Top 5 WordPress Management Plugins to Effectively Manage Multiple Websites

 

 

WordPress as a CMS is relatively easy to work with …. unless you have to manage multiple sites.

The regular Core, Plugin and Theme updates makes it difficult to handle multiple WordPress websites. Keeping track of every site and working on many dashboards can get time-consuming and laborious. Thankfully, WordPress Management Solutions simplify the process by enabling you to keep an eye on all your sites from a single dashboard. You can also make changes and updates with ease.

What do look for in a WordPress Management Plugin?

1. Ease of use: The entire point of using a plugin to manage multiple sites is to reduce the time and effort that you put into the process. It is important to evaluate the time and complexity of the set-up process and maintenance of the plugin. Most importantly, the plugin needs to have a user-friendly centralised dashboard that serves as a single point of control.

2. Plugin Updates and Support: Look at how when the plugin was last updated. Is it being updated regularly? Are the features offered meeting industry standards? Read the reviews of the plugin from the WordPress repository. Is the user experience good? How responsive is the support team?

3. Goes beyond just updates: An ideal management plugin should eliminate the need for any other plugin. Look at the different functions its offering. Would the multitude of features affect plugin performance? Again, read reviews (like this one!) to get a hands-on idea of the user experience. If the plugin has third-party integrations for certain functions, look into how the support works. Who would you need to contact in case of an issue- the plugin or the 3rd party?

4. Additionally, make sure it has the following features:

  • Real-time backups with multiple backup copies for zero loss of data
  • Offsite storage for no overload to your server
  • Centralised Dashboard from where you can view and manage multiple sites
  • Cloning technology for testing updates and changes securely
  • Security scans and malware removal
  • Monitoring of site performance
  • White label solution for effective branding
  • Team Collaboration for easy communication
  • On Demand Client Reports

These features ensure complete site management and drastically reduce the time and effort required from your end- time and effort that you could put to better use!

Now, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Management plugins and see which one is a good fit for you!

Note: all opinions are based on actual usage of the plugins.

 

1. BlogVault

 

WordPress Management Solution

BlogVault

 

Trusted by over 400,000+ websites, BlogVault is a complete website management solution that goes beyond traditional means to help you efficiently handle multiple sites and make more recurring revenue from your care plans.

BlogVault’s Centralised Dashboard offers 1-Click bulk updates for themes, plugins, and core, perfect backups, fail-proof restores, in-built staging, complete security and much more saving you more than 12 hours a week. With one of the best-rated customer support services, BlogVault isn’t just a plugin, it’s an out-and-out service.

Features of BlogVault

    • Incremental and real-time backups
    • Multiple backup copies to rely on
    • Built-in free staging environment
    • Offsite storage on Amazon S3 servers
    • Automatic and on-demand Malware Scanning and Removal
    • Smart Firewall for 24/7 protection against Brute Force Attacks
    • Site Performance and Uptime Monitoring
    • White Label Solution
    • Flawless Migrations of even large sites
    • Team Collaboration and Site Access control

Blogvault also offers an option of scheduled or on-demand Client Reports that give an overview of the site activity followed by the activities of plugins, themes, backups and security (for the period of your choice). The dashboard also shows the site performance and monitors the uptime of the site, giving you a comprehensive understanding of how your site is doing and where it needs attention.

Pros:

    1. Undefeated Backups for Zero Data Loss
    2. Fail-Proof Website Recovery
    3. Unlimited On-demand Malware Removal
    4. 50% faster Bulk Updates
    5. Zero Impact on Site Performance
    6. FREE staging site to safely test updates
    7. Awesome Customer Support

Cons:

    1. Does not offer Google Analytics Integration
    2. Link monitoring isn’t available
    3. It doesn’t haven’t a free version.

Pricing:  All-features-inclusive start at $4/month/site (2 months free when paid annually). Check out the prices here.

 

2. ManageWP

 

WordPress Management Solution

ManageWP

 

ManageWP is a freemium WordPress Management plugin that was founded way back in 2010. Their dashboard serves as a single-point-control over all plugins and themes. With its numerous add-ons available for added functionality, ManageWP is definitely a seasoned player in WordPress Management.

Features:

ManageWP also boasts of a centralised dashboard from where you manage all your plugins and themes and get notified of available updates. Their dashboard can be overwhelming because of its design but their helpful tooltips and extensive documentation make it easy to navigate across.

The free tier of ManageWp includes the following:

    • Monthly Backups
    • Client Reports
    • Google Analytics integration
    • Plugin Vulnerability Checks with WPScan
    • Management of Comments and Spam
    • Team Collaboration with access control

The following are paid add-ons of ManageWP:

    • Incremental Hourly Backups with a 90-Day Archive
    • Site Cloning
    • Uptime Monitoring
    • Safe Updates
    • SEO Ranking Analysis
    • White Labeling
    • Sucuri Site Check

Pros:

    1. Ideal for Small Agencies and Businesses
    2. Content Management
    3. Pay only for what you use

Cons:

    1. No Malware Removal Option
    2. No real-time backup option – not ideal for large sites or e-commerce sites
    3. Making any changes to an individual plugins’ settings would require going to the regular WordPress dashboard
    4. Only 90-day backup recovery

Pricing:  Starts from $9/month/site. Find more about the pricing here.

