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Technical FAQ

Below are a list of questions and answers regarding how to use your changeAlarm account and how to fix some common problems that can occur.
 
 
Monitors
I created a changeAlarm monitor, but it isn't notifying me when the web page updates.  Why is this?
 
I'm receiving notices that a web page has changed, but I can't see any change on the page.  Why is this and how can I fix it?
 
changeAlarm isn't detecting some of the changes made to a page that I'm monitoring that I would like to know about.  How can I fix this?
 
 
Webmasters

My sign-up box is on my web site, but it's not working.  Why is this and how can I fix it?
 
My sign-up box statistics aren't being updated when sign-ups occur or when notification emails are being sent out.  Why is this and how can I fix it?
 
There are certain parts of my web pages that I don't want changeAlarm to look at for updates.  How can I make changeAlarm ignore these areas?
 
How does changeAlarm know what URL to monitor when a visitor submits his or her email address to my changeAlarm sign-up box?
 


Monitors
 
I created a changeAlarm monitor, but it isn't notifying me when the web page updates.  Why is this?

 
There are two main reasons why this could occur.  One is that the web address (URL) entered for the monitor is incorrect.  You can test to see if this is the case by logging into your account and finding the monitor in question from the list of active monitors.  View the monitor and copy and paste the web address of the monitor into your web browser.  If the browser does not show the intended page, then this was the problem.  To fix the problem, simply delete this monitor and create a new one, making sure that the web address is the one of the intended page.
 
Another reason for notifications not being sent when a web page is updated is that the sensitivity settings for the given monitor are not configured to be sensitive enough to detect relevant changes.  You can fix this by logging into your account and selecting the "View/Edit" option for the given monitor.  The screen that comes up next will allow you to configure the monitor's sensitivity settings.
 
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I'm receiving notices that a web page has changed, but I can't see any change on the page.  Why is this and how can I fix it?

 
This is likely because the sensitivity settings for the given monitor are configured to be too sensitive.  If this is the case, small changes in the non-content (and sometimes even invisible) areas of the page could cause a change to be detected by changeAlarm, and thus a notification to be sent.  You can fix this by logging into your account and clicking on the "View/Edit" button corresponding to the given monitor.  The screen that appears next will allow you to readjust the monitor's sensitivity.
 
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changeAlarm isn't detecting some of the changes made to a page that I'm monitoring that I would like to know about.  How can I fix this?

 
You can modify the sensitivity settings for your monitors from within your account management area.  Simply go into the "View/Edit" area for the given monitor to view the current settings for the monitor, as well as to modify these settings.
 
If the changes that you would like to be notified of are non-textual (anything between < and > within the HTML of the page - including images and other elements), then you can do this by turning off the "text only" setting for the given monitor.  The "text only" option, when turned on, causes changeAlarm to ignore all parts of a page that appear between < and > tags.  Since it is typical that most users want to detect changes in text only, the "text only" option is turned on by default.
 
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Webmasters
 
My sign-up box is on my web site, but it's not working.  Why is this and how can I fix it?

 
There are two main reasons that could explain this.  One is that the sign-up box was not copied and pasted exactly as provided by changeAlarm.  Although you can customize the appearance of your sign-up box, you must make sure that all of the form elements of the sign-up box are present.  Otherwise, the box won't work properly.  Consequently, it is recommended that unless you are an advanced HTML user, you copy and paste your sign-up box precisely as provided by changeAlarm.
 
Another possible reason for your sign-up box not working properly is a conflict with a <FORM> or <SCRIPT> tag.  If you have a <FORM> tag on your page that appears before your sign-up box code but is not terminated by a </FORM> tag before the sign-up box, the sign-up box will not function properly.  The same error can occur with a <SCRIPT> appearing in front of your sign-up box code but not being terminated by a </SCRIPT> tag prior to the sign-up box code.
 
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My sign-up box statistics aren't being updated when sign-ups occur or when notification emails are being sent out.  Why is this and how can I fix it?

 
This error is likely because a required element of your sign-up box is missing: the "wid" input field.  Please refer to the provided sign-up box code and either copy and paste the whole sign-up box code exactly as provided into your web pages, or extract the "wid" field and, if missing from your current sign-up box, insert it into your sign-up box code.
 
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There are certain parts of my web pages that I don't want changeAlarm to look at for updates.  How can I make changeAlarm ignore these areas?

 
You can have changeAlarm ignore certains parts of your web pages by placing special tags before and after these areas.  Right before such a section, place the following tag:
 
<!--changeAlarm_do_not_detect_begin-->
 
 
And right after the given section place this tag:
 
<!--changeAlarm_do_not_detect_end-->
 
 
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How does changeAlarm know what URL to monitor when a visitor submits his or her email address to my changeAlarm sign-up box?

 
By default, the changeAlarm sign-up box automatically detects the URL of the web page on which it appears.  That way, you can place the same sign-up box code on all of your pages and allow your visitors to sign-up for updates on the given page they are viewing - without having to change the sign-up box code for each individual page.
 
Another method of determining what URL to monitor for a given sign-up is to include an additional form element which hard codes the specific URL to monitor.  The form element is called "u" and should have a "value" setting of the given URL to monitor.  An example of the form element that could be added to the sign-up box code (between the <FORM> tags) is the following:
 
<input type="hidden" name="u" value="http://www.mywebsite.com">
 
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