Website Monitoring, Backup, and Two Cups of Coffee
Being part of J and Beyond, has given me the pleasure of seeing old friends again, but also the opportunity to see that particular companies continue to be at the forefront. It is great to see that from the strong foundation that those companies made years ago due to their sponsorship, worldwide Joomla events have been able to take place, as well as other activities that the rest of the community need.
But I don’t mean this in a monolithic way, it isn’t the same year after year. This year, once again, companies that have been there since the beginning of the Joomla project, share a table in the cafe with others that are presenting their latest products. These companies share the philosophy that you need to be an active part of the community to give back to the system, or, at least the companies that are well established, such as SiteGround, Community Builder, GoDaddy, redComponent, SeBlod, YooTheme, Yubico, Akeeba, ARC Technology Group, BastaMedia, GitHub, ACL Manager, Joomla-Monster, NoNumber, Optimum Theme or Yireo.
One area in particular caught my attention. Perhaps because of my origins within the systems world, or perhaps because, not long ago, companies that invested in creating extensions to facilitate website administration, backup, updates and increased security were very few. I am sure they could be counted on one hand.
During a break between sessions, I had a coffee with two people very active in the community, Francesco Abeni (GiBiLogic) and Dario Peroni (Weble). It was interesting to discover that they actually share a vision for two products: Watchful.li and JoomlaCommander. One is a boxer, everyone knows his achievements, he’s already shown us his physical prowess and excellent form. The other, a debutante in the quadrilateral world that the four coloured Joomla logo shapes form in our daily life.
I enjoyed talking to them more than I am capable of describing to you now. I have known Francesco and Dario for a few years, but never had I listened to them speak about their products without the sales pitch, only talking about how the products had developed into what they are today, and their vision of what it is that they bring to the community. So I had an interesting idea: a comparison of the two products straight from the mouths of the guys who made their existence possible. No comparative tables, no executive summaries, no endless figures and data, but the people themselves, talking about it over a cup of coffee.
Dario fascinated us with the story of how, since 2005, the objective of the company had changed, going from being a company orientated around the client, to one focusing on a wider area through their work on Zoolander for YooTheme. He reveled in sharing with us the simplicity of use JoomlaCommander will offer its users. He apologises for the possible lack of websites that support it, but says “Only today has the product been presented at Joomla and Beyond, but I assure you it will clearly keep growing in days to come”.
Francesco smiles with the experience of having been through this a few years ago, before Watchul.li had taken its place as one of the most used products for Joomla multisite maintenance. It is easy to use, one of the strong points of this product, and doesn't forget about the importance of security. Because of its use of cloud computing, data encryption is an essential.
Watchful.li integrates with other extensions which widens the range of services that it can provide, an asset for this product. Akeeba is used for backups, JCE, K2, Gantry or ACL Manager for updates. The extension has been well tested by users. But JoomlaCommander, its rival, isn’t left eating Watchful.li’s dust. Providing an alternative, both are excellent options with powerful control tools.
Witnessing a conversation like this (where Dario explains how he sees his business model and what the company represents) makes it clear why someone would want to use JoomlaCommander; it uses cloud computing that offers scalability to those clients who need to monitor a large number of them at once.
Both are similar in that they offer a free trial so people can get to know the product. A limited number of sites (up to 5 which isn't bad) and a time limit (30 days, which, with the type of extension we are talking about, it allows us to see how useful the daily backup and the real time monitoring website status are). By having a free trial it means that we can make a decision on which one to use and which would be best for our clients.
Watchful.li provides you with everything you need to develop your own plugins, to automate control of our websites, to launch a warning for when daily sales aren’t at a certain level, or for when you want to publish new articles. These are generated dynamically with content from the website.
Both products detect an installation or update of a new version, and even allow you to program alerts; when a Joomla file is modified, we receive a warning so we can prevent our files being affected by malware.
To conclude, a very productive and interesting coffee, like many other conversations experienced here at this J and Beyond event; conversations that will be a pleasure to share with you in future articles. But for now I have to go, there is a chat about marketing and Joomla by Chiara Aliotta, so please excuse me and see you soon.
Translated from the article in Spanish by Pedro F. Vidal Lopez https://magazine.joomla.org/es/ediciones-anteriores/junio-2014/item/2143-monitorizacion-de-sitios-web-copias-de-seguridad-y-dos-tazas-de-cafe