As a part of my no-contract website maintenance programs I have been offering free “off the clock” back-ups and updates on a weekly basis for a while now.
I was managing these back-ups individually with the plug-in UpDraft Plus, which was fine in the beginning…but managing dozens of sites individually is just asking for something to go wrong.
Plus, it’s a pain in the butt going around to dozens of WordPress sites to update them and set up backups.
I needed a better solution.
Introducing ManageWP: A tool for easily managing multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard
All of my member’s sites are in ManageWP, which allows me to back-up daily instead of weekly, and update all of these sites with the click of a button.
ManageWP has lots of features, which I am going to go over one-by-one in terms of what I have found to be useful and what I have skipped over. I’ll also mention the pricing: for most users, ManageWP pricing is “a la carte”. You pay a buck here and 2 bucks there depending on what features you use for which sites.
ManageWP Feature: 1 Click Update All WordPress Sites
What the feature is: This feature allows you to view and update multiple sites with a single click.
What I think: This is my favorite feature, hands-down. From my dashboard, I am able to see every plug-in, theme, and WordPress core that needs updated across all of the WordPress sites that I manage.
I can then simply click “Update All,” and ManageWP does the rest. It will notify me if anything goes wrong during the process.
I have found that for some slower Websites, or sites with multiple WP installations on one shared server, the update might stall briefly. You might even get a false-positive “something is wrong” message when nothing is wrong.
The system is not without bugs, but so far none of them are site-breaking and I haven’t had any issues with ManageWP screwing up updates.
Pricing: FREE for all users.
I’ve mentioned it before, but not updating your site regularly is the #1 way to get your WordPress site hacked.
ManageWP Feature 2: Incremental Cloud Backups
What the feature is: Schedule off-site cloud backups of your WordPress site that can be restored with a single click.
What I think: This was the reason I originally signed up. The fact that the backups are off-site increases security, prevents your site from getting bogged down during the backup process, and makes them easier and more reliable to restore.
I’ve been using the backup tool daily, but I haven’t yet had to restore a Website. I’m assuming that it will go over without a hitch – I can see all of the files that are being backed up across 24 Websites right now…every day. I don’t even have to think about it.
Pricing: Unscheduled backups and Monthly Cloud Backups are free. For daily backups, it’s $2/site.
ManageWP Feature 3: 1 Click Login
What the feature is: Once ManageWP is connected to your sites, you never have to log in to those sites again. Simply log in to ManageWP and click on the site’s WordPress Dashboard and you will be logged in as an admin.
What I think: Definitely a time saver! I keep ManageWP open and any time I need to work on a client’s WordPress site I just click on it from there.
Pricing: Free for all sites.
ManageWP Feature 4: Clone (Requires Premium Backup)
What the feature is: Clone existing sites to development sites, launch a development site, or create “templates” that you can use when starting a new project to get a head start.
What I think: Useful, though I haven’t used it much yet. I’m excited to use the “template” feature because I will be able to set up new WP sites complete with my normal themes, plug-ins, etc. already installed.
Pricing: It’s “Free” but requires the $2/site premium backup in order to use it for a site.
ManageWP Feature 5: Safe Updates (Requires Premium Backup)
What the feature is: You can specify an update to be a “Safe Update” which means that if anything goes wrong, the latest back-up will be automatically restored.
What I think: I haven’t used it much because the first time I tried to use it it warned me that it would take forever to do on all of the sites I manage. I’ve been doing the “regular update” and haven’t had problems. I feel confident that I could restore the back-up without needing the “safe update” feature.
Pricing: Free but requires the $2/site premium backup.
ManageWP Feature 6: Performance Check
What the feature is: Test your site’s performance and speed across a variety of testing tools.
What I think: It’s alright. I use pingdom.com to speed-test client sites. This gives the same results. You can automate the process to run a test daily for $1, but for most sites I don’t think that’s necessary.
Pricing: Free to check manually, $1/site to automate it.
ManageWP Feature 7: Security Check
What the feature is: Scan your site for malware or anything fishy within your WordPress installation.
What I think: I haven’t used it, so I’ll reserve comment. I use the WordFence plug-in to protect client sites.
Pricing: Free to scan manually, $1/site to automate it.
ManageWP Feature 8: Analytics + Client Reporting
What the feature is: See analytics for your site across multiple installations.
What I think: I’ve played around a bit in it, but the accuracy is debatable. The best thing to do is link your ManageWP profile to Google Analytics. If you do that, ManageWP will display Google Analytics for any site you own the property for automatically. Otherwise, it will use their own reporting system through WP which seems hit or miss.
The “Client Reporting” feature is cool. You can automatically generate an analytics report for your site and send it to whomever. You can pay an extra $1 to automate that.
Pricing: Free to do manually, $1/site to automate it.
ManageWP Feature 9: Uptime Monitoring
What the feature is: Be immediately notified if your site goes down.
What I think: I don’t use it. None of my sites are high-risk for going down. I think it’s cool that you can be notified by Email, Text, or Slack.
Other ManageWP Features:
ManageWP also includes the ability to Manage comments on all sites at once, optimize your database overhead (to speed up the admin area), and more.
Final Review of ManageWP
I’ve only been using it for about a month, but I’m in love. It’s automated my workflow, allowed me to free up Virtual Assistant time/money, and gives me peace of mind when it comes to knowing my client’s sites are protected.
If you’re interested in learning more, check it out at ManageWP.com.
They don’t have an affiliate program (darn it!), and I wasn’t asked to write this review. Just wrote it because I love the program!
Sky Stover helps solo-entrepreneurs and small businesses position themselves as experts through Websites that are mobile-friendly and strategically designed. Sky has a growing Website maintenance program in which her members receive personal IT support, marketing advice, copywriting services, WordPress support, and more – all with world-class customer service that seems all too rare in the Web Design industry today.