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yubikey

Today we are pleased to announce that YubiKey support has been added as a 2-factor authentication method for protecting your Watchful account.

Two-factor authentication is an industry-standard for preventing unwanted access to accounts and devices. As one of the default authentication methods supported by the Joomla CMS, we expect YubiKey support to be popular among Watchful customers.

With Google Authenticator support having been in place for some time, Watchful now supports both authentication methods found in Joomla.  

We highly recommend that all users protect their Watchful accounts with 2-factor authentication. Full details on enabling this feature for both YubiKey and Google Authenticator can be found in our Knowledge Base.

2016 watchful dashboard

 

As some of you have now noticed by now, the Watchful Dashboard has recently gotten the makeover we first previewed earlier this year.

This is the fourth version of the Watchful Dashboard and we think you're going to love using it. Here's some reasons why.

1. Customizable content

Undoubtedly, the most exciting change is the ability to customize the information displayed on the Watchful Dashboard. For example, maybe you don't use Tags to organize your sites: now you can remove the Tags column from the dashboard entirely.

Like to keep a close eye on PHP versions? We've got you covered: you can add that to the Watchful Dashboard with a few clicks. 

At the top-right of the Dashboard you'll see a gear icon which opens the Table setting dialog (shown below) that allows you add and remove content form the Dashboard.

You can even specify the order of the columns, how many sites to display per page, and the default ordering parameters.

What's more, the Updater, Remote Installer and Tags Manager can be customized in a similar fashion.

We've fully documented the table customization process in an instructional video in the Knowledge Base and listed all the items that may be displayed on the various tables.

dashboard table settings 2016

2. Ready for multiple CMS types

Once you start using the new Dashboard, you will realize very quickly that you can add a CMS column.

There's also a CMS filter that has both Joomla and WordPress as selectable options.

Not surprisingly then, Watchful will soon publicly support WordPress sites. In fact, our beta testers have been managing WordPress sites in Watchful for a few months. 

We'll have more to share on this soon.

3. Intuitive bulk tools

One of Watchful's most powerful tools has been on our hidden secrets list for a number of years: the Bulk Toolbar. This toolbar allows you to perform the same task (i.e. installing an add-on or adding a tag) on a carefully selected set of sites.

The Bulk Toolbar is not well known as prior versions of the Dashboard kept the toolbar completely hidden until one or more sites were selected using the check boxes at the left of each site.

In the 4th version of the Dashboard, we've taken a page from the toolbar in the wildly popular GMail user interface: the Bulk Toolbar will now always display but will not be useable until 1 or more sites are selected.

Since the Bulk Toolbar really boosts efficiency when performing site maintenance we are hoping this change to the user interface greatly increases the profile of this valuable toolset.

bulk toolbar 2016

4. Persistent Filters

Filters have also received some enhancements. As shown below, filters that you have set can be saved to your settings. This means the filters will be re-applied after you logout and login to the Dashboard again.

A good use-case for this feature is only displaying your published sites  in your Dashboard.

persistent filters

5. More space for sites

Over the years we've strived to make the Watchful Dashboard as efficient as possible. Early changes were focused on improving the speed of the Dashboard and the migration to an AngularJS-based platform last year was a massive step towards achieving this goal.

In the current version of the Dashboard, we wanted to clean up the top of the interface so that more sites could be viewed above the fold.

As shown below, our efforts have been largely successful. Compared to prior Dashboard versions most popular screen sizes can now display up to twice the number of sites without scrolling.

The evolution of the Watchful Dashboard is shown below. As you can see, the extra room for sites in version 4 is made possible by minimizing white space and auto-hiding the filters (which is part of the Dashboard customization described above). 

dashboard evolution v4 stacked

We really hope that the new Watchful Dashboard continues to reduce the time required for common mainteance and monitoring tasks and we welcome your feedback below in the comments.

joomla-security

Like all open source software, the underlying codebase can always be scrutinized by attackers with the will and ability to find exploits. The flip-side of this equation is that popular and active open source software projects like Joomla have been hardened against nearly all of the published exploits and are generally considered quite safe.

