Downloading content at a specific URL is common practice on the internet, especially due to increased usage of web services and APIs offered by Amazon, Alexa, Digg, etc. PHP's CURL library, which often comes with default shared hosting configurations, allows web developers to complete this task.
/* gets the data from a URL */
$ch = curl_init();
$timeout = 5;
$data = curl_exec($ch);
$returned_content = get_data('http://davidwalsh.name');
Alternatively, you can use the file_get_contents function remotely, but many hosts don't allow this.