Some great new tools out there to monitor and update a number of WordPress sites from one central place. Here’s some notes I’ve gathered – please share your experiences in the comments.
WHY REMOTE MANAGEMENT OF WORDPRESS SITES?
As part of my services as a web developer and WordPress expert, I have to manage many websites for my clients — it’s a tedious chore to track the latest plugin updates, and WordPress versions. Most updates go smoothly but on occasion plugins conflict and updates can even make your whole website become unavailable.
When people sign up for my WordPress small business web hosting service they get to avoid all these headaches and let me manage their WordPress updates. I include at least an hour per year for the updates and that’s plenty for most small businesses.
But that leaves me with a growing number of WordPress sites to manage. So to the rescue come a new generation of tools to
I’ve been hearing about them for a while and have been enjoying the free trial service. They are the best and most comprehensive service and offer a free trial. But they are not cheap. I had a problem adding a site and their support was very responsive – that’s a great sign.
- bulk install, update and management of plugins and themes and WP
- backups to FTP, DropBox or S3
- email notification: for updates and other stats
- clone or migrate a WP install from one site to another,
- SEO tracking tools (for highest tier price)
- One-click automatic login to any website
- Bulk Add Posts/Pages and Links
- Simple cleaning of spam comments, removing post revisions or optimizing database
- Built-in pageview statistics
- Restrict login to your ManageWP account by IP address(es)
- Two-factor login authentication (email code)
- Backups for your websites (to your server, Amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP or an email address)
- Schedule daily, weekly or monthly automatic backups
- Easily Clone or Migrate website from one domain/hosting server to another
- Bulk User Management (change your admin password on all sites with ease, add/remove users, change roles…)
- Add and manage Sub-users in your account
- Run code tool
- Google Analytics dashboard widget
- Traffic alerts (receive an email if your daily website traffic changes by set amount)
- Website Uptime Monitoring
- Remote Maintenance mode
- View PHP error logs
Here’s my wishlist of features:
- Incremental backups: this make all the difference in the world when it comes to making a backup of a big site and committing to the computing resources to make it happen often.
- Backup options: stored at managewp.com . I wonder if they could team up with vaultpress to offer that service within their service perhaps? Ideally I would like a less expensive option since I’m already paying for a server-level (domain-level) backup.
- Multiple service levels/flexible billing: I have lots of WP sites but not all of them need the higher level of service so I’d like to adjust the service level for each site (eg: not all sites are concerned about SEO). I’d like to have a per-site billing system so I don’t have to think about the big price leap from 50 sites to 51 sites. I add my WordPress sites one at a time (as I build them for my small business clients) so i’d like to be billed one at a time. This would also make ManageWP more competitive with the free offerings out there (see below)
- Automatic backups – I am dreaming of an email telling me that my site was updated with screenshots before and after the update! Or maybe not an email but adding before and after screenshots or a few key pages would save alot of work in assuring the completeness of a backup
WP Remote handles updates to installed plugins and themes remotely via the WP Remote website and provides quick access to core updates. It can also create full off-site backups. Seems to be free but hard to tell from their site.
They are still coming up with a name for their service – it’s very new. Minimal functionality but it’s free and they promise not to start charging – which makes me wonder if it’ll really get continual development. Log into any site from the central control panel, view WP version, some troubleshooting links. Update 10/2012: there has not been any progress on this product in a while.
Only $67 per year, this offers a php script that lives on your cpanel-based server. Offers uploading and updating of themes and plugins, backup, RSS autopost and quick WP installs based on profiles you configure.
This is a brilliant idea – all the management features but you host it yourself so there are no ongoing fees. Best of all – the basic software is FREE and addons are available for extra features like backup. I am using this and so far it’s working well.
Yet another new offering – still in beta but coming soon… Offers 3 features: 1) Remote WordPress Updates 2) Manual Backups 3) Scheduled Backups