I’ve been managing LOTS of WordPress sites for a long time and it’s not always easy! Plugin updates, Core updates, managing content can all be time consuming, not to mention backups and spinning up development sites etc. Back in 2011 I joined the initial beta program of ManageWP and 3 years later I’m still a very happy customer, here’s why.
ManageWP is a single web-based interface that easily allows you to manage ALL of your WordPress sites, no more logging into multiple sites and spending hours doing updates and backups, login to ManageWP and you can access all your WordPress sites, update them, add content, see statistics and do loads of really useful things here’s my top 3 features that I couldn’t live without.
Updates and Upgrades
Managing plugins can be a pain in the ass especially if you are managing multiple sites, however with ManageWP you can easily see which sites have plugin and theme updates available and either update all in one go or pick which ones you want to update. Because I run my backups through ManageWP as well (more on this later) I know I can run updates easily without fear of breaking everything. On some sites I don’t do updates during business hours and as I have clients all around the world it’s great being able to select which sites and plugins I want to update and when. You can even set plugins to be ignored if there is that one plugin that you know is broken or you’ve manually hacked. There is also some limited support for Premium plugins and themes, I’ve not really put this to the test much, however I can confirm it does work with Gravity Forms.
You can also handle all your WordPress core upgrades, although WordPress does do some automatic updates now on the core larger releases aren’t automatic and again coupled with the backup and restore features of ManageWP you can easily upgrade all your sites with a single click.
Backup and Restore
There are loads of backup options for WordPress, ManageWP gives you an easy way to backup and restore sites from your dashboard no need for third party plugins or extra tools. You can create custom backup tasks for each site or group sites you can also schedule backups as well as backing up with a single click. The scheduled backups allow you to backup either the full site (files and database) or just take a database backup and can be ran daily, weekly or monthly with your own choice of time. This is handy to allow you to backup different sites with different rules, busy sites you might want to backup daily where as more static sites can be backed up monthly.
The best bit about the backups in ManageWP is the wide range of options you have when choosing your backup destination. Of course you can backup locally but in the case of a server failure this isn’t very useful. You also get, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP/SFTP and Email as optional destinations. I started with Dropbox as my destination for backups but changed to S3 last year as I started to backup more and more! You can of course if you want to be super paranoid about your data have multiple backup tasks to different destinations. Restores to sites as just as easy as the backups, select the site and click restore and you will be presented with a list of recent backups which you can simply choose your source from.
Now earlier I mentioned backups when I was talking about updates and upgrades, the one click backup function allows you to take an instant snapshot of a site before you do any major upgrades that way if the upgrades goes horribly wrong you can simply restore the backup with zero hassle and no nasty phone calls or emails from your client.
Moving WordPress sites can be a pain, but one of my favourite features of ManageWP is it’s deployment options. First up is the ability to create a new and clean WordPress installation. Simply give ManageWP some FTP details and MySQL details and it will do the install for you without you having to upload anything, you also have the option to add the site to your ManageWP installation. Secondly you have the option to clone a site this can be used to easily move a site to a new host or to completely change the URL, I use this the most for creating development version of client sites. In a few clicks you can have a clone of your production site set-up on a subdomain with almost no messing around. Finally you have the option for a mass migration, you can move all your sites to a new web host with very little pain.
There are a few other features that depending on your use case might be more useful to you. You can do uptime monitoring and alerting from ManageWP as well as traffic alerts which will monitor your sites traffic and notify you based on your metrics. There are also some SEO tools built in which can help you do keyword analysis and integrate into Google Analytics to give you a up to date view of your sites. If you’re managing a lot of content (which I don’t generally do) you can do all your content management from within ManageWP, you can manage and approve comments on all the sites and you can also bulk post to all or a sub-selection of sites. You can get a full run down of ManageWP features on their website.
Hopefully I’ve given you a little insight into how I use ManageWP and the useful tools that you can find there. Of course everyone is different and you might prefer to use the publishing tools much more than I do, but for day to day management of client sites ManageWP proves invaluable. They have a range of price plans starting from just $0.80 per site per month but it all depends on the features you want to use. Things like the clone wizard, scheduled backups and Google Analytics integration is only available on the Professional package which is $2.40 per site per month based on 5 sites, also it is worth mentioning that a site refers to a domain. So if you have multiple sites on a single domain (development and production for example) this will only class as one site in your billing but can all be managed separately.
Now all the links to ManageWP in this article will give you 10% their price plans, it will also give me a little thank you if you found this article useful. However I want to make it clear this is my own personal opinion and has no way been approved or endorsed by the guys over at ManageWP. If it’s not for you then don’t use it but if it sounds like something that is going to be useful for you check it out.