Manage and secure all your Joomla! & WordPress websites with ease
in a single dashboard for only $1/site/month or less

Try for free

30 days. No Credit Card.
No commitment.

Buy now

Start to manage all
your websites.

Adventures with Chrome autocomplete

autocomplete passowrd

If you browse the web with Chrome — the excellent web browser from Google — the autocomplete feature probably saves you lots of time with passwords and repetitive text entry.

But if you're a developer, or use any number of web services, very likely you find the autocomplete feature more troublesome than not.

As we'll describe below, the cause of this frustration is due to a fairly recent change by Chrome developers to ignore the autocomplete="off".

 What's the big deal?

At this moment, you may be asking yourself: "So what? How does a change in the behaviour of this obscure HTML attribute affect me?"

To explain the problem, lets consider any website with a basic username and password login area. The first time you login, Chrome remembers the username and password to autocomplete the next time you visit the site.

So far, we are loving "autocomplete".

Now consider any other activities you are carrying out on the site such as adding bank details to your accounting software, adding an account to your mail service provider, or in the case of users, adding backup secret keys or Words to Check to make your Joomla maintenance fast and easy.

In these and many other situations, any password fields will be automatically filled by Chrome using saved password from your intitial login. Of course, the password for your website should be different from that used for your other online activities.

As a result, your services will have the wrong credentials saved and thus fail to operate as desired.

It gets worse

In an effort to be more effective, Chrome also searches for the closest text input field preceeding the password field, and autocompletes it with the username saved from the intiial login to the website.

As with password autocompletion, it becomes difficult to enter the correct text into the credential fields.

In the past, website and webservice developers could solve this annoying problem by adding the autocomplete="off" HTML attribute to the approipriate fields on their sites/applications. This would prevent Chrome from autocompleting the fields with inappropriate data. 

However, ever since the Chrome developers decided to stop respecting this HTML attribute a great many applications and services have be affected.

The problem here at Watchful

As noted above, the Edit Site page here at Watchful is affected by the change in Chrome's behaviour.

Specifically, the Chrome autocomplete feature affects two fields: the Akeeba Secret Word — a password field that allows us to manage Joomla backups — and the Word to Check field which is used to more accurately monitor uptime and is the closest text input preceding the Akeeba Secret Key.

If Chrome autocompletes these with your Watchful login credentials when you edit or add a site to your Watchful dashboard, both the uptime monitoring and remote backups will fail.

A simple solution

For this reason, today we changed the affected input fields to a "text" input. This exempts the fields from the autocomplete feature and solves the problem. 

Why use Watchful?

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 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

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 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

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

WordPress support officially launches for Watchful - the webmasters toolbox

24 March 2017 / News

Effective immediately, Watchful now officially supports backups, updates, monitoring, and maintenance for websites powered by WordPress.

Preparations for migration to Amazon Web Services nearly complete

14 March 2017 / News

In the coming weeks, we plan to migrate our infrastructure from WiredTree to Amazon Web Service (AWS).

All News