We’ve finally been able to work out (most of) the bugs from CodeMonitor. For our users out there I apologize profusely. I know the darn thing has been broken for a long time and we’ve been working hard at getting it all put back together after several server changes. But it looks like that has finally happened.
As always, please submit any bug reports or upgrade requests to help us continue to make this tool better.
What Does CodeMonitor do?
For those of you who don’t know what the CodeMonitor tool is or does… well it’s pretty cool, if you ask me.
Simply put, it notifies you when any web page that you are monitoring changes. Now this isn’t a substitute for an RSS feed, this is something entirely different. CodeMonitor allows you to monitor select pages of a website and will email you whenever that page changes. Once you get that email you can login to see the new changes highlighted against to the previously “saved” version of the page.
Here, let me show you…
Let’s say that I wanted to keep tabs on what a competitor is doing whenever they make changes to their pages for SEO purposes (or any other reason). After creating my CodeMonitor account (yes, an account is needed so we can store your monitored pages for a daily comparison) I then set up all my monitored pages. Each time I login now I get a screen that looks like this:
Now let’s say that several of my monitored pages change. The next morning I find an email that tells me what pages changed and prompts me to login:
I quickly see which pages have changed and I can click on the little compare icon which will let me see the old version side by side with the new version of the page:
This view shows me the on-page text (with Title and Metas) of the last “saved” version on the right and the most recent version on the left. The green highlights show me exactly what has changed between the two versions. I’m able to scroll each side independently so I can see the differences all the way down the document. Once I’ve done my analysis of the changes I can then hit the save icon and the new version becomes the master version from which all daily comparisons are made.
I also have the option of switching to two other views, one allows me to compare the HTML code of the page and the other is to compare the page as it looks in a browser. Here is a shot of the same page above in code compare view:
The browser view still has bugs and isn’t comparing properly so I won’t show you a screenshot, but you get the gist.
How else can I use it?
Not only does CodeMonitor let me keep up on what my competitors are doing but I can also use it to monitor pages that are not set up for RSS. I currently use it for wikipedia pages, Google webmaster pages, etc.
But I also have one more use for it for which it is extremely helpful, and that is to monitor client pages that we have optimized. Yeah, that’s right, we monitor our client’s too.
Why? Well you know how it is, you spend a lot of time editing page content, title tags, etc. and then a week later the client goes and makes changes from an old version of the page. Poof, all your SEO is gone. But most times we wouldn’t know it until we got back in to analyze the site, but with CodeMonitor we know the very next day. This then allows us to go in and see what changes the client made. Sometimes they are not significant but sometimes they are. Either way, we know.
And here is where we get to a couple of other cool features of CodeMonitor. If you have editing access to a page you are monitoring (such as a client page) you can control which pieces of code get monitored and which don’t. This is especially handy when changes are made to global headers or footers or when there are revolving elements on a page. You can simply insert some snippets of code to tell CodeMonitor to ignore those portions of the code. When changes are made to the code marked for ignore you won’t bother with it or have to go in and save a dozen site pages because of it.
Another couple of handy features is that you can tell CodeMonitor to ignore comment tag changes or to notify you only when changes are to the text are made. The latter ignores all coding changes and only focuses on textual elements and the title and metas.
So there you have it. Check out CodeMonitor and start monitoring and spying today!