A few new features!

I know what you’re thinking, Dom, nobody reads product blogs at 9pm on a Sunday evening.

Well to that I say to you, according to my stats, nobody the reads the product blog at any other time. so ha!.. I win…. I guess.

New Header Graphs

We’ve replaced the header text on the interface with something.. well actually useful.

We now have a graph showing you all the changes and the frequency in thee last 30 days and you can click the changes to go directly to the changelog at the correct time!

We’ve also added a few boxes which tell you danger and warning counts, they don’t link anywhere yet but they will once our next feature launches #tease

Tutorial

We’ve added a handy Tutorial section to the sidebar, this is designed to help you with some of the common tasks with Little Warden.. you should try and complete them, who knows what will happen 😉

Add URL page Tweaks

We’ve re-built the Add URL page to make it easier and quicker to use. It will also be much easier for when we add new checks later down the road 😉

Google Sheets Menu

Really? Does this really need to be mentioned in the product update. Yes, yes it does. We’ve made it easy to get to your Google sheet by adding it to the menu if you’ve generated one.


There are a few background tweaks we’ve been working on this weekend but we are very close to a feature update that we are very excited about!

Have a magical day

Dom, Heather and Scarlett

New Feature : Embracing the Spreadsheet

If you just want to know about the feature, the scroll down to see the header, however if you’d like a bit of backstory, read on!

When I sit down and think of a new tool to build, the thought process often starts with, “what are people using spreadsheets for that could be easier with an app” and then set off to work.

Spreadsheets seem to be at the core of every company and there is usually a 3 year old spreadsheet with macros, vlookups and some magic that makes some core functionality of the business work.

However, there is a reason that spreadsheets are so universal, because they are EASY to start with, shareable, simple to learn and can grow with complexity as needed.

So when Declan Reilly from The SEO Works suggested that he manage the URLs and notification options in LW, I was originally skeptical…

But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that we receive URLs from customers in spreadsheets all the time so why wouldn’t we do this.

So from today, when you go to add URLs to your account, you’ll be given the option of doing so via Google Sheets.

Once created, each sheet is initially locked down to the email address on the account but others can be added in settings.

When you click the sheet, you are given three tabs.

  • Source
  • Overview
  • Renewal Report

Source

This tab is the only one you are able to edit, you and your team can quickly add/remove URL’s, notification options and enable checks, this sheet is imported and updated every hour.

Just add a URL to the spreadsheet and it will be added with the default checks and notification options, if you’d like you can configure the checks more specifically

Overview

This tab gives you a quick heads up to any outstanding issues on the URLs and links directly to those URLs so you can configure the checks (or disable them).

This could look a bit prettier I know but we are trying to limit API commands

Renewal Report

This tab gives you a quick overview of domains and SSL certificates that are expiring.

Feedback from our testing team has been overwhelmingly positive and we are really really excited to ship this update to everyone for free now.

Next up we’ve got a few speed improvements to do on the backend and then another feature we’ve been excited to launch for a while.

Thanks

Dom, Heather (and Scarlett)

The Times They Are a-Chang(elog)in

One of the most important things that Little Warden does is keep an accurate changelog of the changes we’ve detected.

Recently though we’ve gone through a round of customer feedback and whilst the contents of the changelog are welcome, the visual aspect of the design needed improvement.

Feedback and comments such as

  • It hurts my eyes to look at
  • It’s very garish
  • It’s not easy to scan

And other more hurtful things. that I took wwwwwaaaaaaayy to personally.

BUT they were right, it wasn’t the best way of displaying the data and it’s time we gave that section a refresh, so it’s out with the old

and in with the new

This change is also reflected in the emails that we send out every morning.

This is the last update before our LittleTrip but we’ve got some really exciting features and UI changes ready to go live when we get back (It’s never good to launch a brand new feature then go on a cruise ship for two weeks)

Thanks and have a magical day

Dom, Heather and Scarlett

Patrol Report and Notification Changes

It’s just a few days till our LittleTrip but before we go, there are a few changes we are making due to customer feedback.

