Checking websites for updates

Lots of websites get updated on an irregular basis. Some may get updated every week, others get updated every hour; some may not get updated for month and users are bored looking up the website regulary and they do not find any new content. In addition, checking websites manually is not very efficient and costs a lot of time. The solution for this problem should provide an easy way to check websites and stay updated. It would be helpful if the tool is able to highlight changes. In addition, the tool should be able to exclude several areas of a website from checking, for example the current time or the "who's online" section of the website. These changes might not be interesting for the user. The tool should of course work on HTML files; it also would be good if changes in images can be detected using a tool. The Solution should also cover non-HTML content, especially flash. Flash is used a lot in the www and this technology should not be left out. However, a solution for HTML at least would work for most websites. CSS changes do not need to be included as CSS should not contain any content but just formatting information.
2 answers - an online approach to checking websites for updates is an online service which provide means to check other websites on changes regulary. The user can be notified of changes by email. The service works for everything which can be retrieved via http.

https and ftp is not possible. In addition, no authentication is possible (except for authentication within the url, but this should not be used anyway). This service is for free; unfortunately, it does only provide basic functionality. This service is good for checking public websites on updates, but is no good for checking tuwel websites or any other website which is personalized through authentification.

To sum up, this service can reduce your time on the net, but it does not work on all websites, so that you have to check some websites manually.

Website Watcher - a windows application checking for website updates

Website Watcher is an application which automatically checks websites on changes. The user ads websites (and also autentication information if necessary) to the program. Afterwards, checks can be done by clicking one button. The program displays all website that have changed since the last check.

Additionally, websites can be checked on a regular basis using the AutoWatch feature. The user can define rules which determine how often a website should be checked.

Unfortunately, the program is not for free. Nontheless, it offers all functionality needed execept checking for flash sites.