Visual Observer is a web-based service designed to help users monitor and track changes that are made to websites they specify. It accomplishes this by monitoring the selected sites and taking screenshots when there are changes. Email alerts with details of the changes are then sent to the user that requested the monitoring.
The service provided by visualobserver.com can be used for a variety of purposes, from keeping abreast of social media updates to web development progress monitoring. The flexibility of the platform lends itself well to both personal and professional use. A variety of customizations are available, from the frequency of update to the threshold for generating an alert.
Why You Need It
Visual Observer is a useful tool that can be applied in a multitude of ways. Businesses can use it to monitor prices and offerings on a competitor’s website, so they can adjust their own accordingly. Programmers and web designers can use it as an automated way to keep clients updated about progress being made on their projects. Users might even find it useful to keep track of job postings, news updates, and social media posts. The possibilities are truly endless. Visual Observer’s positive features include:
- Up to 2 free monitoring projects
- Selectable update interval, ranging from a single time to monthly
- Variable alert trigger threshold
- Ability to specify a screenshot for desktop and/or mobile users
- Change history tracking
- For simple website change monitoring, the interface is perfect. It’s simple to navigate, easy to understand, and is presented in a very straightforward way. The account dashboard displays a weekly graph detailing the number and type of changes in a monitored site. A history tab also provides a timeline with a change percentage for a better overview of the scope and scale of the tracked changes.
Drawbacks and Negatives
In a certain way, the very same simplicity that makes Visual Observer attractive on the surface can also become an obstacle in certain use cases. In the obvious effort to remain user-friendly, some advanced functions appear to be missing that would make the system far more useful to professional customers. These deficiencies include:
- No easy means of hierarchical page monitoring (multiple pages of the same site) within a single job
- Inability to track HTML changes
Visual Observer is a fast, easy to use tool for rudimentary web monitoring. It would work well for anyone who seeks to track incremental visually-detectable changes over long periods of time. It’s handy to save the user some time checking in on a site each day and trying to remember what was there the last time they looked.