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Project Stardust Update – Meta Title, Description and Slack Changes!

Hello on Day 450 of April, I’m not saying the lockdown has started to affect us but I’ve created my own co-working space from Scarlett’s toys

Let me tell you, Spot the Dog NEVER shuts up about how he’s ‘smashing it’

If you’ve been following along with our Little Updates (and let’s be honest, you’ve not, why would you, before the lockdown you had better things to do with your time!) you’ll know that today was the day we were meant to fly out for our big family trip to all the Asian Disney parks.

It was clear a while ago that it wasn’t going to happen but we always knew that this day would bring some sadness of what could have been

You know what they say

The best way to get over having to cancel a once-in-a-lifetime holiday that you’ve been planning for two years is to launch a new feature on your website

They

And that’s exactly what we’ve done! Not only that but in this time of cutbacks and austerity we are giving you DOUBLE the updates… that’s right TWO new bits of functionality

Project Stardust

As I mentioned in the last Little Update (you are reading them right?), we’ve taken some time to build an internal dashboard that monitors usage of certain features and functionality. This lets us see when/where things are going wrong (mainly to work out which of our lovely crafted features you aren’t using and work out how to force encourage you to use them).

We’ve been using that information to improve user flow, fix bugs and plan our development. A big part of this is something we call Project Stardust

Project Stardust is our effort to hold off on new fancy features and focus on improving the functionality of current checks, making them more useful and configurable. This started a few weeks ago with Domain and SSL expiration and we expect it to take most of the summer to get through each check

Project Stardust is important to us because Little Warden isn’t just a software product; it is a big part of our lives and we want to make sure as many people as possible are not only signed up to LW (I mean we’ve gotta pay for those cancelled Disney trips somehow!) but also that it is providing as much value as possible to them.

We started to think about the context that we were sending notifications. It was clear that, for a few clients, the amount of Slack messages they were receiving would easily turn LW from a ‘oh something has gone wrong’ to a ‘oh that’s always sending messages, just ignore it’ and that is something we are constantly trying to improve (and we’d love any suggestions you have)

Title tag and meta description changes

Pretty soon after we launched, we asked what checks people would like and overwhelmingly the crowd shouted: Title Tag Change detection and judging by the fact that over 70% of our URLS have it enabled, you REALLY care about those title tags!

But it turns out some title tags change A LOT and this is a significant cause of notifications for people so rather than only email you EVERY TIME a change is made to a title tag, you now have a few more options

Little Warden can notify you when

  • A certain word or phrase appears or disappears from the title tag;
  • The title tag goes above or below a certain amount of characters;
  • The title tag contains a number which is above, below or equal another number;
  • The title tag is blank;
  • The title tag matchs or does not match a regular expression;
  • The title tag changes (we’ve kept that in for people);

These changes are live right now for you to use, we are still working on adding them to our add and mass edit process but that will be coming soon

Slack Updates

Until we implemented our monitoring system, we actually had no idea JUST how many Slack messages we were sending out (I know some of you analytics people are cringing at this but the downside of a small team is that you have to prioritise).

Once we realised just how many we were sending, we started looking into what we were sending and how and after a few hours of monitoring we noticed that a few customers were getting double notifications and we managed to fix that in a few minutes (the benefit of a small team is that you can act quickly)

Today we’ve launched changes to the way that we display Slack messages, making them much more context aware (previously we would send you a Slack message saying your SSL certificate expires in 452 days! Which looks confusing without the context that it had just switched from DANGER as it was 2 days away from expiration!).

We’ve also stopped sending Slack notifications when you initially add the sites to LW. We were finding that customers were adding hundreds of sites and Slack was bombarding them with issues (and now with our issues solver being part of the add site process, many customers are sorting issues as part of the add process!).

There are a few more nice things in the pipeline for Slack which we are really looking forward to sharing with you but for now, I’ve got to get back to moping about not having a photo with Mickey Mouse

Have a magical day

Dom, Heather, Scarlett and Robot Dom

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Webmentions

  • Little Update #7 - Little Warden Writing

    […] 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! […]