Custom Useragents and Viewports now with Little Warden

I know, I know, Little Warden launches the Sexiest of all the features this Easter Holiday but both of these have been requested by our users so at least SOMEONE is going to be excited about them.

Monitoring Custom Viewports

When using our Javascript Rendering, you can now choose the viewport to monitor, this is great when combined with our Content Change Monitoring to see specific changes on mobile view!

Custom User Agents

Little Warden has always tried to mimic a ‘real user’ as much as possible which means using a normal browser User Agent, however in certain circumstances (such as firewalls and bot blocking software) it would be nice for people to be able to set their own.

TADA!

Now you can select from three defined ones or just choose your own!

That’s all for today folks but we are working hard on some other updates for you to be announced shortly!

Thanks

Dom

Little Update 2021 #1

You know how at the start of 2020 I said “I’m going to write more on the company blog and ensure that we send out a regular newsletter…”

I tell you what I didn’t account for, a global pandemic, so if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna give myself a bit of a pass on that one.

But 2021, New Year, New me, and as I type this from my living room, in lockdown, whilst Scarlet does her Daily Cosmic Kids Yoga and BBC Bitesize, it would be easy for me to coast back into the ‘other things to do’ mindset but NO, THE INTERNET NEEDS MY VAGUELY FUNNY AND SOMETIMES IN THIRD PERSON CONTENT.

Little Updates

I’ve just finished a plan for what we are working on for the next 6 months and if we stick to it, then we’ve got a very exciting few months for Little Warden coming up (and since I’m not telling you the plan, if we don’t stick to it, you’ll never know!

What’s Next?

But what I will tell you is that you’ll see some nice updates to our User Management system and custom content extraction very very soon (maybe even this week?)

Family Updates

We are fine, for those of you not in the UK, we are back under lockdown which means that we have a four year old in the house who expects to be entertained, educated and fed during the day which is slightly distracting but it is what it is, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel

Next Family Trip?

hahahahahahahahahahahahahhaah

That’s a wrap!

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and of course, Robot Dom

Little Update #8

Well, the #uklockdown is sort of over? depending on where you live, who you live with and what day of the week it is.. COVID is still a major issue and will be for a fairly long time but THAT isn’t going to stop our irregular news updates!

Little Updates

Project Stardust part one is now officially complete! Every check in the system has now been updated with a new layout and more advanced configuration!

This part took the longest and was left till last since it involved rewriting our Content Extraction system.

We’ve rebuilt it so now you not only get alerted on changes but you can get alerted when specific things change, numbers go up (or down), regex check and much more, this change alone makes LW a MUCH more powerful tool.

We’ve also rebuilt our GEO-Redirect system to turn it into a wizard (not that one) which is much less confusing than the original one I designed (we are always learning!)

What’s Next?

The excitment begins as we start to focus on the next most requested and ‘I can’t believe you didn’t build this before’ feature – Individual Team Logins!

The days of sharing the LW password around the office will soon be gone once this feature goes live, I KNOW it’s taken a while and I KNOW you want it now but it’s a fairly big rewrite permissions wise in the backend so I’ll keep you up to date!

Family Updates

Last week, we managed to escape to Germany for a few days and enjoy the fun of Phantasialand (I know not Disney, you’re shocked aren’t you)

Scarlett was not happy about being interupted from iPad time for a photo

We had a lovely time and it was good to get a break for a few days and now we are back to it!

Next Family Trip?

Possibly Disneyland Paris in September for what would have been Run Weekend but who knows these days!

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

It feels like during the lockdown everyone BUT us was creating a podcast. Andi started one and it’s pretty good, you should listen to it.

That’s a wrap!

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and of course, Robot Dom

Little Update #7

Normally we start the updates with a fun story or joke but instead we must begin with our support for Black Lives Matter both publically & financially.

We support you and we hope everyone stays as safe as possible.

Little Updates

Project Stardust is full steam ahead with Nameservers, MX Records, URL response, www. redirect and https redirect all having the new modal and advanced features!

We’ve updated our Slack integration to be more friendly and have better explaiations of what’s going on.. it was a little bit Robotic.. which is fine for Robot Dom but not for normal users.