Patrol Reports

We’ve got some big changes coming tot he patrol report in June to make them much more actionable but for now we are going to stop sending monthly patrol reports by default, after a range of feedback we’ve found that the size of them is too large to actually be a worthwhile email to send and due to a bad design (sorry) they often get confused with Change Reports.

Notification Changes

From now on, we are cutting down the amount of times you are notified about certain items that are domain based, for example if your domain expires in 20 days, you now won’t receive a warning about it for every URL with that domain.

Why I hear you ask, did we do this ages ago?

The truth is, We didn’t realise how annoying it was until a customer mentioned it!

We are constantly trying to improve our emails and the accuracy, if you ever have an issue with them, please reply to them and Robot Dom will forward them onto us.

Thanks and have a magical day

Dom, Heather (and Scarlett)

We’re all going on a summer holiday

The first lines of code for Little Warden were written 2 years ago on a cruise ship (Disney of course) sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, our first ‘family holiday’.

Every evening, whilst Scarlett was sleeping in the cot, Heather and I would write the code for what would become Little Warden (and take advantage of the complimentary room service).

‘Well, after two years filled with code, blog posts and conferences, we need a proper break so it’s time for another cruise!

So in early May after spending some time in the Magic Kingdom, we’ll be setting sail on the Disney Magic Cruise Ship once more for some rest, relaxation and plenty of Mickey Waffles.

Now, this isn’t easy as a small team so whilst we’ve implemented a feature freeze for the next few weeks (ignoring one or two announcements this week) and we’re still committed to maintaining support channels.

From May 1st till May 28th – We will be disabling LiveChat, as much as we love this method of instant communication with our customers, it’s not possible whilst in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Robot Dom will still be sending emails, slack messages and the API calls.

We will be checking in on the servers and support emails a few times a day so any issues / support tickets will be resolved (we’ve even paid for the big Wifi package on the ship)

So, if you want to follow our travels, I’m @ukdisdad on instagram (not a support channel)

See ya real soon!

Real Dom, Heather and Scarlett

NEW Feature! – Monitor your JS Rendered pages with Little Warden

Today I’m pleased to announce that Chrome rendering of pages is now in BETA and enabled for all customers, this will enable us to fully monitor sites rendered in React, Angular or anyone of the 100’s of javascript frameworks launched every week.

This obviously takes a bit more resource than our normal scans so at the moment the limits are US geolocations only and daily rather than hourly checks.

This has been one of the most requested features in our recent survey and so we are pleased to be able to launch this to you today.

It goes without saying that we love our friends in the industry but I want to take a moment and point out that this feature would NOT be possible without the help of our go-to website crawler Sitebulb, they shared the knowledge of their wonderful crawler tech and helped us get past some blocking bugs we’ve been having for months.

You can switch now to JS rendering by editing the URL options in settings.

Look out for more features and changes in response to the survey and if you’d like to contribute, there is still time to fill it in!

New Feature Alert* – Sitemap Change Monitoring

Well Okay, this one isn’t a new feature as it’s been live for about a month, I just forgot to write a blog post about it but you can now enable a check which will give you a diff of all the URLs added and removed from your sitemap.

We’ve got a couple of Little updates coming out in the next week or two as we prepare for some BIG changes (as hinted to on twitter) later on in the year. 2019 looks very exciting!

So XML Sitemap change monitoring check it out now!

New Feature – Related URLs

We are always trying to be a little bit smarter at Little Warden, we’ve several projects on the go at the moment trying to estimate which actions you want to take on a specific domain name to reduce your setup time.

