Wikipedia:SiteDelta tutorial

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SiteDelta is a watchlist add-on for Firefox 2 or higher developed by Andreas Schierl. Like Wikipedia's watchlist, SiteDelta can keep track of changes to any page on the web including email accounts, blogs, etc. This is extremely useful for Wikipedia because our watchlisting system cannot watch pages in Special namespace whereas SiteDelta can. It is also useful because some users could benefit from two watchlists for organization and efficiency where one could be allocated to pages concerning a topic of interest or a Wikiproject.

How to install SiteDelta[edit]

If Firefox isn't installed already, it can be downloaded for free. While using Firefox, click one of the following links to install SiteDelta:

Set up SiteDelta to watch Wikipedia pages[edit]

  1. On Firefox's menu, click on Tools > Add-ons > SiteDelta > Options > Scan settings
  2. check-mark the JavaScript for site watch box (if it isn't checked already -- this eliminates the false positives caused by the MediaWiki's table of contents)
  3. Click "OK"
  4. Click on Options > Scan schedule
  5. check-mark the Site watch box - this makes SiteDelta alert automatically whenever a watched page changes (optional)

How to use SiteDelta[edit]

Once SiteDelta is set up (see above), SiteDelta's delta icon will be displayed on the status bar in the bottom right corner of Firefox.

To add a page to the SiteDelta watchlist[edit]

Click on the triangle.

To view the SiteDelta watchlist[edit]

Ctrl-click the triangle.

Or right-click on the triangle, and then click on "SiteDelta Sidebar" from the menu that pops up.

To modify which parts SiteDelta scans[edit]

Right-click on the triangle, select "Regions", and choose from the drop down menu. Follow the instructions that appear at the top of the page.

Here are the choices available from the "Regions" menu:


Let's say someone is watching a specific post on a blog for updates but doesn't want to be notified when there are new comments posted below. By right-clicking the SiteDelta triangle and going to "Regions" > "+Ignore region" and clicking the comments section would make SiteDelta ignore that region.


This is sort of misleading; everything on the page is being watched regardless. "+Watch" is more like a 'mass ignore' that ignores everything except the region(s) that is clicked on. As an example, for this page: it is desired to only watch the section "Web browser news" on the right. By clicking on it with the "+watch", SiteDelta would ignore everything except that section and so it will only notify when changes are made to that section.

Remove regions[edit]

If a region has been +ignored or +watched and this action would like to be undone, right-click the SiteDelta icon and go to "Regions" and click on the specific region from the menu to undo.

To modify when and how SiteDelta scans...[edit]

...on all the pages in the watchlist[edit]

To modify when and how SiteDelta scans all pages, open the SiteDelta sidebar and click the "Pages" dropdown menu and select "SiteDelta settings" (also accessible through the add-ons window). Changes to SiteDelta affect the "default" setting for all pages.


To prevent false positives and best experience, it is recommended that all of the following is enabled: "Check for deleted text" (see below), "Scan known pages on visit", "Ignore numbers", "Highlight changes on visit", "Enable JavaScript for site watch", "Enable site watch", and "automatically". It is also recommended that "Check image addresses" (see below) are disabled.

...on an individual page[edit]

To change the behavior on a particular page, go to "Page properties". This can be accessed through the SiteDelta sidebar and right-clicking on the page's title to be modified. From this menu, when and what SiteDelta will scan can be set and optionally, save those settings as a preset that can be easily applied to multiple pages.


  • If "Site watch" is enabled (automatically scans for changes), the default setting is set to auto. Auto means that SiteDelta will scan a page very infrequently at first (a few days) but gradually scan more frequently if the page changes often. But in a few days, a lot can happen. One way to overcome this is to manually make SiteDelta scan all the pages in the watchlist. It may be helpful to do this every computer session if desired. ("Pages" > "Check all for changes"). Another way is to manually make SiteDelta scan at explicit time intervals that can be set on the page properties or presets.
  • If a javascript clock is enabled for your Wikipedia account, it can sometimes cause SiteDelta to think there was a change when there has not been. Ignoring the clock can help this problem.
    • If there are multiple pages where a particular modification can apply to (like above for Wikipedia pages), the setting can be saved in "Presets". To copy a setting to the "presets", open the SiteDelta sidebar and select the page to copy. Right-click > "Page properties" > "What to scan" > "Save settings" > preset. Then apply it to various pages by navigating to the sidebar > "Pages" > "Manage presets" and apply it to pages there.
  • Some blogs, forums, and other sites change images on their pages very frequently. (Such as: "this user is online/offline" images, images generated from signatures, CAPTCHA, edit toolbars etc. Any of these may change just by accessing the site and will cause false positives. For most cases it is recommended that the "Check image addresses" is turned off for all pages unless it is needed.
  • Another misconception is the Check for deleted text feature in the "SiteDelta settings" or "Page properties" dialog. Unchecking this does not make SiteDelta not check or notify for deleted text, it merely shows deleted text in the diff as scissors icons. It is recommended to leave this feature enabled for Wikipedia pages as it does not affect anything except visibility (does not help or hurt false positives).

External links[edit]