As a Joomla agency with tens, hundreds or thousands of clients, you know how much work it takes to keep your websites secure and current with up-to-date software.
From spreadsheets to custom scripts to SaaS services like Watchful, it’s likely that you have your own internal processes to help manage your portfolio.
Watchful in particular minimizes how much time you spend backing up, updating and monitoring your sites for problems.
We recently released an update to the Watchful dashboard (still in the public BETA phase) that makes maintaining your websites even faster and — in my biased opinion — a lot of fun (at least compared to doing it manually, lol).
So here are 8 of my favorite things that will make you fall in love with maintaining your websites:
8. Improved tool organization
We spent a lot of time organizing our Joomla tools. Now, all the actions you take (backup, update, Malware scan) are grouped together.
Similarly, all the data reporting (logs, analytics, uptime) are grouped.
This approach to consistency make it a lot easier to find something, specially for the tools that are not used as frequently.
7. More information displayed in less space
Good decision making requires good information. The new design really focuses on fitting more of the most relevant information and more sites on your dashboard.
Not only did we squeeze more sites onto the dashboard, relevant information like the time (not just the date) of the last backup and the number of pending software updates are clearly shown.
6. Better batch tools
We’ve expanded and improved the batch tools to make it a lot easier to publish/unpublish any number of sites with as few as 2 clicks.
The same is true when performing unscheduled backups with the Add to backup queue feature.
5. Instant sorting and filtering
Let’s face it. Our original search tools were slow and clumsy, and filtering was not very robust.
The new Dashboard features instantaneous filtering as you type in the search field — no click required! You’ll also see this in action when filtering your list of updates by site or extension.
The column headers can also be used to sort your sites based on the number of pending updates, date of last backup, uptime status, etc…
Event clicking a tag will instantly filter the site list.
Together, it is really easy to find exactly the sites you are looking for and our Plus, Pro and Enterprise customers with 50+ sites will really love this feature.
4. Modals modals everywhere
The new dashboard moves most tasks to modal popups.
These modals allow you to stay on your dashboard when doing your maintenance and makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything you are doing.
The result is a richer, more pleasing and immersive experience.
3. Goodbye validation, hello refresh data!
The new dashboard has a two new buttons/links that you may not recognize: Connection and Refresh Data. These buttons replace what was previously called validation or validity.
The change in name was to make the dashboard and tools easier to understand for new users, though the feature has not changed with the new Dashboard.
2. Live updates without a page refresh
After updating your website from the original Dashboard, a page refresh was required to accurately display whether or not more updates were required.
The new Dashboard makes this a thing of the past. After Joomla and/or extension updates are applied, the number of remaining updates — if any — is changed in real time.
1. Speed, speed and more speed
Many of the changes above make the new Watchful Dashboard feel faster, and dramatically reducing the number of page refreshes has a lot to do with that.
But from a technical level, the architecture is also inherently faster as all the required data for your entire portfolio is loaded when you first load the app.
In other words, rather than continually requesting and loading new Dashboard data, we load all of the critical information at the beginning of your session.
The result is a richer, more pleasing, and much, much faster Dashboard that is a pleasure to use.