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

URL Policy Change

tldr; From next week, when you add a URL to Little Warden if the host url (domain or subdomain) isn’t in your monitor list, we will automatically add it, this is to aid future development and stop duplicate notifications.

Long explanation.

Wow, two blog posts in a week! Let’s not expect this pace for the rest of the year!

When we first created Little Warden (on a Cruise Ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean) we invisioned a product which JUST monitored domain names for certain issues..

Fast forward two and a half years and we’ve thousands of URLs now monitored on a URL level…. which is fine (let’s face it, it lets us sell bigger packages) but also it means sometimes we have to work around that initial database design to make it work.

One of the main issues we’ve had since adding URLs has been notifications on certain checks like Whois and robots.txt which are at domain or subdomain level, we’ve made it too easy for people to accidentally enable them on thousands of URLs.

Initially we didn’t think of this scenario and did a a terrible job sending them multiple alerts but for the most part we’ve managed to stop this and work around it BUT that workaround was always short term and a combination of feedback to our latest customer survey (you should fill it in btw) and over Christmas we took some time to map out what the issues were with it and what we wanted to do.

So from next week, some checks will ONLY be enabled on the Host (the Root domain or subdomain)

  • Domain Name Expiration
  • SSL Expiration
  • Nameservers
  • MX Records
  • Robots.txt

(Now it’s the internet so there are bound to be some edge cases where your scenario is different, get in touch if that breaks your usage)

Looking at our current customer list, this only affects about 6 customers in total and only adds one or two URLs to their usage so we could have properly gotten away with it by sneaking it in.. but that’s not how we work at Little Warden (plus… gotta write some content)

I’ll send a tweet when this goes live and who knows, it might even be in the next newsletter!

Have a great day

Dom

Little Update #1

We’ve been told that we need to create ‘good content’ in order to ‘build a relationship’ and ‘generate leads’ but I can’t think of anything to write about, so I’ll just look at the commit logs and tell you what we’ve deployed as well as some of the stuff we’ve been up to outside of work and if you don’t read it then it’s your own choice.

Little Updates

  • When adding new URLs we now end with dynamically loading the outstanding issues wizard for those issues.
  • Fixed a spelling mistake on the homepage that nobody told us about (or noticed) for three months.
  • Launched the brand new onboarding system for users to give them good introduction to Litle Warden
  • We now display the Google Sheet link on the main sidebar
  • Each email sent has a ‘report issue’ button to allow you to directly let us know if there is an issue with a response we’ve given
  • Added some pricing prompting to show what we mean by a URL
  • Registered a timeout as a DANGER error in some circumstances that we were not picking them up

What’s Next?

The next thing for Little Warden is to improve the way users add URLs to the system, we’ve designed a brand new wizard with some MUCH requested features (did someone say Projects? what about saved checked states?)

Obviously this is quite a big change and since Heather won’t let me touch any of the code (after the last time), I’ll keep you updated on the progress

Family Updates

  • After a lovely Christmas Scarlett is glad to be back at Nursery and is very excited about her Birthday next month (she wants a Unicorn cake)
  • Dom finally completed a none-Mario game (He finished the latest Zelda on New Years Day)
  • Heather finished watching the Crown series three and The Witcher and enjoyed them both.

Next Family Trip?

We will be heading to Disneyland Paris for a few days at the end of February to celebrate Scarlett’s birthday, Laptops, iPads and phones are taken so as usual, support is still available but any code fixes might have to wait until we’ve got back.

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 we’d like to give a shoutout to Mobe Digital, Maret recently set up on her own doing Hubspot training and whilst I panic at the thought of using Hubspot, she tells me it’s very good.

If you or your team is using or considering using Hubspot, give her a call.

That’s a wrap!

Until next time (which based on the current output of the blog posts will be in mid-March.

Thanks

Real Dom, Heather, Scarlett and relucantly Robot Dom

New Feature: Outstanding Issues

You know when you have a good idea for a feature and think it will work and everyone will love it and then you launch it and it turns out nobody cares.

That’s Patrol Reports! and they are GONE! outta here, vamoose

Instead we’ve replaced it with our Outstanding issues solver and it has some lovely features that we think you’ll enjoy.

Each issue is displayed in a handy interface which allows you to quickly manage some actions on each issue.

  • Forward Issue – Allows you to send the issue and a detailed log to an email address so they can help solve the problem.
  • Configure Check – You can quickly configure and ensure the check is expecting the correct response.
  • Mute Check – You can mute the issue for one week and we won’t message you about it, this helps if the team is working on it and it won’t be fixed quickly.
  • Disable Check – if this check isn’t relevant, then you can quickly and easily disable it.

Probably the biggest aspect of this feature is that we’ve grouped the same issue on URLs on the same domain together so you only handle them once!

This brand new feature is LIVE now at https://littlewarden.com/outstanding-issue and you can get started straight away!

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

Announcing the Penguin Awards 2019!

That’s right, after the success of the Penguin Awards last year, they are back!

www.penguinawards.com

The Penguin Awards are an annual celebration of the lighter side of the SEO industry, with categories such as ‘best office pet’, ‘worst beard’ and ‘old search personality of the year’, this is one award you’ll want on your shelf

Dom Hodgson

As per last year entry is only £10 and ALL the entry money goes to our fundraiser for Martin House Children’s Hospice.

I’m really proud that last year with this and the running we raised £10,000 for Martin House but this year, I think we can beat that.

Please like, share and subscribe but most importantly, Enter!

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)