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

Launched – a Slightly tweaked control panel

When we came up with the concept for Little Warden, we planned that each person would add the Root URL and maybe a few subdomains and so we planned the backend and frontend to match this.

Well, it turns out there is a reason that all the startup books tell you to interview your customer base before you start to build stuff. 

Turns out that Little Warden users like tracking pages as well as root domains and some of them like tracking 5000 or more pages on a single domain.

This has proved… interesting from a product perspective and whilst we’ve managed to make the product ‘work’ with this many URLs.. it wasn’t a great experience and certainly doesn’t fit in with the four keys that we try and run the company by.

Well, today I’d like to announce that we’ve launched the refresh of our internal system which means that URLs are grouped by domain or subdomain and you can quickly modify the checks and settings on a mass scale!

A change to our Search Console Importing

Today we’ve pushed out a small tweak to how we import URLs from Search Console.

The change comes down to how Google views ‘sites’ in Search Console for example;

  • http://example.com
  • http://www.example.com
  • https://www.example.com
  • https://example.com

These URLs would all be considered separate sites with GSC (or WMT as all the cool kids call it) and if we import 4 sites for the same URL then that just becomes a pain in the arse for everyone involved.

As far as Little Warden is concerned.. if you added the https:// version which renders, we check all the other URLs by default so there is no need to add them.

So from now on, we don’t import them automatically we just pick the one which renders and import that one (you can force these to be importing by switching auto sync to manual checks).

 

 

Papa’s Got A Brand New Changelog

Over the past few weeks, as well as eating cake and sponsoring conferences, we’ve been working on some backend changes to our system to enable things like hourly checking.

BUT it’s been a while since we launched anything VISUAL so I’d like to present to your our latest update – Recent Changes is now colour coded and in a timeline.

But Dom?

I hear you ask 

This is just a Balsamiq mockup of the feature and not a screenshot of the application in situ

A very good point.

and?

Well, If I wanted a screenshot of the website I’d either have to redact some customer data OR spend a few hours mocking up some fake changes on some generic websites and to be honest, not enough people read this blog to make it worthwhile and the mockup looks pretty close to the final feature

Well that makes total sense, thank you for your reasonable answer, I shall go and look at that feature now

No problem.

So head on over to https://littlewarden.com/change-history and see whats happening. This report will also update your daily changelog to make it a bit easier to see and understand.

Change History now active!

Add this to the list of ‘things we should have done quicker than 8 months after we launched’

You can now view a complete change History of the checks on sites you are monitoring.

Nothing much else to add here right? Just go and use it!

Force a country with our daily checks

A few months ago we introduced GeoRedirect checking to allow you to check a URL from a specific country and ensure that the redirects work.

Now we allow you to force a specific country to do the other checks.

The logical question to ask would be why didn’t you launch this at the same time as the GeoRedirect changes and to be honest, I don’t have a good answer for that.

But it’s launched now!

 

Element Level Change Monitoring now live!

I know, that’s a bit of a mouthful but trust me, this is a pretty cool feature (although you’re talking to a man who gets excited about a www. to non www. redirect to let’s have some context).

Other than the one we won’t be doing, this has been our most requested feature so far, the ability to track a CSS or XPath element for changes.

I’m pleased to say that it’s live now and you can use it.

What’s that? You don’t know how to get the XPath of an element on a page, well look here, we’ve got a nice video to help you through it

 

This check will have three parts and this is part one (obviously)

  • Part One – Allowing you to add a CSS selector or XPath in to monitor changes
  • Part Two – Allowing you to add multiple checks to monitor multiple things on the same page
  • Part Three – Make a nice GUI to select things on a page to be monitored.

Part one is officially done and launched, we’ve got a few UX tweaks and then we are jumping straight onto Part Two!

 

Custom Content Check can now accept Regular Expressions!

We’ve got a bunch of technical users that like to request features and we LOVE it.

A few days ago, we put an addition to our custom content feature which allows you to search not only for a static block of text but use a regular expression.

We’ve been using this in testing to ensure a search result always returns results.

/Showing (1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9)\d{1,10}? Results/

I’m fully aware my regular expression skills aren’t up to par but it gets the point across. I’m told there are thousands of ways you can use this but to be honest, I can only think of three, but it wasn’t a hard feature to launch and quite a few people asked for it so we did it.

Enjoy