The web is constantly evolving. In the old days, all you could do to stay in the know is to constantly refresh the pages by pressing the F5 key on your keyboard …
Many devices these days don’t even have an F5 – as instrumentation has evolved beyond simple ping tools 🤖
One of the new cohorts of automation products for web change monitoring is called Hexowatch, and in this review, we’re going to take a look at it from every possible angle.
First of all, what is Hexowatch and how does it work?
What is Hexowatch?
Hexowatch is a cloud-based page change monitoring service that allows you to check any page for changes.
Did a competitor change their landing pages? Has the price of a competing product or service gone down? Is a product out of stock? Has my brand been mentioned? Has my affiliate changed their review or removed their affiliate disclosure? Did my link partner change the backlink in their post?
Hexowatch provides a wide range of different monitors that allows you to check any page for visual changes, content, keywords, source code, technology, availability, price or WHOIS.
When changes are detected on a page, Hexowatch then checks in a snapshot of the page by sending an alert via email, Slack, Telegram or any app compatible with the Zapier or Pabbly connection the ecosystem.
You can specify how often to check the pages (from every few months to every 5 minutes on higher plans), the type of device to check (mobile / tablet / desktop) as well as the location from which check out websites that customize prices based on the location of visitors.
So what can you watch out for with Hexowatch?
Hexowatch offers 9 different monitoring options depending on your goals:
- the visual monitor allows you to monitor the entire page or a specific area for visual changes only.
- the HTML element monitor allows you to monitor one or more fields on a page, for example the prices or the availability of products.
- the keyword monitor alerts you if specific keywords are found or disappear from a page.
- the Technology monitor can detect changes that occur in the technology that powers a website (e.g. if it uses wordpress / woocommerce / cloudflare) or in third party scripts used on the page (e.g. Google analytics / Intercom / Tag manager, etc. .).
- the coded monitor alerts you when the source code of a page is changed, this is useful when tracking backlinks to third party sites.
- the content Monitor lets you focus only on content changes, alerting you when the text portion of the page is updated.
- the availability monitor checks the availability of the page and alerts you when a page becomes unavailable or when it comes back online.
- the Who is monitor allows you to receive when a change in domain ownership occurs or when the status of a domain changes (eg when a domain becomes available after expiration).
- Finally, there is a AI monitor that looks for any change, be it visual, content, HTML or technological.
This last element is probably the most interesting: The Hexowatch team has trained a machine learning system to research various changes in target websites, regardless of their specific nature.
This is especially handy for monitoring your own website, as well as those of the closest competitors. More on this – in the next section:
Hexowatch use cases
When we first started looking at Hexowatch, we could think of maybe a few; However, after digging deeper into the various options available, it’s clear that page change monitoring can be used for a wide variety of use cases, including:
- Checking key pages of your website for any visual bugs after deploying a development update or updating plugins.
- Check your competitors’ landing pages for any changes, price updates, new product launches, or new service ideas.
- Keep an eye on agency client websites for missing tracking scripts or when clients update their websites.
- Affiliates can use Hexowatch to monitor merchants and competitors for new product ideas and promotions.
- Affiliate managers can monitor affiliate notices for any changes or to ensure affiliate compliance wording on the pages.
- SEO teams can monitor third-party backlink partners to ensure that links are not removed or changed once an article has been published.
- If you have your eye on an expiring domain, Hexowatch can alert you as soon as the domain becomes available on the open market.
So yeah, it’s not just to spy on your competition (although that’s definitely an important use case!). To accommodate this wealth of potential uses, Hexowatch has created a pricing structure suited to all possible levels of sophistication:
Hexowatch plans and prices
Hexowatch offers 5 different plans depending on your needs:
There is a Free plan provides 75 checks per month and the pages can be viewed every 12 hours. This is ideal for trying out the different types of monitoring available.
the Standard plan at $ 14.99 provides 2,000 checks per month and the pages can be viewed every 30 minutes. This plan provides alerts through Slack, Telegram, and Zapier.
the Pro the $ 24.99 plan provides 4,500 checks per month, and the pages can be viewed every 15 minutes. This plan provides all of the above, along with Pabbly connect and webhooks integrations, as well as custom actions that can be taken before a page checks out (e.g. you can clicks, close modal windows, log in to password protected websites, set cookies, etc.).
the Company plan at $ 49.99 provides 10,000 checks per month and the pages can be viewed every 5 minutes. This plan offers all of the above plus the ability to verify a page as if you were browsing from the US / EU or Asia).
the Company + $ 99.99 plan provides all of the above features with 25,000 checks per month.
Should you use Hexowatch?
Now that we know a lot more about this toolkit, are we ready to answer the question? Is Hexowatch worth your time and money?
Whereas it saves you time and provides tons of easily manageable data, the Free plan is an obvious choice to get used to the interface and check if using this service is really useful.
Hexowatch is one of those tools that is invaluable precisely because it works silently in the background – always alert, ready to alert you whenever there is a ripple in the fabric of the web.
Who knows, maybe after a few months of continuous monitoring, you will feel as deprived of data without Hexowatch as most webmasters feel without Google Analytics …