Constantly checking websites manually for changes is tedious at best. What if you could just sit back and wait for an email to let you know something has changed? This is exactly what Visualping is made for – drastically simplifying website monitoring. The innovative tool not only monitors text, but visual differences, which leads to the name. I had the chance to try Visualping out for myself to discover just how useful it really is during this review.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Visualping. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
What Is Visualping?
While Visualping is for both personal and business use, the premise is the same: monitoring websites for changes. You can monitor for visual, web element, and text changes. It’s the visual part that sets it apart from the competition, as most other options only monitor for text-based changes.
For personal use, a common use case would be checking for price changes on an item you want. For example, I set up monitoring on Amazon for the game Connect Four. I set it to monitor any changes to the price area of the page. I then received emails any time the price fluctuated up or down. Luckily, the emails show what changed, so I don’t need to visit Amazon to check the price myself.
Obviously, that’s far from the only way to use the tool. Some of the most common use cases include:
- Price comparisons
- Job searches
- Search rank changes
- Regulatory changes
- Website updates (you can use it similar to an RSS feed, if you’d like)
- Alerts for specific keywords on a site
- Automation (Visualping can perform actions on webpages, such as filling in forms or exiting ads)
During my Visualping review, I stuck with price comparisons, job searches, search rank, and keyword alerts for most of my monitoring jobs.
Outside of the monitoring, I discovered Visualping has quite a few useful features to help you get better results. Triggers are the first way to reduce how many alerts you get.
You can choose between Any Change, Tiny (1%), Medium (10%), Major (25%), and Gigantic (50%). Whenever a webpage reaches the threshold of change you set, you’ll be notified. For instance, if I set up an alert for a section of a webpage and set it to Major, but only a sentence changed, I wouldn’t get an alert. This would help reduce extra alerts in the event a site makes a simple change, such as editing a misspelling.
High-frequency checking is also handy to have. You can run checks anywhere from every five minutes to once a week. You’ll need a premium plan for anything more frequent than every six hours. Free accounts can only run daily or weekly checks.
You can also upload jobs one by one, which is ideal for personal use, or as a bulk upload, which is perfect for businesses. For instance, you might want to keep a check on all your competitors’ pricing.
For teams and businesses, Visualping even integrates with Slack. This gives you notifications for the entire team to use.
Something else I appreciated was the ability to create reports and even export your list of jobs if needed. Reports are great for checking for trends over a set period.
Types of Checks
I was able to try out all three types of website change checks during this Visualping review. Each monitors for changes – but in different ways.
The first is Visual. It’s exactly like it sounds. You select an area of a webpage to monitor. If things change, such as an image, page design, text, or anything else, you’ll be notified. I found this was useful for monitoring site design updates and when new images were uploaded in specific categories on free-use image sites.
The second type is Text. This looks specifically at the text on a webpage. For example, you might want to know if an item goes from out of stock to in stock. You could monitor for changes to the text and even set a keyword alert for the phrase “in stock.”
Finally, there’s Element. This refers to web elements, or the code behind the page. Since Visualping looks at the code, you don’t get notifications just for simple site design changes when all you might want to know about is if a single element on the page changes. However, you can use the percent change filter for this check.
I personally found all three to be incredibly reliable. I also didn’t get any false alarms during my Visualping review. The website recommends to use filters and increase the change percentage to help reduce any false notifications.
There are actually two versions of Visualping. I personally found the website itself to be more useful for my needs. However, there’s also a Chrome extension.
Both allow you to monitor website changes. However, the web version lets you run and check tests from the dashboard and also get notifications of changes via email, text, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webhook, Discord, and RSS.
The Visualping Chrome extension works similarly. You set up a job and get notifications directly in your browser. You can also link your Visualping account to set up notifications via email. The main difference is if you use the browser monitoring option in the extension, checks are run as frequently as every second or up to every day.
Getting Set Up
Getting started is surprisingly easy with Visualping. You simply enter a URL to monitor on the homepage, which then leads to setting up an account. All you need is an email address and password. For the extension, you don’t need an account to just get browser-only notifications.
Then, set up your parameters. This includes choosing the monitoring check type, any actions you need to perform (such as clicking an element or entering text in a form), selecting any adjustments (ideal for more advanced searches), setting keywords (text-only checks), and choosing the frequency.
While email is the default, you’re free to choose other options too. You can also add additional emails if you want to send notifications to more people.
Under Schedule, you can choose to only monitor during certain hours or days of the week. This helps you further filter your notifications.
Once you have everything set up, Visualping runs on its own. Just sit back, relax, and get notifications. I love that it automates web monitoring so that you don’t have to do anything other than set up the task to run.
I also like that you’re free to run any or all jobs manually at any time. This is a great way to check results more frequently from time to time without changing a job’s settings.
To the right of your job list, you’ll see a history of checks for any job you select.
I honestly expected Visualping to cost more. Pricing is actually affordable with the following monthly plans:
|Plan||Price||Daily page limit||Monthly check limit|
|Free||$0||2 pages/day||65 checks/month|
|Intensive||$13||40 pages/day||1,200 checks/month|
|Intensive 4K||$24||130 pages/day||4,000 checks/month|
|Intensive 10K||$58||333 pages/day||10,000 checks/month|
|Intensive 20K||$97||667 pages/day||20,000 checks/month|
If you buy any of these plans in an annual version, you get two months free. You can also just buy credits for a pay-per-use situation. This is ideal for short-term monitoring or if you just want to add extra pages to the free plan temporarily.
I’d easily recommend Visualping for anyone wanting to monitor website changes. It’s incredibly simple to set up but also offers advanced options for interacting with webpages. Both the website and Chrome extension let you start monitoring within just a few minutes.
Plus, you’re able to get started for free. Even though it’s just two pages, it’s enough to let you get familiar with the features.
The only complaint I have is that I wish the website offered one-minute alerts. This would be perfect when you’re trying to purchase hard-to-get tickets or book reservations. But it’s not really an issue to just keep Chrome open and pay attention to the alerts.
Whether it’s just trying to get a good deal on an item or monitoring the competition for a business, try Visualping for yourself to see just how powerful this seemingly simple tool really is at website change monitoring.