Whilst we train the machines to slowly replace us, we’ve launched a stopgap feature called Related URLs

Related URLs 

Now when you go into a URL page, you’ll see an extra button (I know, I know the UX needs a bit of work but one step at a time)

Clicking that button takes you to a special page which allows you to select the type of relation to the website

Redirect URLs – These are URLs that should redirect to the root domain (such as trademark domains, geodomains and previous brand names)

Staging / Test URLs – These are URLs for development or testing of the original URL, they should not be indexable by search engines

By using these Related URLs, we can set some custom configuration on checks such as URL redirect and indexability.

We will be adding more related URL functionality as it’s requested (so keep your feedback coming)  

If you’ve been thinking about signing up to Little Warden but haven’t quite gotten around to it, take a look at our website at about midday today for a sneaky special offer 😉 

Why have 1 announcement? When you can have 3!

It’s an exciting day here at LW and we’ve got three announcements here to go! How lucky are you??

Little Warden’s new look

First up Little Warden has a brand new look and it looks smashing!

After months of planning, notes and a design brief which partly said ‘the current marketing site is bodged together, please help us’. We’ve been working with designer  Joe Rutland on breathing life into our marketing site and we are really really pleased with the result (although we highly recommend Joe, we ask you don’t send TOO much work his way as we need him to work on some more stuff for us soon)

Better Slack Integration

The Little Warden Slack integration is one of the most popular ways of being informed about Little Warden updates, today we’ve taken that one step further and are pleased to say that  Robot Dom can now join you directly into your slack room allowing you to manage almost all of the Little Warden daily jobs directly from your chat.

You can read the full Slack command list or just head over to the notification sections inside your control panel and get started!.

Domain/ SSL Expiration Calendar Feeds

A few weeks ago I was listening to the Startups for the rest of us Podcast when one of the hosts mentioned that he has a calendar with all his domain renewals on that he manages manually but it didn’t scale very well…

So we contacted him and now he uses Little Warden.

but it did get us thinking.. that’s not a bad idea at all..

So now you can head over to the renewal report page. and get a direct iCal feed to import into your calendar of choice (make sure you add it as a feed rather than a file and PLEASE don’t check for changes more than every hour) 

We’ve got some more news and other exciting things to share soon but it’s 10pm and we are going to celebrate with a cider and picking up all of Scarlett’s toys off the living room floor.

Thanks and have a magical day

Dom, Heather (and Scarlett but she is in bed)

Introducing Zapier Integration and Webhooks!

Today we are VERY excited to launch not one… but TWO of our most requested features from our more ‘technical‘ users.

Zapier Integration

We get feature requests all the time (okay, maybe once a month) asking us to ‘integrate with x’ or ‘it would be great if you could y’ and with a small team, it’s just not possible to keep up with API changes and updates (and to be honest we wouldn’t get anything done)

So we started looking at what to integrate as a third party and we narrowed it down to two websites Zapier and IFFT.. We spent a long time looking at the pros and cons of each service including userbase, our current customer’s preference, API docs, ease of integration and then looked that Zapier was free but IFFT wanted to charge us to integrate so Zapier won!

Zapier has thousands of integrations with services and with it, Little Warden becomes much more powerful one of the most common test cases we see is the ability to send notifications directly into Google Sheets, Trello, Asana or other project management tools.

We are currently in the ‘invite only’ stage which means we have to prove to Zapier that we are a real company and people want to use us but login to notification preferences now and give it a go!

Webhook notifications

Another feature requested by our technical users is the ability for us to send a webhook to a URL on any change or notification.

We send a JSON payload with the following schema;

{
  "title": "The URL status check returns a 200 status code",
  "text": "<p>The URL https://www.agenericdomainname.com should return a status code of <strong>200 OK</strong></p><p>Which it does so that's all good!</p>",
  "type": "url-check",
  "status": "all good",
  "url": "https://www.agenericdomainname.com",
  "direct_link": "https://littlewarden.com/sites/<site_id>"
}

 

That is now live with some sample code, you’ll find it under Notification Settings.

We’ve got another bumper update coming in the next week or two so keep subscribed to the blog (and awesome twitter account)

Thanks and have a magical day

Dom