which does not have RSS feeds enabled, you can use these services:

Change Detection

Change Detect (Registration required)

I hope this information will be helpful for everyone and will make us better and more productive. What is your favorite method of staying up-to-date?

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