Do you manage multiple WordPress installs? And do you manage all of them one by one from each dashboard? Updating plugins, themes, WordPress core and so on?
Even though I manage only five websites, I still found it hard to keep up with all updates, performance- and security checks and other managing stuff. Purely by accident I ran into the ManageWP Worker plugin on the WordPress plugin repository. It got me interested because of the way it is set up: management and maintenance of the websites in one place with an online dashboard.
The way it works
The management and maintenance of WordPress websites is handled by two things: a central, online dashboard and one plugin on each WordPress install to get access to that install. After installing the plugin, you can get access to that website from the central dashboard. Now you can manage that website from the dashboard!
Setting up ManageWP
Setting up ManageWp is easy. First you sign up for the central management dashboard on the ManageWP website. Click on ‘Sign up free’ and follow the instructions.
After signing up and adding your first website, the management dashboard shows itself. You will receive an email to be able to set a password for the management dashboard.
You can have ManageWp install the ManageWP Worker plugin on the website you add. You can also manually install this plugin on each website you want to manage from the dashboard. The ManageWP Worker plugin is needed to get access to the WordPress install you want to manage with ManageWP.
The features of ManageWP
ManageWP has many features to manage your websites. ManageWP is free to use with unlimited websites. You can expand the possibilities with premium add-ons.
Manage and update plugins, themes and WordPress core
You can updates plugins, themes and WordPress in batches or in bulk, but also one by one! It is possible to ignore updates, when they are problematic.
With the free plan you can automatically backup websites monthly. For websites with mostly static content or a low refresh rate this should be enough. With the premium version you can schedule your backups, clone/migrate a website, download a backup to your computer or have it saved to your preferred cloud storage. The premium version also offers the option ‘Safe updates’.
1 Click login
With one click you can go directly to the admin area of a website.
You can check your websites for vulnerabilities, malware and if your website is blacklisted. In the free version you have to start the check manually. The premium version lets you schedule the security checks daily or weekly and send notifications.
The performance check gives you insight in how your website is performing. You will get a detailed list of the results and suggestions for improvement. In the free version you have to start each performance test manually. The premium version lets you schedule the performance checks and send notifications.
Let your clients know how their websites are doing by sending them client reports.
The collaborate tool lets other people manage your websites within ManageWP. They will have limited access to the dashboard. You can even give clients read-only access, so they can see what is happening with their website.
For each managed website Google Analytics can be added to the dashboard. It can be integrated with the client reports.
All comments of the managed websites get compiled into one list. From there, you can approve, disapprove, delete comments or flag them as spam. With one click you can delete all spam comments.
This tool lets you run PHP code snippets. You can change plugin settings, clear cache, remove dashboard items. All depending on your PHP skills.
The maintenance mode gives you the possibility to show a nice Under maintenance or Coming soon page to your visitors. The templates are fully customizable.
The premium option White label lets you rebrand or hide the Worker plugin, disable plugin and themes updates from the website’s dashboard and add a support form to the wp-admin sidebar.
The Uptime monitor is a premium add-on. You will get a notification when your website goes down. This way you can take immediate action and be back online asap.
This premium add-on keeps track of your keyword rankings.
Because of the numerous options there is not a lot that can’t be done from the ManageWP dashboard. Nearly everything from monitoring to updating and even moderate comments can be done from one place. It has saved me a lot of time and it gives me great insight. Once you’re used to working with this tool, you don’t want to go back to logging in to and updating all your websites one by one!
Because of ManageWP I decided to disable the backup plugin and started to use the monthly backup for WebID-online (and two other sites). Also because of ManageWP I don’t have to go to one of my favorite websites: GTMetrix.
Aren’t there any downsides?
Besides some add-ons not being free? I haven’t discovered them. Sure, it takes a some time to get used to managing websites this way. The look and feel are different. After many years of managing websites one by one, it is a big step.
It takes some time and effort to explore all the possibilities. You also need to determine whether you stay with the free plan, or start to use premium add-ons. Until now I haven’t felt the need to start paying for add-ons. I can image that managing 50 or more websites makes the use of premium add-ons a lot more interesting.
ManageWP definitely saves time!