Managing multiple WordPress sites at once is no easy task. While the platform has an easy-to-use interface, a lot already goes into keeping just one site up and running. Updating WordPress, plugins, themes, creating content, moderating comments, doing regular maintenance — it’s not hard but it accumulates.
Multiply that for each additional site and you have your hands full, especially with sites that have healthy traffic. And that doesn’t even take into account the time it takes to log in and out of each website.
Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. Other people have realized the need to help people run their sites. As a consequence, a number of services have sprung up that help you manage multiple WordPress websites from one central location and in this article, we will look at what is out there. Let’s go.
How to Pick The Right WordPress Management Tool
Before getting into what services you can choose from, let’s take a quick look at how to pick the right WordPress management tool for yourself. After all, many of them have very similar features like:
- Managing login details — The ability to store login details from several sites to access them quickly and easily
- Update management — Managing updates to WordPress core, plugins, and themes
- User management — Creating and managing users across different sites
- Installation — Installing, enabling, and disabling plugins or entire sites
Because of these similarities, it’s best to concentrate on the differences in order to make a decision. First, look at the additional features. Besides the standard options, many of the services offer things like site scans, backups, uptime monitoring, and other features.
Here, it’s up to you to decide what makes sense for you and your needs. For example, if you already have a (paid) backup solution in place, there is no need to buy a service that offers the same thing.
Another criterion is to think about the number of websites you will be responsible for, now or in the future. Many of the tools on this list offer free service up to a certain number of sites to manage and that might be enough for you.
Ease of use is another important decision factor. Despite offering similar features, the user interface of the tools on this list is sometimes very different. You need to decide what works for you and what doesn’t.
Finally, it’s a good idea to consider what is the core of your business. If you are operating relatively static websites and all you need help with is maintenance, a solution that lets you take care of updates, plugins and themes can be completely sufficient. However, if you work with content-centered websites that need frequent updates, you might want to go for a tool that can accommodate central content creation.
While you don’t have to be completely sure about what exactly you need, it’s a good idea to clear it up in brought strokes beforehand. That way, you make it easier to recognize the right solution for you below.
The Top Tools to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites at Once
Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the best tools to help you take care of your sites.
ManageWP is probably the most well-known solution out there, not least because it was acquired by GoDaddy last year. It was the first on the market and still going strong.
The service offers an intuitive interface that lets you access all your sites from one dashboard and allows you to perform all normal maintenance tasks. From updating update plugins and themes (or selectively ignoring updates) to deleting post revisions and comment spam to backing up your site — it’s all there.
The platform also comes with advanced features like Google Analytics integration or the ability to clone websites (and even set up entirely new sites remotely). It’s also easy to use and beginner friendly. In addition to that ManageWP has great 24-hour support with highly knowledgeable staff.
The kicker: You can use ManageWP for free for unlimited sites. No kidding! However, how do they make money you ask? The answer: premium plugins.
For a monthly fee, users can book additional features like real-time backups, white labeling, SEO tools, uptime monitoring and premium reports, security checks, and performance optimization. Prices start at $1-$2 per month per website.
For anyone with more than 25 and up to 100 websites, it makes sense to go for one of the bundles, which clock in at $25-$75. Finally, there is the all-in-one package for $150/month that contains all addon bundles.
Next on the list is WP Remote, a free and easy-to-use tool that lets you monitor unlimited websites. It allows you to update WordPress and all of its components with a single click. Alternatively, you can decide to have everything updated automatically.
Apart from that, the service offers backups (including downloads to your hard drive), analytics, performance checks, maintenance mode, and more. It also has a nice interface that is fast and easy to use. To ensure security, they also don’t ask for login credentials but use an API to manage your sites.
As mentioned, the service is entirely free. There aren’t even any addons to purchase or other costs for premium components. On the one hand, that’s nice for anyone on a budget, on the other hand, if the service doesn’t come with a feature that is central to you, there is no way to add it. What you see is truly what you get.
We have talked about the plugin bundle Jetpack a lot on this blog (including how to replace its features with other plugins). What you might not know is that one of its modules, Manage, also lets you manage multiple WordPress websites.
When installed on several sites, you can administer each of them from a dashboard inside WordPress.com. That means managing plugin installation, activation, and deactivation, posting content from a central location and checking site statistics.
While those aren’t many features, however, the plugin makes up for it by being completely free. Plus, if you are using it on on your site anyway, why not take advantage of it?
