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I’ve been a long-time IFTTT user and also wrote many tools to automate what I can. Only recently I noticed Zapier had introduced multi-step zaps and might just save me a lot of custom scripting! It supports a lot of services with many options. And if that still doesn’t get you there, you can run custom javascript or python code or even AWS Lamba!

Monitor Node.js releases

As an example of Zapier’s flexibility, here’s how I use it to monitor changes in only a very specific part of a website. In this example I monitor Node.js for new releases.

  1. Create a new Zap.
  2. As trigger, use Webhook / Retrieve Poll.
  3. Under Edit Options, enter the URL of the webpage to monitor, e.g. https://nodejs.org/en/.
  4. Open the URL in Chrome.
  5. Open DevTools (F12, Ctrl + Shift + I or Cmd + Opt + I).
  6. Inspect the element you’d like to monitor. For Node.js I selected the left green download button that (currently) says v6.9.1 LTS Recommended For Most Users.
  7. Right click the element in the DOM and select Copy > Copy XPath:

    xpath

  8. Paste it in the Xpath field of the trigger’s options.

  9. As action, I selected Email / Send Outbound Email.
  10. Edit the template as you like. You can use the fragment you have selected using the XPath in most of the fields, e.g. the Body:

    body

  11. Test to verify that from now on, you’ll be notified of new Node.js versions via email.

Sweet! 🍭