Endlessly revisiting a particular website as you wait for updates has to be one of the more tedious ways to spend your time online. And so, if you really want to know when your favourite sites have something new to offer, it’s generally a better idea to look for news on their Twitter account or RSS feed.
If your target sites don’t have either, though, you might benefit from WebMon, a tiny free Windows tool which checks the web pages you specify and lets you know whenever they’ve been changed.
After a straightforward, hassle-free installation, launching WebMon adds a single icon to your system tray. Right-click this, choose “Add Page” and you’re able to add the URL of the first web page you’d like to monitor (HTTP only, unfortunately: there’s no HTTPS support).
Simple sliders then allow you to decide how often the page will be checked. Your frequency can be set to anything from 1 minute to almost 31 days.
And you can also tell WebMon exactly which content within the page you’d like to check. This is fiddly to set up, as you must browse your page source code and choose exactly where the check should start and begin. But it could also be invaluable if you’re monitoring a page with some dynamic content (current headlines inserted at the top, say).
Once that’s finished, though, you can get on with other things. WebMon will simply run in the background, consuming a fairly minimal 6.5MB RAM, before it checks the specified page at your defined frequency. If it’s changed, you’ll see a pop-up alert, and clicking this will open the new page in a browser window for your inspection.
There are plenty more useful options here, though. You can manually add more URLs to check, for instance, or directly import them from your Internet Explorer Favorites as well as a Bookmarks.html file.
The pop-up alert is too intrusive? You can change its position, close it more quickly, even drop the pop-up altogether and just have an audio warning (a default “bip bip” or custom WAV file).
Or you can even have the program run a given command when a web update is found, maybe to launch some application, send you an email, whatever it might be.
You won’t get all the functionality available in the commercial competition, of course. The program will tell you that a page has changed, for instance, but it won’t show you what that change is. You’ll have to open it in a browser and figure this out for yourself.
As free web page monitors go, though, WebMon does very well, and if you can live with the program’s no-HTTPS limitation then it could prove a real time-saver.