Despite this, it is not possible to have a website that is both publicly accessible and 100% secure. Security is a continual process of learning and website hardening that should always be considered a 'work in progress'.

To help you on your journey of website security with Joomla, we've prepared this collection of resources that can be used to keep your Joomla site safe.

Read more: Security Resources for Joomla

Watchful SEO auditEarlier this year we previewed a new tool — the SEO Audit — for website owners to quickly detect the most common issues that affect website indexing by search engines and placement in search engine results. 

Today we are happy to announce that the tool has launched as a public Beta and is now available to all users.

As you can see in the video below, the SEO Audit can be found alongside the other Watchful tools. A typical scan takes 5-10 seconds and detailed advice on areas for improvement are shown.

Full details on the areas that are analyzed by the SEO Audit can be found in this Knowledge Base article. In particular, note that SEO Audit results are not saved. 

We look forward to your feedback on this new tool. Enjoy!

Maintenance scheduled

Watchful will have a planned outage on August 24, 2016 in order to perform some importance maintenance.

We expect the maintenance period to last no more than three hours. It is scheduled to begin at 9:00 CET / 2:00 AM CDT.

During the maintenance period, a snapshot of all your website data and logs will taken and stored securely. However, the entire Watchful service and website will be inaccessible. System notifications and scheduled backups will also be suspended.

Once the maintenance is complete, all scheduled monitoring tasks and backups will resume as normal.

Testimonials

Sander Potjer
Thanks to the built in support for the ACL Manager Download Key, users of Watchful.li can update ACL Manager on all their sites with just a single click. Sander Potjer / aclmanager.net
Martijn Boomsma
It's great to have Watchful.li as an easy, timesaving and useful tool for professional managing (many) Joomla websites. Martijn Boomsma / perfectwebteam.com
Jonathan Frewin

Watchful cut my monthly [maintenance] time down from days to hours. Jonathan Frewin / frewindesign.co.uk

Enoch Lavender
Watchful provides a clear-cut overview of my web sites, enabling me to easily keep them up-to-date with the latest Joomla/components updates as I choose. If I need support, their support is quick and effective. Enoch Lavender / easyjoomla.com.au
All Testimonials

Global Insights

Extension Tracker

Keep track of all your components, plugins and modules

Server Status

Be on the lookout for changes in your primary server status

Uptime Monitor

Be notified when a site goes down

White-Label Reports

Generate great looking reports for your clients to showcase the value of your services

Customized Apps

Expand your insights with customizable Apps to cater to your specific needs

Google Analytics

Keep track of traffic and search terms

Extension Tracker

Keep track of all your components, plugins and modules

Server Status

Be on the lookout for changes in your primary server status

Uptime Monitor

Be notified when a site goes down

White-Label Reports

Generate great looking reports for your clients to showcase the value of your services

Customized Apps

Expand your insights with customizable Apps to cater to your specific needs

Google Analytics

Keep track of traffic and search terms

Amazing Tools

Backup Manager
Backup Manager

Always know if your site has been backed up recently

Software Updates
Software Updates

Seamless updates for both free and commercial add-ons

Remote Installer
Remote Installer

Install extensions in bulk for standardized or customized changes to your websites

Site Audit
Site Audit

Be sure that website best-practices are followed and remain in effect

Single Sign-On
Single Sign-On

Manage your agency developers in a central location

API
API

Develop your own custom applications with watchful

Watchful News and CMS Blog

YubiKey support added for website management Dashboard

01 December 2016 / News

Today we are pleased to announce that YubiKey support has been added as a 2-factor authentication method for protecting your Watchful account.

SEO Audit released as public Beta

30 November 2016 / News

— the SEO Audit — for website owners to quickly detect the most common issues that affect website indexing by search engines and placement in search engine results. 

All News