What is Visualping?
Visualping is the newest, easiest and most convenient tool to monitor websites changes.
Our Chrome app allows to monitor pages with only 1 click directly from the page you wish to monitor.
Users receive an email when changes are detected but can also set up a Slack integration for team notifications.
What differentiates our app from older ones is the fact that we detect visual changes (hence the name Visualping) not text.
What can I use it for?
The below is a sample of what our users monitor:
- Competitive website and activities
- Pricing and special offers changes
- Job offers from their most coveted companies
- Google search rankings
- Newsfeeds and alerts
- Changes in government regulations and legislations
- New documentation from insurance and financial companies
- General automation purposes
Checkout this useful example!
How does it work?
Enter the web address of a webpage and Visualping will create a screenshot image of that page.
You can create a selection anywhere on that preview using your mouse.
After this, select a notification trigger and a checking interval.
Enter your email address at the bottom of the page to create your job.
You can manage & modify your jobs in your Visualping-Dashboard.
What are Payment Options?
We'll add the credits to your account as soon as the authorization was successful.
For your protection, we encrypt your connection and purchase details so that your information is safe and secure. No information will be stored.
How to reduce false positives?
If you get false alarms, try to change the screenshot-settings of your job:
Increase trigger: Avoid using “any” change if small areas of the page changes but are not relevant for what you want to track.
Adjust Selection: Avoid selecting areas that change frequently like ads, carrousels, twitter counts etc.
Use blocker feature: This blocks elements from being uploaded before taking a snapshot. Use this to remove pop-ups, banners or ads. Use the function Block in the Perform actions after screenshot section. See the Actions FAQ for more help.
Use the double check: feature which takes a second screenshot when a change is detected to confirm that a change happened.
Switch to web-compare: Ideal for when page layout frequently changes and the area that is monitored shifts vertically. See web-compare below.
What is the difference between web- and visual-compare?
What is visual compare? Our system takes a snapshot of the area selected and compare it with the snapshot of the same area previously taken.
And web-compare? Here you can select an element of the page to be tracked. Our system monitors and compares the HTML code, not pixels.
Which one is more reliable? Both systems have the same 100% reliability in detecting changes.
Which one generates less false alarms? The web-compare system generates less false positives as is immune to page layout changes.
What are the limitations of web-compare? You can’t have a % trigger (“only alert me when 10% of the page changes”) and doesn’t work will non-HTML or PDF's.
Which system I chose? It really depends which system creates less false alarms. We recommend starting with web-compare and testing visual compare after.
What is text-compare?
Is the simplest possible change detection alert: It will track the entire page and send you an email alert highlighting what was removed in red and what was added in green.
In context highlight: The system will take you to the actual web-page so you can see all the changes in its context. You can access this by clicking ”View Changes” on the email alert.
Keyword alerts: The system allows to track only for changes that are removed or added. Use ”,” between keywords to be independently alerted for each keyword.
How to use Actions on the Home Page?
When to use it? When you need to perform some actions (filling a form, closing a pop-up, removing ads or entering passwords) before a screenshot is taken.
How to set it up? You need to instruct the system what it needs to do: clicking a button, filling a form, choosing a menu or blocking an element.
You need to expand the “Perform actions before screenshot” bellow the email field. Click “+Add actions” to add more actions and perform these in sequence.
We recommend pressing “Go” to take another screenshot after every action is added but you can also input all the actions and press Go at the end.
How it works? The system is going to search for web-elements that have the name you typed in the field to perform an action.
Need help? Check this video tutorial:
In the example below, the system will find a field called “City” and will type the words “San Francisco”. It will then look for a clickable element called “Search” and it will click on it.
How to use the selector? The fastest way to input which element to execute an action on is to use the selector by clicking on the cursor icon on the left of the green Go button.
Once the selector is activated, you will need to select the element on the page. The action is executed immediately upon you click on the selection.
The element’s XPath is recorded in the appropriate field. If you have difficulties in selecting the correct element, please refer to the next paragraph.
How to troubleshoot? For more accuracy, you might need to use x-path, a selector or a value. The type of value is indicated in light grey (highlighted below).
The below is an example of how x-path (which is taken from the website code – see further below) looks like.
How to find the correct values? In a Chrome browser, right click on the web-element you what to perform the action to and the select “Inspect” from the menu.
The page’s code will appear on a panel. Right click on the code of the element and then “Copy selector” or “XPath”. Then paste that value back in the home page.
How to chose a value from a drop down menu? You have to copy the value, which is sometimes different than the name, from the code itself.
How to block several elements? If you need to block several web-elements, like ads, you can use the element’s ID or CLASS from the code itself.
Need help? Check this video tutorial:
How to use ”time”? This is to allow more time for the page to render after a search query or the result of any other action.
How to use “iframe”? An iframe is like a website within a website. This can be apparent when inspecting the code.
When an action need to occur within an iframe, you will need to let the system know by using the iframe command and the iframe’s name, selector, class or id.
You can test this with the site: https://apcoworldwide.com/about/careers/jobs using the following settings:
How to use ”Cookie”? This is to allow opening a page using the cookie the target site has assigned to your account. This is mainly used to avoid to login each time by maintaining a session open or by using your personal preference when opening the page.
The target site will recognize your identity even if the page is accessed from a different location (like when you are traveling). Use Fixed Proxy to always access the site with the same IP address. This is useful when the target page sends you a text message to authorize a “new device”.
In order to get the “Name”, “Value” and “Domain” of the cookie that the target site assigns to your account, open an incognito session in Chrome and complete the login. Right click to access the developer view and click in Application to see the list of cookies dropped in the browser that are assigned to your account.
You can prioritize the cookies by Expiration date and Size assuming that the larger sizes and those expiration dates of 2 week to a month are the most important. You can also use third party services like CookieServe to understand what function each cookie dropped by a website has.
You can also install Puppeteer Recorder, a free Chrome extension that records all steps you make on a page as you navigate within.
In the example below, a click into an element whose id=post-241 as clicked on. You can report this to our settings as seen below.
Note that for Block, Select and iframe, actions, the entire line, in this case #post- 15>.row>.column>#post-241>a, will need to be copied
How to integrate with Slack?
Incoming Webhook Integration Setup
Assuming that you are the Administrator for your Slack Team Account, log in to the Slack Team Portal and go to Configure Integrations as shown below:
This will bring up the Configure Integrations page where you can add various integration services to your Team. Since we are interested in Incoming Webhooks Integration, just type "incoming" in the filter search input box as shown below:
Click on View and it should bring up a form to configure the Incoming Webhooks Integration.
The first step is to specify the channel that you want to send the messages to as shown below. We have chosen the #general channel over here.
Click on Add Incoming Webhooks Integration. This will setup the Integration for you and provide you with a publicly reachable Webhook URL. Scroll down to the Integration Settings section and you should see the details with the channel that you selected the URL that you need to post the message to.
Remember to click on Save Settings and you should be all set with the Incoming Webhook configured and waiting for your message.