Hermit • Lite Apps Browser

Web Monitors

Get notified when any Web page changes

Hermit supports not only Atom and RSS feeds for Notifications, but can also monitor specific content on any arbitrary Web page.

How to Configure

To set up a Web Monitor for a Web page, you will need two things:

1. The URL of the Page

Obviously, you need a URL for the page. Make sure the URL remains constant and contains the content you would like to monitor. This part is simple.

2. The CSS Selector for the Page Content

You are very likely not interested in knowing when a page changes as a whole, but instead only when specific content on that page changes. E.g. if you want to set up a Web Monitor for your favorite News site, the page itself will change every time you load it if it embeds the current date and time anywhere on it. But if you are interested only in the newest stories from that page, those won’t change every second. Hermit can detect these changes intelligently.

To specify the exact part of a Web Page that you want to monitor, you use CSS Selectors.


Site must support a No-JavaScript mode

Web Monitors are updated and fetched in the background, not in a Web Browser. This means that only page content that is available in plain HTML is accessible, and any JavaScript on the page will not be executed. If a particular web page relies on JavaScript for its initial rendering and does not support Server-Side Rendering, then it does not support Web Monitors.

To check whether this is the case for a particular site, try accessing it with JavaScript turned off in Hermit. If the site fails to render, or shows a blank page, or with some content missing, then it likely will not work with Web Monitors.

Please contact the publisher of such a site, and request them to support the technical best practice of progressive enhancement or graceful degradation.

CSS Selectors

What’s a CSS Selector? Put simply, it’s a way to identify a specific part of a page. For use in Hermit, the most reliable CSS Selector is the Class Selector. A Class Selector is assigned explicitly by the Web Page Author, and can be applied to multiple items. E.g. every news story can have its own class (compared to ID Selectors which only apply to one Element at a time.)

Basic Web Developer Skills Required

We won’t pretend this is easy, or that it’s for everyone. It’s not. Advanced configuration of Web Monitors requires at least basic Web Developer skills.

There are some tools that make it easy: we recommend checking out Selector Gadget which is also available as a Chrome extension.

When testing in desktop Chrome, make sure to change your User Agent to an Android Phone. You may also need to disable JavaScript to replicate the exact experience in Hermit. For performance reasons, Hermit will not run JavaScript when retrieving and parsing content for Web Monitors.

Intelligence Features in Hermit

Hermit has certain intelligence features built in for Web Monitors.

Automatic De-Duplication

When Hermit checks for changes to a monitored Web Page, it will automatically de-duplicate content that may have been seen before. E.g. if you see a notification for “Friend X shared a new post — 5 min ago” and later on, the exact same notification appears as “Friend X shared a new post — 1 hour ago” (where the only difference is “5 min” versus “1 hour”), Hermit will correctly detect it as a duplicate, and will not show a second notification.

Automatic Image Extraction

If the HTML Element that matches the CSS Selector contains within it any image, Hermit will automatically detect it, extract it, and use it for the notification. This includes <img> tags, inline CSS containing background-image URLs, and anything else that looks like an image URL.


When you receive a lot of new notifications from the same source, Hermit will group them for you to prevent overwhelming your phone.

Personalized & Private

Unlike other web-based page monitoring tools, Hermit does not use a server — everything is done privately from your own phone. Hermit reuses your own cookies, using the same feature that keeps you logged in even after you close and reopen your browser, without having access to your typed passwords.

Hermit Web Monitors can be used to receive the latest updates from private accounts on social networking sites, to track your bank balance, credit card balance, or stock portfolio value, and for many other uses that cannot be done using public monitoring tools.

Intelligence Features are still in Beta, so let us know if something is not working accurately for your Web Pages, and we’ll take a look.

Not Just for Advanced Users

Hermit is a powerful Web Browser with several advanced features & deep customization.

But if you don’t want to configure all this yourself, we’ll do it for you! That’s why we provide pre-configured ready-made Web Monitors set up for most of the popular Lite Apps in the Hermit Library.