Next up is another hosted solution with a practical interface. CMS Commander lets you accomplish repetitive tasks in one go. The tool provides an overview of all your websites (including stats and update notifications) and allows you to update everything at once.
In addition to that, it also comes with bulk posting to several sites at once and the ability to schedule content ahead of time. You can also copy settings and plugins from one site to another and it has a powerful import function that supports text files and even RSS feeds.
However, that’s not all. CMS Commander also comes with Google PageSpeed Insights information, backlink monitoring, the ability to clone websites, automatic backups, maintenance mode and more. Plus, its interface is loosely based on the WordPress dashboard so finding your way around is quite easy.
If you are interested, the service has a limited free plan for three sites with basic features. Premium plans start at $8 per month for up to five websites and get progressively more expensive. The highest tier is $75/month for up to 200 websites (though they also have custom plans if you need more). All premium plans contain all features plus a growing number of allowed users for teams.
This next solution is flexible and filled with features in the areas of security, backups, and site management. They include automatic updates (including for plugins), bulk actions, malware scans and automatic backups.
One cool feature: if you need to restore a site from backup, you can first tell the plugin to create a test site in order to review the backup before restore.
In addition to that, iControlWP comes with multi-factor authentication, IP address restriction, and site security scans. It also allows you to manage updates and comments manually and even start new sites from the dashboard.
The service offers flexible plans. They start at $15/month for 10 websites. This option gives you basic features. For backups and other addons, you need to get on a higher plan or book them separately. On each plan, adding more sites costs between $1.50 and $3.90 per website. A free 15-day trial is available so you can test the waters before committing.
InfinteWP is a bit one of a kind since it’s an application that users install on their server to manage their websites. Since it is self-contained and self-hosted, there is no need to give away sensitive data to someone else.
Features include a master login for all sites, so you won’t have to log into them separately again, one-click updates, bulk installation for plugins and backup/restore. However, the basic version lacks some functionality like managing users, uptime monitoring and scheduled backups.
For that and other addons including Google Analytics, Sucuri Malware Scanner, publishing posts and pages, you need to either pay per addon or get on one of the premium plans where they are all included.
Prices are paid yearly and start with $147 for up to ten sites. On the other end of the spectrum are the Agency plan for unlimited sites and $447 per year and an Enterprise plan that includes InfiniteWP for teams for $647. Support also gets better with each tier.
As mentioned, a free plan is available for thorough testing before going for your wallet. Plus, they have a 14-day money back guarantee for premium products.
This particular tool is a WordPress plugin to manage multiple WordPress websites. It has the ability to group websites, conduct user management, manage and deploy WordPress plugins and themes and even create entire new blogs. In addition to that, it offers backups and easy updates.
The cost: $9.97/month or $97/year (I assume that’s for unlimited sites, the product page doesn’t go into too much detail). Unfortunately, the look of the offer is a little salesy and there is no free trial to test the plugin before buying. However, they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
Just like WordPress, MainWP is an open source tool. The free management tool comes with an intuitive interface, the ability to update components of any site with a single click, backups, and cloning.
It will send notifications for everything that needs to be updated and also plugins that haven’t received an update in a long time. That way, you can look for alternatives for components that are no longer supported.
The cool thing: if you do need to go to one of your sites, you can simply click on the link inside MainWP and it will take you to the site and automatically log you in. No need to remember your user login details. With the free plan, you also get content management, security scans and uptime scans for unlimited sites.
Extensions let you add more features from the areas of administration, backup, content, hosting, performance, security, analytics. You can either buy them separately or get them with a membership plan. The latter costs $29.99 monthly or $199.99 per year. You can also get a lifetime license with a one-time payment of $399.
Managing multiple WordPress websites, while not necessarily complicated, is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. If you find that taking care of your sites takes up a large part of your work day, using one of the tools above can shave hours off your schedule.
Each of the WordPress management tools on this list let you manage multiple WordPress sites from one central location. In addition to that, each comes with extra features that can further enhance your workflow.
Almost all of the tools can be tested before buying. Take advantage of that fact in order to get to know the tool before committing. Remember, it’s not just about functionality but also the user interface and other factors. Since you will possibly spend a lot of time with the tool of your choosing, take your time to find the right one.
How do you manage multiple WordPress websites? Do you use one of the tools above or a different solution? Let us know in the comment section below!
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