 

3. MainWP

 

WordPress Management Solution

MainWP

 

MainWP is another freemium WordPress management tool that offers multiple site management. What makes MainWP stand out is that it is Self-hosted and Open Source – meaning that the plugin is hosted on your WordPress install and that the core is free to download. The source code is available to anyone on GitHub. It is ideal for small developers who do not have too many clients or a lot of data to handle. Like ManageWP, MainWP also has many add-ons that can be used to procure valuable functions.

Each site added is treated as a child site and once connected to the dashboard, you get easy control over the child sites, almost the same as the sites wp-admin.

Features:

The free tier of MainWp includes the following

    • Activity log by WP Security Audit Log
    • Backups with BackupBuddy, BackWPUp or UpdraftPlus
    • Clean and Lock function that limits access to wp-admin
    • WPScan Vulnerability Checker
    • WooCommerce shortcuts that link to your child sites
    • Image Optimisation with WP Compress
    • Sucuri SIte Check

The paid features of MainWP are as follows:

    • White Labeling
    • Site Cloning for Safe updates
    • Client Reports
    • Google Analytics Integration
    • iThemes Security or WordFence Integration
    • Team Collaboration and Control
    • Yoast SEO integration

Pros:

    1. Self-Hosted and Open Source platform ensures complete user privacy
    2. Multiple Integrations
    3. Awesome for developers who like their privacy and control

Cons:

    1. Installation process is time-consuming and not very user-friendly
    2. Excessive server load as it is self-hosted
    3. Limited free features, the good ones are all paid
    4. Issues with large amounts of data- not ideal for large/e-commerce sites
    5. No Malware removal
    6. No free staging/cloning for safe updates

Pricing:  Their membership plans starts at $30/month. (Note, Again, it’s self-hosted) Find more about the pricing here.

 

4. Infinite WP

 

WordPress Management Solution

InfiniteWP

 

Infinite WP is a self-hosted management plugin that is more of an admin panel for multiple sites. It offers one-click updates, backups and restoration for free.

Features:

The paid features are listed below:

    • Migration and Staging
    • Uptime Monitoring
    • Integration with WordFence and iThemes for Security
    • Client Reporting
    • Content Management
    • White Labeling
    • Google Analytics and Pagespeed Integration
    • Customised Notifications

InfiniteWP is suitable for different types of hosting- depending on the number of sites you want to manage. InfiniteWP can be installed in one of 3 ways – using their Installer Plugin, installing via c-panel, and installing manually.

Pros:

    1. Suitable for small time developers
    2. Best suited for focused updates and plugin management
    3. User data is protected as it is self-hosted

Cons:

    1. Definitely not suitable for beginners – they do not have any tooltips and their help docs cannot be accessed from the admin panel
    2. Installation is complex and time-consuming
    3. Overloads your server due to it being self-hosted
    4. No malware removal
    5. No option of choosing particular add-ons: all their paid plans include all add-ons making it pricey

Pricing:  $247/year. Find more about their pricing here.

 

5. Jetpack Manage

 

WordPress Management Solution

Jetpack

 

Jetpack Manage is a part of the popular Security, Performance and Management plugin, Jetpack which was developed by Automattic – the team behind WordPress. The free version of it is automatically integrated on any WordPress.com website. Once you install Jetpack, you can link it your WordPress.com account through the admin panel and voila! Jetpack integrates with your WordPress dashboard directly under the My Sites option.

Features:

The following are the free features:

    • Brute Force Attack protection
    • Automatic and Bulk updates of plugins and themes
    • Downtime monitoring
    • Static file and image hosting
    • Automatic Social Media Posting
    • Traffic Stat analysis
    • Free WordPress Themes

Paid features of Jetpack are:

    • Daily/Real time automated backups
    • 90-day or Unlimited backup archive
    • Auto-Filter Spam
    • Automatic Malware scanning
    • Video Hosting
    • Google Analytics Integration
    • Activity log

Pros:

    1. Comprehensive Stats that show number of visitors, likes and comments for the period of your choice
    2. Uses the WordPress Editor
    3. Unlimited Backup archive (only on the highest paid plan)
    4. PayPal Integration to accept payments

Cons:

    1. Does not offer Core updates
    2. Installation requires your host to meet WordPress Hosting requirements
    3. Installation requires you to have the latest version of WordPress
    4. Needs integration with WordPress.com account
    5. No Backups offered on the free version
    6. Unless you have a premium plan, the support isn’t very responsive

Pricing: Starts at $6/month. Find out more about their pricing here.

 

So which one is the best for you?

If you have a few small websites, I’d suggest the free version of ManageWP or Jetpack Manage. While ManageWP gives you monthly backups and vulnerability checks, Jetpack offers image optimisation and 100+ free themes. You can choose depending on the needs of your site.

If you are a small developer, I’d say, go for a lifetime subscription of MainWP, but beware of an overload on your server. You can also use its free version but frankly, it’s easier to trust a SaaS solution offering everything in-house than 3rd party integrations.

If you’re an agency handling many sites, BlogVault would hands down be the best fit. With complete site backups, extensive security and perfect restorations, it’s the best safety net. The 1-click bulk updates, free staging, white label and reports make it the best management solution out there.

Give it a spin with their free-trial from here.

And that’s all folks! I hope this article shed some light on which Management Solution would be best for your site.