Check for active LESS plugin with new Watchful App
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 / Blog
The loading time of your website is becoming an ever-increasing factor in the ability of your website to keep your visitors attention and is also used to rank your content in search engine results.
Thus, it is important to remove or disable any development tools before launching your website that are not required for the operation of the site and could impact page load times.
To help address this problem, today we announce the immediate availability of the LESS Checker App.
What is LESS?
LESS is a dynamic stylesheet language that greatly extends the power and flexibility of CSS allowing for your website styles to be more maintainable, themable and extendable. As such, LESS has recently become very popular with website developers and template vendors.
However, unlike HTML and CSS, LESS files cannot be read directly by your browser. It must first be processed on your webserver to produce the static CSS files your template is expecting when rendering your website.
These CSS pre-processors are called LESS compilers. When you are developing your website, it is convenient to run the LESS compiler on every page load of your website so changes you make to your LESS file(s) are reflected in real time.
Once development is complete however, it is most desirable to disable the LESS compiler to reduce the server resources required to load your website and thereby minimize page load times.
LESS compilers and Joomla
The most popular LESS compiler for Joomla is the aptly-named Less Complier.
LESS Compiler is installed like any extension and runs as a system plugin.
It is quite common for end users to install this plugin during development — or activate it when making a style change on your website — and then forget to disable it once their website launches.
The LESS Checker App simply scans your website to see if the LESS Compiler plugin is active or not.
If an active LESS Complier plugin is detected on 2 consective validations via Watchful (automated or manual validations), a notification will be sent via your Watchful account and an entry added to your Watchful logs.
Using the LESS Checker App
Like all Watchful Apps, Watchful users can download the LESS Checker free of charge and install on any or all of their Joomla websites using the Remote Installer in your Watchful Dashboard. It can also be installed directly in your Joomla administrative backend.
Once the App is enabled, no other action is required.
For full details and downloads, see the LESS Checker entry in our Knowledge Base.