There are several tools available for managing multiple WordPress installations with ease. I started out using ManageWP, but before long, I decided that InfiniteWP was a better fit.
Introduction to InfiniteWP
InfiniteWP allows you to remotely and securely manage an infinite number of WordPress sites, enabling you to keep them updated and backed up among other things. The core software itself, like WordPress, is free and has no restrictions on the number of sites that you can manage.
It has boatloads more features as well, some as part of the core software, and some as premium addons. For example, with InfiniteWP, you can check for malware, manage plugins and themes (individually or in bulk), check for broken links, upload files to sites, check on each site’s Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and PageSpeed, schedule automatic backups, install WordPress and clone sites at the click of a button, manage users, monitor uptime, optimize your database, publish posts and pages, manage comments, and then get a weekly or monthly report saying what was done on each site.
The control panel is very neat and tidy, which makes life really easy. Colored prompts guide you to things that need your immediate attention and a simple traffic light system tells you when tasks have failed, or when everything is running smoothly.
I haven’t tried all of the addons, but the ones that I do use are all really well written and work flawlessly time and time again.
I love that I can schedule backups and just have them done automatically every day, so that me and my clients needn’t worry if something should ever fail. I should also note that the backups addon can send your backups to multiple off-site locations (I use Amazon S3, but Google Drive, FTP and Dropbox are all options too).
I also use the malware scanning add-on to regularly scan for malware across all the sites that I manage, which has turned up a few things before that I otherwise would not have known about. This allowed me to get them fixed before they came bigger issues.
The activity log allows you to review which tasks were run and where problems may have occurred so that you can see what caused the failure and make the fixes suggested.
A few really nice features about InfiniteWP that make it simple to do my job are the ability to group websites together, and the plugin management system. Grouping websites together enables me to update the right websites at the right time: for example, on a Monday, I update all sites that need weekly updates, but then on Friday, I only update those sites that need twice-weekly updates.
With the plugin management system, I can manage plugins in bulk across all of my sites. So for instance, if a security vulnerability is announced in a plugin, I can look for that plugin across all sites and instantly deactivate it, or upgrade it if an upgrade is available, eliminating the security threat. Pretty neat! Furthermore, I have premium plugins that I like to install on many sites, so I can just upload them to Amazon S3 (or wherever), and with a simple click, the plugin is installed and activated on as many sites as I want. The same interface is available for themes, so you could keep your library of premium themes ready for immediate and mass deployment.
The uptime monitor gives an excellent graphical representation of the uptime of all sites in the past 24 hours. In the screenshot below, no sites had any downtime, but the overall uptime percentage is quoted.
These are just a few of the features of InfiniteWP, but you can see that by the way they have designed the software (both how it looks, and under the hood), they make the management of multiple sites a real breeze.
Why it’s better than ManageWP et al
One of the first differences you’ll notice between InfiniteWP and ManageWP (and others) is that InfiniteWP is a self-hosted, rather than a managed solution, so you install it on your own server and manage it yourself. This means that it can be as cost-efficient as you want. I just whipped up a VPS on Digital Ocean and within a few minutes, I had InfiniteWP installed on my own server for just $10/mo. It’s really easy to install by the way: if you can install WordPress, you can install InfiniteWP.
At this point, InfiniteWP is already leaps and bounds better than ManageWP. As you start looking into ManageWP, it quickly becomes apparent that if you’re looking after anything more than just your own sites, it’s going to start costing you a lot of money. With InfiniteWP, you just need the software (free) and somewhere to host it ($10/mo in my case, but could be just a few dollars a month) and you can manage as many sites as you want.
InfiniteWP has a different revenue model than most other services, which works really well for anyone who’s managing more than a handful of sites. They sell premium addons for some of the features, which you just pay once for (continued support and upgrades will require renewing your addon license every year), so you can pick and choose which addons you really need and just pay once for them, and when you consider how useful each one is and how many sites you can use them on (as many as you want!), they’re really reasonable, with most being either $49 or $69 each.
I’d rather pay a single fee once and know that it’s good to go, especially given that I continue adding new clients all the time, so that my costs don’t keep escalating.
I entrust InfiniteWP with my WordPress maintenance service, The WP Butler, which is a pretty big deal. I need to know that when I sell a service to update, back up and maintain sites, that I’m able to deliver that promise, and InfiniteWP hasn’t let me down yet.
I love that I can keep growing my business without incurring additional fees just because I have more sites to manage. It’s definitely the best solution for me, and I think it’s well worth considering whether it could help you save some time managing your WordPress sites.