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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.


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.

Why use Watchful?

You manage your websites manually.

You manage your websites manually.
We started like that! But our spreadsheets and reminders quickly became very complicated. We designed Watchful to simplify website management and actually make it pleasant experience.
Kristoffer Sandven saves me from manually monitoring dozens of websites - I can keep them updated with just a few clicks from a single, slick interface!
Kristoffer Sandven /

Learn more about Remote Installer

You don’t offer maintenance plans for your customers.

You don’t offer maintenance plans for your customers.
Maintenance plans are a key way most agencies generate recurring revenue and keep in regular contact with their clients. With Watchful you can offer professional maintenance plans and deliver white-label reports to show your clients the value of your work.
Martijn Boomsma
Watchful keeps us on track with updates and maintenance tasks so our clients sites are always monitored and up-to-date.
Martijn Boomsma /

Learn more about White-Label Reports

You use WordPress and Joomla! in your agency.

You use WordPress and Joomla! in your agency.
Watchful works seamlessly with the two most popular website softwares: Wordpress and Joomla. And the list of supported applications is growing.
Matthew Philogene provides a great overview of all our projects. Great support, great tools, cannot live without!
Matthew Philogene /

Learn more about Multi CMS dashboard

You don’t check your websites for security problems or backups.

You don’t check your websites for security problems or backups.
Watchful helps you monitor industry-accepted best-practices and potential security issues. And if a problem arises, Watchful’s customer support is there to help you understand the problem and advise you on possible solutions.
Joe Sonne
Using Watchful is far better than having to deal with a hacked website because a site fell behind in security updates.
Joe Sonne /

Learn more about Site Audit

It takes you days to update all your sites.

It takes you days to update all your sites.
Logging into websites and individually applying software updates is time-consuming and error-prone. With Watchful, we let you know what updates are available and help you apply updates across all your sites at the same time.
Jonathan Frewin
Watchful cut my monthly [maintenance] time down from days to hours.
Jonathan Frewin /
Learn more about Backup Manager

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.

All News