We’ve rebuilt our Edit Multiple checks dialog so that you can enable and disable checks across all URLs easily.. this is part one of the update (the next one will allow you to manage the individual elements of that check

And whilst it’s a strange thing to talk about, we’ve made it easier to cancel your Little Warden account, from day one at Little Warden we’ve wanted to produce software that adds value to your day, if you feel it isn’t then we shouldn’t put up barriers for you to cancel (although we’d love some feedback)

What’s Next?

The final parts of Project Stardust (and some of the most difficult) are Geodirects and our custom content checks.

These advanced bits of functionaility are at the moment, a pain in the arse to use and so we’ve gone back to the drawing back with the UX, userflow and backend code.

Family Updates

Our Christmas light project is going full steam ahead! This week we 3D printed some Daisies for Scarlett to put lights in for her bedroom

We’ve decided not to send her back to Nursery at the moment so it looks like shes stuck with us till September when she goes to BIG School

Next Family Trip?

Did someone say Ikea is back open?

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

Nothing more to say on this, if you can support, please do

That’s a wrap!

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and of course, Robot Dom

Little Update #6

It’s been a while since we did one of these, to be honest it’s partly because I’m sick of every company (including the manager of Tesco every week) telling me how they are doing during the coronavirus and partly because we are working whilst distra educating and entertaining a four year old.

Little Updates

Whilst not a user facing feature, we’ve finally built our internal dashboard which has been on the ‘features list’ for a while. This lets us know what actions users are taking, when emails / slack notifications are being sent and what features / checks are most popular.

We’ve already found and fixed an issue with Slack notifications being sent twice in some cases and over the next few weeks we will be investigating each check and how to increase the usefulness and popularity.

What’s Next?

This week we will be launching a big update to LW, the first stage of our ‘advanced notification settings’ (I’ll think of a sexy name later), due to the complex nature of this check, we’ll be rolling this out check by check over the next few weeks but here is a mockup of what you can expect

There is a lot to digest here but here are a few points to pull out

  • Cleaner colour scheme with the status colour highlighted
  • A clear action of ‘what to do next’ for each check
  • The ability to be more specific as to when you should be notified
  • Robot Dom makes his appearance in the application for the first time ever!

We’ll be rolling this out first on SSL and Domain name expiration this week!

Family Updates

Scarlett is at home with us ALL the time which switches between an amazing experience and a struggle with great frequency, we’ve been doing plenty of family things together (I’ve never made so many cakes) but she misses her extended family, her friends and her routine.

We’ve been working on a few family projects such as our Christmas Lights project (I KNOW IT’S APRIL!)

We’ve also been playing a LOT of Animal Crossing, so if you want to discuss Turnip Prices or come and visit

Next Family Trip?

The end of the garden looks pretty good to us at the moment

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

It feels likea cop out but there is no bigger than you we want to say that wasn’t all the Key workers that are literally keeping this country going.

From the Doctors, Nurses and NHS staff that are literally putting their life at risk to save others.

To the teams who deliver our post, pick up our bins, drive our lorrys, man our tills and keep the public transport system going for those who have to work.

Let’s not also forget all the sysadmins and network administrators who are making sure that the UK’s internet backbone is still running.

That’s a wrap!T

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and of course, Robot Dom

New Feature : Edit Mutiple URLs

You know sometimes you look back at a feature and think ‘what the hell were we thinking when we launched that?’

Welcome to our OLD edit mutiple checks interface!

If I had a pound for every complaint we’ve had about this feature, well, I’d probably have about £8, it’s not a popular feature but bloody hell it’s confusing to use.

I designed the thing and even I’m confused when I explain it.

The concept was sound, we needed a way that you could enable and disable checks on mass for multple checks BUT in a lot of cases some checks would be enabled for some but not others and you wanted to leave them alone.

Hence the frankenstein’s monster of an interface.

This has been bugging me for MONTHS but I couldn’t find a nice way of doing it, until the other day when Heather suggested an idea.. a very good idea, which was both brilliant and worrying.

You see the way Little Warden works is that I come up with the ideas, Heather builds it and I get the credit..

But now Heather is coming up with really good ideas…

I’m starting to feel very replaceable

Anyway

Our NEW Edit Mutiple URLS Interface

This new interface allows you to select the individual checks to enable and disable and then save and update. Perfect!

This feature is also the first official introduction of Robot Dom on the application side, keep an eye out for him though, you’ll be seeing him a lot over the next few months.

