Have you ever had a Joomla website hacked? Do you manage a whole bunch of websites and find it hard to manage security and backups on all of these websites?

Well, Watchful.li from the team at Anything Digital and inetis have put together a fantastic service where you can manage multiple website upgrades, backups and monitor websites for security issues all in one dashboard console.

At PB Web Development, we manage hundreds of Joomla websites and when we're busy working on delivering great new projects for our clients it is sometimes hard to keep on top of all the other websites that we look after.

You can also listen to a podcast review we did of the system at our podcast: http://joomlabe.at/podcast/6-ep2-joomla-backups-security-updates-and-watchful-li

Watchful.li's Feature List

So here is a list of what Watchful.li does for your Joomla websites.

Watch Everything

Watchful.li monitors both Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 2.5 websites. We know that we should all be migrating and upgrading to Joomla 2.5 where possible but there are always certain situations that make it impossible or very hard at least to migrate fully from the old 1.5 version of Joomla to the newer 2.5 version. Thankfully Watchful.li does monitor Joomla 1.5 sites helping making them just a little more secure.

Joomla Updates

Anytime a new version of Joomla is release you'll be able to upgrade it all from the central dashboard of Watchful.li saving you time and reducing the need of logging into every one of your websites to manage an update.

Akeeba Backups

This has to be one of our favourite abilities in Watchful.li. Being able to backup a website remotely was something that was always available for users that used Akeeba Backup but forgetting the pass codes to do so become tedious at times. Watchful.li allows you not only the ability to execute a remote backup but also to execute schedule remote backups of your websites. Combining this with cloud backup storage and you have a pretty nice backup system for all of your websites.

Extension Updates

With the introduction of Joomla 2.5 came remote updates and Watchful.li takes advantage of this by monitoring what extensions need to be updated in your Joomla 2.5 installations. As long as the extensions are using the update manager.

Server Status

Watchful.li monitors your server status! A server much like Pingdom, it will notify administrators when a connection to the website is unavailable which could potentially mean that your website or server is down. It will also notify you if changes are made to your servers Apache, PHP or MySQL configuration.

File Modification Monitoring

If you're site gets hacked, it is most likely that there will be an instant where all or some of your files on your website will be modified. Watchful.li has the ability to notify and report and what files get change in your website and alert you to potential hacks. This is similar to the file scanning abilities in extensions like RSFirewall but differ in that it is more of an active scan than a passive scan of all the files.

Extension Tracking

This allows for the monitoring of when a new extension is installed on one of your websites. By looking through website logs you will be able to determine if an unauthorized extension has been installed or if your website was hacked and a third party extension was added. Another nice, quick and easy way to track changes on your site.


Watchful.li sends out email notifications when something happens or changes on your website. A very useful when you're busy working on other tasks or websites. Knowing when a potential security threat is happening allows websites administrators to combat the hacks or quickly restore or react to the hacking attempts.

Custom Tools

I haven't personally tried this feature or looked much into it but if it is possible to extend Watchful.li to monitor actions that you're interested in then we as administrators have a very powerful tool to extend Watchful.li's abilities to make websites management better and better.

Open and Reliable

Watchful.li is built on an open and reliable system that has been tested for years in production environments. As we've only just started through we're just dipping our toes in the water to make sure our sites aren't compromised by using the services but so far so good and we're very impressed.

Safe and Secure

Connected via a safe 2048 bit encrypted connection and backed by a skilled and awesome Joomla team.

The easiest way to find out more about Watchful.li is to watch the screen cast that was created by Victor from Anything Digital.


It is still early days for us using Watchful.li but there is a huge potential in the system and we'll be giving it a good test over the end of year break to see how it can potentially be integrated into our website builds in the future.

Podcast Review

You can also listen to a podcast review we did of the system at our podcast: http://joomlabe.at/podcast/6-ep2-joomla-backups-security-updates-and-watchful-li