Do you maintain multiple Joomla websites? Find it a pain to keep them all up to date? Do you worry that malicious activity will go unnoticed on your server? Well, then this post is for you. This week we're introducing you to a new, affordable Joomla service that will take the pain out of watching and updating each of your individual Joomla sites.
Here are the highlights:
Many webmasters have both very old and very new sites that they have to monitor side by side. If this is you, then you'll love the fact that Watchful provides services for both Joomla 1.5 and 2.5 as well. Developers have provided different extensions to be installed based on the version of Joomla you are running. Just remember that Joomla 1.5 won't be supported much longer.
Not only can you monitor what Joomla version you are running, you can also update Joomla directly from the Watchful dashboard. A very nice feature is that many extensions are also integrated into the update service, so you can update everything with one click of a button.
Watchful uses Akeeba
This is an extension that most of us know and love, and why fix something that isn't broken? The fact that Watchful uses Akeeba for its backup functionality means that you can still use a solid technology that you are already comfortable with. This is great in case a site goes down or you need to move it at some point in the future.
Watchful watches for security problems
While the security features are not advanced, it's great to know that some thought has gone in to providing some basic security and notification services. Watchful will perform some very basic monitoring on the logs on your server. It will also show you what files have been touched and at what time. This can be a great starting point to investigating an issue when something goes wrong.
Another great feature that fits into this area is the fact that Watchful displays some information about your setup, such as web server, MySQL version and PHP version. This can be very helpful when evaluating extensions that require certain levels to run properly.
You can trial the service for free without having to take out your credit card, and if you choose to continue the service, pricing starts at $4.99 per month to monitor five websites. There's also a Standard level at $19.99 per month for 25 sites and a Pro level at $74.99 to monitor up to 100 sites. Beyond that you'll have to get in to Enterprise Pricing that ranges from $175 per month up to $3000 per month based on the number of websites you're monitoring.
Despite the fact that it really does look like Watchful has done a good job of creating a solid product for the Joomla community, we are normally a paranoid bunch, and would strongly recommend taking the final responsibility of backups and monitoring on yourself as a webmaster. If this means creating a second set of backups or simply logging in to your servers to check the files that should exist, then do that. Just remember that you are the one who will have to explain a bad situation to your clients. Also remember that a backup not tested for recovery is not a backup at all.
This looks to be a service that could very well save a busy webmaster loads of time and hassle. It doesn't provide any magical services that you can't provide on your own, but it does a very good job of putting those normally scattered services into one easy to manage space. And this last point could mean all the difference for some.
Let us know in the comments below how you manage multiple sites and how you feel about Watchful if you've given it a try.
Try the service for free at Watchful.li