This feature is live and ready to go now! So go ahead have fun!

Thanks

Dom, Heather, Scarlett and Robot Dom!

Little Update #5

See, new branding on here as well

We live in a world where a garage that I used 3 years ago has just emailed me its coronavirus plan. Obviously that’s on our mind a lot but we’ve been working on some other things

Little Updates

  • We completely rebuilt our sitemap parsing system to handle much much larger sitemaps (and make the validator a little less strict)
  • We can now handle Gzipped sitemaps!
  • The homepage now has images that have accurate logos and screenshots!
  • Fixed an issue with the counts on the dashboard possibly being out of date in some cases

What’s Next?

It’s clear that the next few months are going to be tough all round, we’ve already had some customers cancel due to budget cuts and as a small SaaS tool where every customer counts, it’s concerning

But we must carry on, improve and hope that our customers see the value in LW and the work we do, so on that note work has started on our more granular notifications for each check, this will allow you to select the cirumstances in which you get messaged with changes and issues

Family Updates

  • Like many Brits we are just waiting for the schools to close, we’ve got a plan of action if that happens and work will continue on LW during this time.
  • Heather and I have worked together for years on a daily basis so there is no concern there (although we have been looking for some co-op switch games that won’t induce divorce)

Next Family Trip?

Who knows?!

As we speak now, every Disney park in the world is closed, countries are on lock down and people are reselling toilet roll amazon for ridiculous prices.. it’s not a fun time for anyone.

We’ve manage to cancel and get a refund on most of the asia trip now (just the Japan portion left) and once that’s done, we will re-think what’s going on.

We have Wine and Dine booked for November as this years #badparentsweek and I am hoping to hope that at least we know more by then.

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

There are many people affected by the current situation but I want to give a shoutout to all the event organisers in our industry that have had to cancel or postpone events at great cost or stress.

A special shoutout to our friends at MKGO who took the tough decision to postpone, we are sponsoring along with our frenemies SiteBulb and when they select a date at the end of the year, we’d love to see you there.

That’s a wrap!

It’s always a toss-up with these things to be honest ‘when things are a bit crap’ or to have a ‘strong company front’. We try not to bullshit at LW and so I’m sorry if this Update is a bit negative, it’s gonna be tough here at LW towers for a bit, but I know we will be fine.

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and of course, Robot Dom

Little Update #4

See, new branding on here as well

I told you we’d have one of these out before we went to Paris and here it is! Are you proud of me? Please, I’d just like a bit of positive reinforcement.

Little Updates

What’s Next?

We’ve got some early feedback from our Projects and Saved Settings launch that we want to jump on and some housekeeping over the next few days (as we are off on a bit of a family holiday)

When we get back, we are working on a more granular notification system for each check, you’ll be able to select more specific senarios for a check to notify you (and at what severity) and if that doesn’t excite you.. then you are pretty normal because let’s face it, nobody should get excited about features on a monitoring tool

Family Updates

  • I’m now the dad of a four year old
  • Saturday was a two party day for the girls, with Scarlett having a soft play party (#neveragain) in the afternoon then the evening the girls had a joint party with friends.

Next Family Trip?

We are heading to Disneyland Paris as the final part of Scarlett’s Birthday (and one of the many excuses we make as to not buy her a ‘big present’.)

We think this time Scarlett will FINALLY be tall enough to ride on Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Big Thunder Mountain so it’s an exciting trip for us

Last week we had a great time at the Harrogate Indoor Funfair.

Sadly, It’s becoming more and more likely that our China trip will have to be cancelled if not significantly changed, we are reading the news everyday and we’ve agreed to make the decision in the next 4 weeks.

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

This week, there was no other person we could give a shoutout to other than Rachel!

She did the amazing work on the new Little Warden Logo and it was a pleasure working with her.

You should get in contact with her.

That’s a wrap!

Support times will be delayed this week whilst I’m queuing for yet another ride on the It’s a Small World.. in the World.

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and the newly looking goood Robot Dom

Little Update #3

Hello to the literally tens of people reading this (according to our stats), it’s been a bit of a light few weeks for updates this time due to so much work happening on the New URLs feature (which is VERY VERY VERY close)

Little Updates

  • New Check selection now split into tabs for easier reading and expandability later.

What’s Next?

