If you run more than one WordPress install, or if you have clients that run WordPress sites that you’re responsible for, then you know how much of a pain it can be to log in to each site every time you need to do things like update plugins, themes, or WordPress core itself.
With the release of WordPress 3.0, we now have the ability to create a network of WordPress sites with one installation through the multisite feature. However, your needs may go beyond what multisite allows you to do, and so you may need to explore other options.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions out there that will let you manage multiple WordPress websites from one central location. In this article, I’ll share some options with you and give you a brief overview of each.
1. WP Remote
WP Remote is a simple and free solution that will allow you to do a few basic tasks related to managing multiple WordPress sites.
While you do need to install the WP Remote plugin for each WordPress installation, your administration panel for managing your sites is in one central location on the WP Remote site.
Here’s a look at the simple control panel on the WP Remote site:
WP Remote Features
- Bulk update all WordPress installations
- Create off-site backups
- Update plugins that can be updated via the WordPress plugin page
- Update themes that can be updated via the WordPress themes page
InfiniteWP is on a freemium model. (In other words, basic features are free, but you’ll need to pay for other feature upgrades such as auto-scheduling of WordPress site backups.)
Below is a video by the creators of InfiniteWP that will give you an idea of what the tool looks like:
InfiniteWP Free Features
The basic features of InfiniteWP are basic indeed, but they’re also pretty handy, and so many of us may not need the premium/paid features this plugin has. The basic features include the following:
- One-click updates for the latest version of WordPress
- Install and manage themes
- Install and manage plugins
- The ability to restore, download, and delete backups
InfiniteWP Premium Features
There are currently six available premium features available (with three more in the works). These are the currently available addons:
- Install WordPress
- Clone a WordPress installation
- Schedule automated backups
- Back up to repositories
- Manage WordPress users
- Save and run custom PHP code on multiple sites
- Brand the InfiniteWP plugin with your company name or hide the plugin altogether
The premium addons currently in the works are the following:
- Integration with Google Analytics
- Manage posts and comments on multiple sites
- Bulk create Posts, Pages, and Links
ManageWP has an array of free features (e.g. one-click updates and a centralized admin dashboard). This tool allows you to manage up to five websites for free. There are also three premium plans that start at $4.00 (for up to five websites) that give you access to ManageWP’s premium features.
Here’s a video from ManageWP to help give you an overview of the tool:
ManageWP Free Features
- One-click updates
- All sites in one dashboard
- One-click automatic login to your WordPress sites
- Install and manage plugins and themes
- Remove spam comments, post revisions, optimize databases
- Pageview site traffic statistics
- Email notifications for available updates
- IP address access restriction
- Two-factor login authentication via email
ManageWP Premium Features
There are three paid plans above the free plan. With each paid subscription plan, you can have as many sites as you like. The difference comes in the features available. Check out ManageWP’s plans and pricing web page to see the difference between subscription plans. (By the way, you can try all the features for free for thirty days.)
Below are a few of the more important premium features available.
- Manage users
- Bulk add new posts and pages
- SEO analysis
- Integration with Google Analytics
- Uptime monitoring
- Scheduled backups
Worpit allows you to manage a network of WordPress sites in one central location. A couple of Wordpit features are instant backup and recovery and bulk updating of WordPress plugins and themes.
You can manage one site for free with Worpit. There are six different paid subscriptions, ranging from five sites for $1.60/month, up to 500 sites for $160/month.
Below is a video of at Worpit in action:
- One-click login for each site under a single admin dashboard
- Update your installations with the latest WordPress versions
- Automatic daily backups
- On-demand backup and restore
- Built-in WordPress installer (install new sites in 60 seconds)
- Auto-install your preferred plugins and themes to new sites
5. CMS Commander
CMS Commander, in addition to letting you manage multiple WordPress sites, also lets you manage multiple Drupal, Joomla, and phpBB sites as well.
You can use CMS Commander free for up to five sites. After that, prices go from $9.90/month for 10 sites, all the way up to $64.90/month for 200 sites.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to add WordPress sites to your CMS Commander account:
CMS Commander Features
- Plugin management (update, activate and deactivate)
- Theme management (update, activate and deactivate)
- Automatically create site backups
- Clone a site
- Automatically insert affiliate links
- Post management (view recent posts, approve/delete drafts, etc.)
- Comment management (review, approve or put comments in spam)
- User management
- WP Settings management
- Categories management
- Autoblogging and bulk posting (not available for free accounts)
All of the solutions above have some type of free version available, which makes for easy testing.
It should be noted, however, that many of these tools aren’t simply plugins (even though you may need to install a plugin as part of the set-up process).
And so if you decide to test them out, it may take a little more time to get them going than a regular WordPress plugin would. In the long run, however, you’ll save time by being able to manage multiple WordPress sites easier and better.