Well other than our New URLs Section, we’ve been making progress on two new design things.

First up our Logo Mark, we love the current one BUT it’s a public domain icon that we used and it’s time for us to have something of our own.

Next up (and more exciting to some), Robot Dom is very close to having a face! So close infact, I can show you a LITTLE preview of him right now!

Robot Dom Preview

I’m really excited to show this to the world and put a face to the name

Family Updates

  • Birthday month is here and so that is on Scarlett’s mind most of the day (including how many cakes she would like)
  • We are watching the updates from China with regard to our May family holiday, it’s concerning but there is nothing we can do about it (especially as they expect both Disneylands to be closed for 2 months!
  • The videos are still going strong with the Final day of our November trip now live, Six Flags : Magic Mountain (…please subscribe)

Next Family Trip?

After Cadbury Land last weekend (video soon), we’ve got a few weeks before our next adventure which is the Harrogate Indoor Fun Fair!

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

This week I’d like to give a shout out to Mark and the team at candour for building the excellent application

I’ve been using this a lot recently to do some writing (more information coming soon) and it’s really helped me look at the questions people are asking about subjects

That’s a wrap!

I was going to give a shout out to Mark Rofe (the very lonely billboard guy) but since he has ignored my lunch invite on FB messenger, I think the fame is starting to get to his head..

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and soon to have a face Robot Dom

Little Update #2

I told you these would be more frequent! It’s been a fun week or two at Little Warden, lots of things happening and we can announce today we will be at Digital Olympus in Poland in April! It looks at a great event and we are really excited to head there and catch up with friends and make some new ones! (The plan is to have a little special gift for customers who come and see us during the conference)

Little Updates

  • Whois, Robots.txt and a few other checks are now at HOST level rather than URL level [explained in this post]
  • Meta Index, X-Robots and Robots.txt now have a ‘this is fine‘ button in Outstanding Issues
  • Fixed an issue with protocol workers not picking up certain types of SSL
  • Custom titles will now show up for Content / Element checks
  • We now accept redirects with ports specified (for some reason this broke stuff)
  • We’ve bumped the maximum amount of Custom Elements allowed per URL to 12 from 9.
  • You can now request a Renewal Report from Robot Dom on slack [blog post coming later this week]
  • Our Slack integration will now notify you when your domains / SSL are close to expiring more frequently than before! [blog post coming later this week]

What’s Next?

We are going FULL steam ahead on our ‘new URL’ process, improving both the flow of adding URLs and reducing the amount of clicks required to do things.

Every month or so, Heather and I like to sit down (well I like to, Heather hates this) we sign up, go through the full onboarding process and think about what confusing elements or bits that we can see need improving, but as always if you’ve got any suggestions, send them across.

Family Updates

  • We are heading quite quickly into Birthday month for Heather and Scarlett (and expensive month for Dom), Scarlett will be 4 years old! and Heather will be [redacted] not as old as Dom.
  • We’ve submited our preferences for Scarlett’s school, that has come by so quickly, pretty soon she’ll be able to do some code and actually contribute properly to Little Warden.
  • Our next family project is building the Lego Train set that Dom got for Christmas, Heather and Scarlett sort the pieces into piles and Dom sticks it together (then Heather or Nicky fix it when he inevitably gets it wrong)
  • We’ve put some more videos live of our Half Marathon in Las Vegas then Disneyland trip (…please subscribe)

Next Family Trip?

We’ve booked a sneaky little Day trip to Cadbury World next weekend with a Character Breakfast (let’s see how much chocolate we can aquire)

LittleShoutOut

This is where we try and highlight something every week that we didn’t create in the hope it gets some attention from other people (and they aren’t a usually a client so THIS ISN’T A PAID LINK JOHN..

This time we’d like to give a shoutout to Alexandra Tachalova from Digital Olympus. We used to run a conference a few years ago and we know how hard it is (or was) Alexandra has taken Digital Olympus from an online only event to a physical presence with 600 people and we are proud to be a part of it this year.

I belive some tickets are still available so if you want to ‘Party in Poland‘ with Heather and Dom (warning, they may be in bed asleep by 10pm) then get yourself a ticket.

That’s a wrap!

I figure the URL thing will take a few weeks so I’m expecting the next update to be JUST before we go away to Paris.. but who knows #newyearnewme.

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and relucantly Robot Dom